Published Tuesday, March 12, 2019 by Tifinie



The most recent breakdown of the SAT contains an optional essay section at the end.  This essay is not required by The College Board nor by many colleges, but some colleges do require an essay submission with the SAT for admission.

Students are given a total of 50 minutes to work on their essay during the exam.  They are given a prompt and asked to analyze the strategies used by the author during the passage in order to persuade their audience a certain way.  The essay demonstrates how well a student understands a passage and can use it as a basis to write a well-thought-out discussion.  This section evaluates a student’s essay skills in three ways:  reading, analysis, and writing.


  1. Reading: Evaluates a student’s ability to read and understand a long passage, to recognize the central idea of the passage, and to identify important details and evidence used to support the central idea.
  2. Analysis: Assesses a student’s understanding of how an author builds an argument that is effective and supported throughout the article.  Students must be able to identify the author’s use of evidence, reasoning, and other techniques to support their arguments and redirect those claims to support their own analysis.
  3. Writing: Finally, the essay demonstrates a student’s ability to successfully write an essay that is formatted in a focused, organized, and precise manner with an appropriate style and tone.  Students must also be able to demonstrate their ability follow the conventions of standard written English while creatively personalizing their work.


Each essay that is submitted is graded by two individuals who will both submit a score for the essay.  The scoring is split up into the three distinct categories described above, each graded on a scale between 1 and 4.  Some colleges require the essay submission for admission into the school while others do not.

Keep in mind, if you submit an essay during an SAT exam, your essay score will be included every time you send your scores to a college.  Score ChoiceTM is the program you can use to choose which SAT scores you want to submit to which colleges, but they include every section of the SAT that was submitted.  If you scored really well on the exam, but did a poor job writing the essay, the low essay score will show with the other scores from the exam.  If you feel that you aren’t a confident writer, consider skipping the essay section of the SAT as it will probably only drive your results down.  If you feel successful in your writing abilities, however, by all means, include your essay in your submission and let it shine with the rest of your scores.  Regardless, if you opt to write the essay, your essay score will always be included in the results.

Before opting out of the essay, however, check in with the schools you are interested in applying to.  We recommend that before finalizing any major decisions, actually do the footwork to find out what is expected from you by the school(s) you are interested in attending.  All schools are interested in different things and even have different expectations of their students when it comes to admissions.  Therefore, really sit down and plan out which schools you want to attend and which major(s) or industries you might head towards after high school.  Then, make sure that you fulfill all of the requirements for all of the schools that you want to apply to.  Leave room for adjustments as you grow, fine-tune your goals, and approach graduation.  After all, you can’t be expected to make solid plans that will never change when you’re still at the beginning of your journey.  Do your best to outline a path so that you can find your way more easily as you continue your educational journey.

For more information on the SAT format, click here!






Punctually practicing perfect tongue twisters can help develop superior speech habits. Rapid, repeated pronunciation is proven to strengthen and develop distinguished skills in presentation, which may help you get through a sticky speech or an intellectual interview when your tongue gets tied up on its own.  Have fun with this week’s featured tongue twister!



Larry’s last list, he lost. The last list he lost wouldn’t last once lost.  Literally, the last list he lost that wouldn’t last couldn’t last once lost.  Larry always loses lists because Larry likes to list lots in lots of sand at lagoons.

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