SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

What Is A Good SAT Essay Score?

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Oct 18, 2015 10:30:00 AM

SAT Writing

SAT Essay scoring can be tricky to figure out. Maybe you've already created target goals for your SAT score, following our guide, so you at least have that score goal set.

But where does your essay score fit into all this? What is a good SAT essay score? This article will answer those questions.

Note: The information in this article is for the old (pre-March-2016) SAT essay, which was scored out of 12 and part of the Writing section. Scores for the March 2016 SAT were only released May 10th, 2016, which means that data on percentiles and averages aren't going to be available for a while yet. We'll update this article as soon as the information comes out.

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SAT Essay Scoring: The Real Story

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Oct 18, 2015 8:00:00 AM

SAT Writing

It's 17-19 days after your SAT test date, so you log into the CollegeBoard website, eager to see how you did. You look at your essay score and see...“9.”

You check for more detail in your score report and see that Grader 1 gave you a 5, Grader 2 gave you a 4...and that's it.

So how are SAT essays graded, and how can you use this information to your advantage? Read on to find out!

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The Most Reliable SAT Essay Template and Format

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Oct 17, 2015 6:00:00 PM

SAT Writing

Aside from the “grid in” math questions, all you have to do for most of the SAT is answer multiple choice questions.

And then there's the essay. Or, more accurately, "To start with, there's the essay." Because the first thing you'll do on the SAT is write an essay in 25 minutes flat.

How can you even begin to write an essay in 25 minutes? What SAT essay structure should you follow? Is there an SAT essay format that’ll score you a top score for sure? Read on to find out the answers to these questions!

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8+ Free Old Official SAT Practice Tests

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Oct 3, 2015 12:30:00 PM

SAT Strategies, SAT Writing, SAT Reading, SAT Math, New SAT

In March 2016, the SAT underwent a complete redesign, concentrating more on testing reasoning skills than on obscure vocabulary knowledge

So how do you study for the SAT now that there just aren't that many practice tests available? After all, there’s nothing quite like taking actual official SAT tests to get you ready for the real thing. The good news is that many of the questions that appeared on the old SAT format are still completely relevant and a great resource for practicing your skills!

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How To Attack SAT Essay Prompts and Raise Your Score

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Sep 26, 2015 9:00:00 AM

SAT Writing

The SAT essay is very different from any essay you’ll be asked to write in school. One key part of mastering the SAT Writing section is understanding how SAT essay prompts are structured. Join me as I (figuratively) dissect an SAT Writing essay prompt!

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SAT Essay Strategies from Real SAT Essay Graders

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Sep 26, 2015 8:30:00 AM

SAT Writing

If you've spent any time doing SAT prep, you probably are familiar with what it’s like to write an SAT essay. But what’s it like to be an SAT essay grader? Find out what essay graders look for, what the essay grading job involves, and effective SAT essay tips you should use as a result of this information as I bring you...insights from real SAT essay graders.

Note: The information in this article is for the old (pre-March-2016) SAT essay, which was scored out of 12 and part of the Writing section. Because the new SAT essay has been administered (and graded) so few times, there's not much information out there yet about the grading process for the new essay. We'll update this article as soon as the information comes out.

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New SAT Essay Prompts: How Are They Changing?

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Sep 25, 2015 9:00:00 PM

SAT Writing, New SAT

The CollegeBoard has once again completely revamped the SAT — the changes debuted in March 2016 (tests can have debuts right? Right). We have an overview about all of the changes that have been made, but how do the changes apply to the SAT essay questions in particular? Read on to find out more about the new SAT Writing prompts.

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How Does SAT Essay Length Affect Your Score?

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Sep 25, 2015 8:30:00 PM

SAT Writing

True or False: Since essay length is not mentioned in the SAT essay grading rubric, it doesn’t matter how much you write in your essay.

Answer: True...but also false. Read on for an explanation of why and how the length of your SAT essay can affect your score.

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Full Analysis of SAT Grammar Rules: Which Are Most Important?

