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Writing an Essay that Scores High on the SAT

Part of the SAT For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The SAT has only one essay question. With preparation, you can do well on the SAT essay portion even if essay-writing isn’t your forté. You have only 25 minutes to write a well-organized, convincing argument that addresses the given prompt. As you write your SAT essay, keep in mind the following tips for success:

  • Always answer the question the SAT makers are asking in the prompt.

  • Take a recognizable stand — for, against, or some of both — in your introductory paragraph; don’t circle around the issue at hand.

  • Jot down ideas and organize your thoughts before you start writing on the answer sheet.

  • Write with a No. 2 pencil.

  • Make sure your handwriting is readable.

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