How to Write a Quality SAT Essay in Under 25 Minutes

How to Write a Quality SAT Essay in Under 25 Minutes

If you look through the sample essays in your SAT test prep book, you will realise that despite what people say to the contrary, the most obvious factor that is common among all the published essays is the length. Simply said, long essays generally get higher scores than short essays. But producing a long essay in a short period of 25 minutes can be a difficult task for even an award-winning writer, and even more so for a high school student. But don’t worry, it’s actually not an impossible task. As long as you follow these tips on writing a killer SAT essay in 25 minutes, you should be well on your way in acing your SAT test.

1 Write more than one and a half pages

So now you know you have to write a long essay to get a high score. But exactly how long should you write? Ideally, you should write more than one and a half pages out of the two pages provided to you. In fact, try to finish within the very last few lines of the last page.

2 Write 4-5 paragraphs in your essay

Settle for 4-5 paragraphs that consist of an interesting introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs and a decisive conclusion. An inside source of the Princeton Review has revealed that the SAT essays are first scanned by computers to count how many lines are written and how many paragraphs there are. Essays that are either too short or unstructured (not enough paragraphs) are already given low scores (1-3) by a computer. Your essay is given a score before it’s even read by a real person!

3 “Super indent” each paragraph

Now that you know your essay is being assigned a score from a computer, it’s important that you “super indent” each paragraph so that the computer will be able to identify new paragraphs in your essay easily. You do not want the computer to accidentally key in a low score because it didn’t realise that your essay has met the” 4-5 paragraphs” requirement. Consider applying two-inch indent (at least one full thumb-length) on the first line of each paragraph.

4 Plan an outline, then speed write

Although time is limited, it’s still important for you to set aside the first two to three minutes writing a short outline of your essay. Jot down the gist of your thesis and two convincing examples that prove your point. The more impactful example should be written after the less impactful one.

Once you are done, spend the next 20 minutes speed writing. Remember to stick to your outline and write a decisive conclusion before time runs out. You should have some time to proofread your essay quickly. Time is extremely short though, so force yourself to write a concluding paragraph even in the expense of proofreading. You will not get a high score no matter how well your body paragraphs are without a conclusion.

If you have a couple of minutes to spare after writing your conclusion, check through your essay and make simple edits and corrections while making sure it looks generally neat and tidy

5 Write legibly

It’s easy to let your handwriting look sloppy and messy when you are in a rush. But keep in mind that SAT test readers have hundreds of essays each day. If you don’t write legibly, they will not bother to spend more time than required to read your essay just to decipher what you wrote. You will then risk your essay not being properly read.

6 Write clearly and succinctly

Ensure that you state each of your point clearly and succinctly in each topic sentence. Customise each of your topic sentences to reflect your essay’s thesis. Then elaborate on the topic sentence in your respective body paragraph. Keep in mind that the conclusion is the shortest paragraph in your essay. Try to end your essay with a thoughtful line to stand out to the reader.

7 Don’t be a perfectionist

Remember that you do not have time to write an excellent, well-polished essay. Don’t expect to write your best essay during your SAT. The most important thing is to complete the essay on time.
Follow the given tips and you should be well on your way to write a kicker SAT essay. If you are not used to writing quickly, then remember to practise. You will be accustomed to it after a few times.
Jaime is an independent test preparation consultant specialising in SAT preparation. Apart from helping candidates to improve their scores through a customised SAT course, he actively contributes to websites related to SAT Singapore.

useful-tips-during-the-application-process

1. Keep your options open

Even if you have set a clear goal that you want to be a student at a certain university, it is always best and wise to apply to at least three universities, even if they are in different locations abroad.
Remember what the Dalai Lama said: sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. So don’t be disappointed if you get rejected once or things don’t go exactly as you want. Try to see the bigger picture and don’t allow any obstacle to discourage you.

If you’ve already graduated from a university, you can help future students find their perfect studies as well. Give them a hand by writing a short review describing your experience and make their choice easier. Sharing is caring!

