What is The SAT Essay: Overview

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What is The SAT Essay: Overview
Table of Contents
  1. What is The SAT Essay: Overview
  2. What is The SAT Essay?
  3. The Essay Prompt
  4. The Topic
  5. Changes in SAT Essay Requirements 2022
  6. How to Write a Sat Essay
  7. What the SAT Essay Measures
  8. Reading
  9. Analysis
  10. Writing
  11. Sending Scores
  12. Qualified Help in Making a Successful Essay

In some schools, students can be required to make a SAT essay. It's an assignment where you need to read a short text and then analyze it by writing an essay. Schools use this paper to check the student's writing, reading, and logical skills. If you're looking for tips on how to make a perfect SAT essay, our detailed guide will be quite helpful. Discover this article and learn how to write a good document with pleasure.

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What is The SAT Essay?

When a student is applying for a college, they may be asked to make a SAT essay. It's a kind of test to show your writing skills; it's not for math. In many schools, the SAT essay is optional. We recommend writing it even if it's optional because this is a great opportunity to show your logical, analytical, writing, and reading skills and level of English. If you're good at writing, it is just another practice session for you. Show yourself to the chosen school board from the very beginning. We assure you that your talents will be noticed.

Usually, a student needs to read a text (from 650 to 750 words) and then create a detailed analysis of this piece of writing. This task must be fulfilled in 50 minutes. As you already see, the main goal of making this paper is to see how a student can analyze the author's writing. This document requires a detailed analysis of techniques, evidence, and other things the author uses in their text to make it logical, convincing, and smooth. Read our blog on how to write a rhetorical analysis, it may help with your writing.

The task is the same always but the piece of text for reading is changeable. In the next paragraph, you can read the SAT essay prompt just to understand what you will have to do after reading the text.

The Essay Prompt

This is a typical version of the SAT essay prompt:

After reading the text you see below, please analyze how the writer uses:

  • Examples and facts as evidence to support the argument.
  • How ideas are developed and the claims are connected with evidence.
  • How the writer adds power to the ideas by persuasive and stylistic elements.

And after the text for reading, you can see the second part of the prompt:

Create an essay where you need to analyze and explain how the writer persuades the readers using good evidence. Please make sure you have analyzed how the writer uses methods listed above (or you can select your own features) to persuade audience with their arguments and make the written text stronger. You have to make your essay on the most relevant methods the author uses in the piece of writing. The main task is not to show your agreement or disagreement with the writer's claims but explain what techniques are used in the piece of text to persuade readers. 

The Topic

As we already said before, the task is always the same but the piece of text for reading is different every time. In fact, all the texts for the SAT essay have some common things:

  • These texts are created for a broad circle of readers.
  • In all these texts, an author argues a point of view.
  • These texts show sharp views on complex topics.
  • Writers use good evidence and logic to support their point. 
  • These texts are usually about trends, debates, and ideas in sciences and arts, or political and cultural life.
  • Every text is taken from the document that was published before.

You will find all the needed data for creating a proper SAT essay in the piece of text and in the prompt.

Changes in SAT Essay Requirements 2022

Everything changes, and requirements to a SAT essay either. Check out the new 2022 requirements:

  • SAT essay is not obligatory anymore, it is optional
  • now you have 50 minutes for writing your essay (previously it was 25 minutes)
  • the essay is scored separately
  • you will be asked to analyze another essay (previously you had to answer a theoretical prompt)
  • you will not be asked to take a stance on the issue or write a persuasive essay. You will have to analyze the reasoning and how the author of another essay manages to persuade the reader to take their viewpoint.

How to Write a Sat Essay

We have collected the tips to help you write an essay that will impress the college board:
  • check the essay prompt. Although essay prompts usually do not change (only the essay for analysis), we recommend reading them attentively
  • keep to the classical essay structure. Introduction, main body, and conclusion.
  • make sure to develop a strong thesis statement
  • create an outline, at least short notes. It really helps.
  • start writing an essay with the parts you are sure of. You'll finish them fast ad have more time to complete the rest.
  • check whether you have addressed the set questions, provided all the necessary information, and met the word limit.
  • leave yourself at least few minutes for proofreading to make sure your essay is flawless and word choice is flawless.
Maybe you will need to write an issue essay GRE, read one more blog we prepared for our users.

What the SAT Essay Measures

By the SAT essay writing, a student shows their skills in analyzing a piece of text or a passage as well as logical idea organization and effective use of language to clearly express and present their thoughts. The completed paper will be scored by two people who will give you from 1 to 4 points in three categories below.  Check the sat essay scoring:


To create a good SAT essay, you need to understand the text you read. A successful paper means the student can analyze the content and see how the author uses evidence and other techniques and persuasive elements to convince readers. It's important to use evidence from the text (like quotes, paraphrasing, etc.) and include them in your essay to demonstrate the understanding of the content. 


A successful paper shows that a student understands how the writer supports and develops their claims with good evidence as well as uses various techniques to persuade readers. Make sure your completed paper includes details from the piece of text to support your claims.


A strong SAT essay is well-organized and well-focused. It's created following the main essay requirements and has a good structure and format. Make sure your document has a clear claim and a good structure. Follow a 3-paragraph structure that contains an introduction, the main part, and a good conclusion. Concentrate on your writing skills but not on ideas here. Our blog on how to get inspired to write may come in handy.

Sending Scores

When you're writing a SAT essay, your final scores on this paper will be reported with other scores from the test day. Remember you cannot send scores from a certain task only. For example, you cannot select to send Biology scores but not SAT Essay scores. You can use Score Choice to send your scores to colleges. 

We recommend checking the Score Choice preferences for every college you want to apply. Some colleges may require sending scores every time when you've completed the SAT essay.   

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