SAT test preparation should focus on all aspects of the SAT- Math, Critical Reading, and Writing. In this, and succeeding articles, we will discuss various parameters that would help you do well on the SAT writing section, essay in particular. In this article on SAT test preparation, we will talk about how important is an essay structure.
Believe me, it is a bad idea to start writing an essay the moment you finish reading the essay prompt. The truth is that most students follow this suicidal strategy, believing that this would waste time. It would be worthwhile to understand that SAT test graders evaluate your efforts taking the whole of essay, and not just a part of it. So, what is the best strategy to do well on the SAT essay section? Among others, one of the best techniques is to create a general outline of the essay. Let me give you an example to illustrate my point here.
Suppose you have to reach your friend’s place, and you have not been there before. Which strategy would be better- taking you car and rushing into the traffic, asking for directions to his place? OR outlining the directions before setting out? Just as a traveler cannot do without maps, students would not be able to create a good essay without creating an outline. SAT essay graders look for a solid structure in an essay. There are three things a SAT test grader would look for in an essay:
1. Meaningful Progression of Ideas
2. Logical Progression
3. Introduction, Body and Conclusion
When you create an outline, it helps you focus on the essay. It also saves you time. In short, it gives you directions to create an impressive essay. Try a few SAT practice tests, and if you find yourself rambling and running short of time while writing an essay, you surely need to start creating an outline before writing an essay.
You must brainstorm before expressing your thoughts in the form of an essay. If you agree/disagree to a prompt, you should try to outline your thoughts to justify your opinion. Test makers and graders, both know that it is literally impossible for a student to elaborate every aspect of the question.
Here is what the structure of an essay should look like:
1. The Main Idea which Includes including a Thesis Statement
2. Main Body
These three points constitutes a proven formula for scoring high on the SAT essay. Do not underestimate or neglect this formula. It has worked in the past, and it will continue to work in future too. The Main Body can be split into two paragraphs. This would make the essay structure distributed across four paragraphs.
There is one mistake you may like to watch out for- skipping the outline process. NEVER think that the outline process would waste your time. On the contrary, by not creating an outline, you would be wasting your time, not knowing where to head while you write one paragraph after another, nursing the misconception that this will impress the Test Grader. Remember, all it takes I just a few minutes to create an outline. And this would guarantee a solid essay.