2. Be realistic and informed

Check and read the academic requirements carefully to figure out the probability of being accepted by the university. If you don’t have a clear idea about the requirements, you can contact the department of international students or an adviser from the university. Most of the time, these details will be available on the programmes web page, you just have to look them up and check if they are up-to-date.

3. Discover how you can apply

Usually, you can apply through the website of the university directly and submit all the required documents or send them by post. In some countries, you can apply through a specific online platform that is easier to use and also gives you the possibility to apply to more universities at once. Some of these websites even include additional features that can help you choose your degree, especially if you’re not 100% sure of your future field of study.
And, speaking of websites that can help you with your application process, you should know that you can apply to your dream degree through Studyportals. You can now apply to one of our partner universities abroad. You can do this whenever you want, and it won’t cost you anything.

Check the available Masters and see which of the degrees match your background and interests. Start the application process by filling in your student profile. You will soon get contacted by one of our application counsellors who will assist you further. We’ll then apply on your behalf.

4. Pay attention to details

When you apply to more universities simultaneously through various online systems, make sure you follow the exact steps and place the names of the universities in the order of your preferences.
If you’re not careful, you might end up missing on your favourite study destination so make sure you pay proper attention during the application process.

5. Write a great motivation letter

Some universities will require a motivation letter. You will find many examples on the internet on how a motivation letter should look like. However, it would be better for you to stand out a bit.
You should try to be as honest as possible and share all your experiences that are connected to the academic requirements and your future study programme. Make sure you explain why studying at that university means so much to you and what you can gain and offer while being one of their students.

6. Be careful with the paperwork

All documents have to be translated into the official language of the respective country and legally authenticated by a competent authority. This means an official stamp could stand between you and your degree.
Make sure you read carefully the documents that are required and prepare them as soon as possible. Doing this early offers you a great advantage. If you send the documents and something is wrong, you still have enough time to make the necessary changes.

How to apply to international universities in Europe, China or the U.S.
Some countries have specific requirements or rules for international students. If you are from the EU and apply to a university from an EU country as well, the application process is more likely to be easier and receive a reply faster than if you were a non-EU student.

Check out below some specific particularities and requirements in US, UK, China and some of the countries in the EU.
How to apply in EU countries:
 Belgium
 Italy
 Poland
 UK
 Finland
 Spain
 Portugal
 Denmark
 The Netherlands
 Sweden
 France
 Germany
 Switzerland
 Norway
In the UK, most universities will only accept your application through the UCAS system for a Bachelor degree and if you apply for a postgraduate programme, you can either submit all documents through the university’s own website, or through UKPASS system.

In Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany, you have to go through a pre-application procedure and check the criteria of eligibility of your prior studies. Mainly, you have to get a response either from the embassy/consulate in your area or the international office of the university about the probability of being admitted.
Most EEA countries require an entrance examination which may be a written test, and depending on your study choice, you may have to additionally pass auditions or present a portfolio.
How to apply in countries outside the EU
In Switzerland, distance education certificates, night school certificates or part-time high schools are not recognised by Swiss universities. This means that you will have to pass the Swiss equivalent for international baccalaureate called maturity examination.

North America
 Canada
 USA

If your dream is to study in the U.S., the general recommendation is to start searching for a programme two years before you intend to apply. Furthermore, it is best to contact the university advisors/officers one year before you submit all the documents.
Asia
 China
China has set an age limit when it comes to applying for a degree as follows: universities don’t accept students over 30 for a Bachelor’s degree and over 40 for a Master’s degree and a PhD.
Australia

 Apply to a university in Australia

Australia has set a helpful system to attract and help international students better understand the application procedure. Through UAC website, Australia provides education advisors/agents in all countries who will offer complete details and information to future international students about applying to a university. Moreover, through Qualifications Framework (AQF) for higher education in Australia, you can also have a clearer picture of the degree names and levels.

Applying to an online degree anywhere in the world

If you decide to go for an online Master’s degree, you won’t have to worry about as many application requirements. You’ll find great options from international universities all across the globe. Here are a few examples:

 Walden University
 The Open University UK
 Royal Roads University
 RMIT University
 University of Birmingham