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Aug 22, 2015 6:00:00 PM

SAT Writing

When you are planning your study approach for SAT Writing, it’s important to know where your time is best spent.

Which grammar rules are really the most important to learn? What can help you make the greatest improvement to your score?

Read on to find out exactly how much each grammar rule matters and how you can use this information on the test.

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The Best Prep Books for SAT Writing

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Aug 22, 2015 3:00:00 PM

SAT Writing

Are you planning on buying a book to help you prep for SAT Writing?

In this article I will discuss the top prep books for SAT Writing on the market today, and why you should or should not buy them.

These books can be found at bookstores, the library, or online. If you make use of all these books and practice effectively, you'll be sure t o improve your SAT writing score.

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The Complete Prep Guide for SAT Writing: Grammar, Strategies, and Practice

Posted by Alex Heimbach | Aug 17, 2015 8:00:00 AM

SAT Writing

This complete guide includes everything you need to know about SAT Writing. As experienced tutors, we’re all too familiar with the shortcomings of most test prep materials, so we created our own free guide to SAT writing, which we believe is the best available (even compared to expensive books from big-name companies).

To create this guide, we carefully analyzed real SATs, read the best SAT books we could find, and thought carefully about what you actually need to know to succeed on SAT writing.

Rather than trying to condense all of the info we came up with into one page (which would be insanely overwhelming!), we’ve created this article to serve as a table of contents and guide you through the different parts of the SAT writing guide. The first section covers high-level ideas about the test, like general structure and important big-picture concepts. The second outlines every grammar skill you’ll need to know and the best strategies for approaching questions about each one. The final section rounds up all kinds of strategies and tips that you can use both on the test and as you study. It also includes detailed explanations of how to plan your prep time and suggestions for where you can find further practice tests and study material, should you need them.

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SAT Writing Prep: The Best Methods and Strategies

Posted by Justin Berkman | Aug 14, 2015 8:24:10 PM

SAT Writing

I’ve spent the past decade teaching SAT prep classes and helping hundreds of students prepare for the SAT Writing section. After taking my class, many of my former students were able to improve their SAT Writing scores by more than 200 points. My experience has taught me that having a disciplined, focused approach to your SAT prep will allow you to maximize your score.

In this article, I have given you the best advice I have for preparing for SAT Writing. Using these methods will enable you to use your study time wisely and master the skills you need to be an SAT Writing superstar.

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The Top 9 SAT Writing Strategies You Must Use

Posted by Justin Berkman | Aug 14, 2015 8:13:46 PM

SAT Writing

Efficiency and organization are vitally important to successful SAT Writing preparation. If you don't have a good game plan for your preparation, you're likely to waste time on things that may not be helping you improve your SAT Writing score.  Implementing specific, proven strategies during your SAT Writing prep will allow you to make the best use of your time and fully prepare yourself for the SAT Writing section.
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The Top 7 SAT Writing Tips to Boost Your Score

Posted by Justin Berkman | Aug 11, 2015 8:30:00 AM

SAT Writing

Having taught SAT Writing to hundreds of students, I understand that this section of the SAT can be confusing and complicated. You have to remember all the grammar rules you were able to avoid learning throughout your schooling. You have to identify subtle grammatical errors that are often committed by gifted writers.

Through my experience teaching, I have identified some general rules for the SAT Writing section that have helped students of all levels improve their scores. 

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Why You Shouldn't Copy Skeleton Templates for the SAT/ACT Essay

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Aug 8, 2015 8:30:00 AM

SAT Writing, ACT Writing

Creating your own essay skeleton can go a long way towards helping you prepare for the SAT or ACT essay. Having an essay template ready to go before you take the test can reduce feelings of panic, since it allows you to control at least some of the unknowns of a free-response question. It can even be helpful to look at other people’s essay skeletons to get an idea what your own essay template should look like.

But when does using an essay skeleton go from a great idea to a huge mistake? Keep reading to find out.

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