What is the writing section?

By Dennis Schulman on

The writing section was added to the SAT test in 2005. This is why the perfect score went from 1600 to 2400. It is made up of two sections of grammar questions and one essay, which accounts for approx. 30% of the score. It is less important that math and reading as some colleges ignore it entirely as a criterion for admission.

There are rules of grammar that need to be reviewed and learning the rules can make a big difference in a student’s score. Very little time is spent studying grammar in high schools so many students are learning this for the first time. It does take a fair amount of practice for them to learn it well enough to improve their performance.

The essay is the first section of every SAT test. Students have twenty five minutes to organize their thoughts and write an effective persuasive essay. Essay topics run toward philosophical topics such as, “what is success?”, “is it important to question authority?” It is helpful to look at previous tests to get an idea fo the topics they choose. Most important to writing a good essay is backing up one’s point of view with concrete evidence taken from literature, history or personal experience. I always counsel students to think beforehand of things they can write about. Activities they are involved in such as sports or music or dance offer many examples of lessons they have learned. They can also think about books they’ve read in school or outside of school that they understand and remember well. There may be areas of history that they studied in depth and can write well about. Although they don’t know what their topic will be, they may find they can work at least one or more of their areas of interest or expertise into an essay.

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