Tip from Josie: Ace the SAT essay

Josie Francois2Hi everyone, my name is Josie Francois and I am a rising junior at Harvard College concentrating in Chemistry with a secondary in Economics. I have worked as a tutor at HSA Tutoring for a few years now and I really enjoy it. I want to help students perform to the best of their ability, whether in class or on standardized tests.

Today I will be providing tips for the SAT essays. On the SAT, you have 25 minutes to write the essay. Because you don’t have much time to write the essay, it is important to stay focused and make every minute count.

The first thing you should do is carefully read the prompt. Make sure you understand the prompt. Then, choose your argument or perspective on the issue. After you decide, take a few minutes to plan the essay. Planning your essay now will save you time later since you will know exactly what to write. Don’t take too long to plan; just jot down a few notes about your thesis and your supporting arguments, and, if time permits, some example you want to use. After planning, start writing.

When writing, make sure to pay attention to your essay structure and organization. For the sake of simplicity, stick to the basic essay structure: introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should give a bit of background. Your introduction should be like a funnel; start with broad ideas and then get more specific, ending with your thesis. Make sure your thesis clearly states your argument. The body of your essay should provide supporting information for your argument. Use specific examples to support your claims and ideas. Your examples can be personal and they can also be made up, but they have to be plausible. When presenting ideas or claims, show readers how they are related to your argument and why they matter. Your conclusion should summarize your thesis and your main points. If you have the time, you should also show readers why your argument matters and the significance of your ideas in the conclusion.

Make sure you have paragraphs, and indent each new paragraph so it is easy for readers to see when you are starting a new paragraph. Each paragraph should be like a mini essay, with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Transition between paragraphs and sentences to improve coherence and the flow of the essay. To transition, you can use transition words or transition by referring to an idea mentioned previously and linking it to an idea that follows.

Remember to use proper grammar and correct spelling. Avoid using words if you aren’t sure of their meaning. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to write a long essay. Try to make your essay as long as possible without being redundant or going off topic. Try to leave a few minutes at the end to review and edit your essay.

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