Colleges That Require SAT Essay | We Compiled the Comprehensive List

Increasingly, colleges across the United States are showing preference to applicants that have sat and passed the non-compulsory SAT with essay test.  Given that the SAT with essay is technically an optional extra, its importance can be underestimated or overlooked entirely. Nevertheless, students that take the SAT essay at high school (or later) are statistically more likely to get into their preferred colleges than those who take the basic SAT without the essay alone.

But which colleges require the SAT essay as a fundamental prerequisite for successful college admissions and does the SAT essay matter ? How many other colleges recommend the SAT essay as a preferable educational achievement, though will still consider applications from those that did not take the SAT essay?

An Overview of the Optional SAT Essay

The SAT essay was added to the test in March 2016 as non-compulsory, which has since been taken by millions of high school  students and adult learners across the US. The SAT essay is an non-compulsory additional section to the standard test, which gives students 50 minutes to read and to critically analyze a passage of text and scrutinize the author’s argument.

Put simply, you write a brief passage of text of your own, analyzing how well or otherwise the author got their point across, and your justifications for your arguments. Test scores are then assigned, in accordance with the quality of your  responses.

Taking the SAT with the essay costs slightly more, though it’s a small price to pay - given how many colleges and universities recommend the SAT essay. Of course, in each scenarios you need to be familiar with ways to study for the SAT and know when to take the SAT .

Note: don’t fall into the trap of assuming the school you take the SAT at will automatically sign you up for the essay portion of the test. If you want to take the SAT with essay, you’ll need to indicate this at the time of your application.

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Prep Tips for SAT Test and SAT Essay Takers

Whether you plan on taking the base SAT alone or the SAT with essay, we strongly recommend checking out these top-rated SAT prep books and look at the  different states SAT scores   to get your started. In addition, we also reviewed a series of popular SAT prep courses that provide a detailed overview of what to expect on the day.

There’s no such thing as being too prepared - getting started on your test prep 3-6 months ahead of time comes highly recommended.

How Much Does SAT Essay Score Matter?

It's generally recommended to aim for an SAT essay score of at least a 6 out of 8 on Reading, Analysis, and Writing.

Combined with a good overall SAT score in the 75th percentile, this should be more than enough to be considered eligible by colleges that require the SAT essay.

Which Schools Require or Recommend the Optional SAT Essay?

The list of universities and colleges that require the SAT essay is changing all the time. While some universities consider SAT and SAT essay scores alongside other criteria, some have made the SAT essay a fundamental requirement for all applicants.

What’s interesting to note is that while more schools than ever before expect students to take the non-compulsory writing portion, the vast majority of Ivy League schools are excluded from the list. Harvard University, MIT, Princeton and so on - none of these elite colleges require the essay as standard.

It’s therefore a case of considering the schools and colleges you want to apply for, before deciding whether or not to take the test with the optional essay section.

Should You Take the SAT with the Optional Essay Portion?

Some academics argue that if you’re going to take the test at all, you may as well take the essay while you’re at it. The additional cost is negligible and it’s not as if a huge amount of additional test prep is necessary. Plus, it’s true to say that any additional accolades on your educational profile could come in useful at a later date.

If you’re still undecided as to whether to take the SAT essay or skip it, consider the following before making your final decision:

1. Do any of the schools you’re interested in or colleges require or recommend the essay? If not, is there a chance they may require the non-compulsory SAT with essay at some point in the future?

2. If you are planning to apply to a college or university under a scholarship program, have you checked whether a specific SAT score and essay score is required?

3. Even if the college you want to apply to doesn’t formerly require the SAT essay, could a good essay SAT score give you an advantage over your rival applicants?

4. Could taking the non-compulsory SAT essay also give you an advantage over rival candidates in the future where job opportunities and promotion prospects are concerned?

yellow pencil writing

What’s important to remember is that even if the non-compulsory SAT essay isn’t a formal requirement, this doesn’t mean it couldn’t prove helpful in other ways. 

By taking the non-compulsory SAT essay, you demonstrate to college boards and employers alike that you’re committed to both your education and your personal development. Something that could prove instrumental in giving you the edge over rival applicants - both when looking to get into college and job seeking.

SAT Essay  FAQs:

1. how do you start an sat essay.

  • Check out the following when creating your SAT essay.
  • Distinguish the SAT essay scoring system.
  • Study sample passages and SAT Essay prompts.
  • Choose professional writing and editorial Outlets.
  • Prep with Practice Essays to improve your writing skills.
  • Read your test day SAT Essay passage thoroughly.
  • Commence with an Outline.

2. Can you skip the SAT essay?

Students aren't required to take the SAT Essay. This is non- compulsory, but many colleges, recommend or require the sat essay. If you don't register for the SAT with Essay at first, you can add it later. You can use an SAT fee waiver to take the SAT or the SAT with Essay.

3. Can the SAT essay hurt your score?

The SAT writing score is produced by the multiple-choice section of the exam, while your SAT essay score hails from a brand new part of the exam. This can be the SAT Essay section, which stands untreated and does not affect your SAT score in multiple-choice sections.

4. What to expect when taking SAT essay?

SAT Essay comprises of one passage between 650 and 750 words that you read and respond to. To create or write your essay, you need to be very focus on how the author uses evidence, reasoning, and other rhetorical techniques to build an argument and make it convincing.

5. Do colleges look at SAT essay scores?

In line with the College Board's SAT Suite of Assessments Annual Report, 68% of test-takers opted to make an essay. Some schools don't require the essay. They may recommend taking it. Other schools may not just study your essay score with the admissions process.

do colleges want sat with essay

Leonard Haggin

I created this site to help students like you learn from the experiences my team had learned during our extensive academic careers. I am now studying Law at Stanford, but I also make time to write articles here in order to help all you fellow students advance in your academic careers and beyond. I hope our efforts on Study Prep Lounge will arm you with the knowledge you need to overcome whatever trial or test you find in front of you.

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do colleges want sat with essay

Which Colleges Require the SAT Essay?

do colleges want sat with essay

Tests can be intimidating. And for some students, adding a timed essay is downright terrifying. So as you sign up for the SAT, it’s easy to look at that optional essay and say “fuh-getta-bout-it.”

I mean, who in their right mind would willingly sit for a fifty-minute essay?—Well, maybe you.

Before you immediately say no—or yes—to the optional essay portion, you need to consider which colleges require the SAT essay. Your decision will depend upon where you plan to continue your education.

Table of Contents

Why Some Colleges Have Dropped Essay

Several colleges have dropped the SAT essay as a requirement. One of the main factors behind this decision is concern about creating financial hardship or extra stress for students. Many school districts are providing in-school testing for high school students free of charge. But it does not always include the essay section. This means students who want to take the essay may need to sign up and pay for it on their own.

If your high school does not offer the essay portion as part of testing, you can visit the College Board registration page to find a testing center. Registering for the SAT essay portion is an additional $17. The SAT costs $47.50 with an allotted time of 3 hours. If you choose to add the essay, you will pay $64.50 and be given an additional fifty- minute session to end the day. There are fee waivers available for students who qualify due to financial hardship.

Should You Take the SAT Essay?

There are some schools that will not consider the SAT essay with your application. California Institute of Technology and Georgetown University are two well-known schools that have recently announced your essay will not be considered with your application—they won’t even look at it. However, as grandma always said—don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, you may want to leave your options open by writing that essay.

If you decide not to take the SAT essay you are limiting the schools that you can apply to. Yes, many schools have dropped the requirement. But if you decide not to take the essay, you limit your college options. Even if the schools on your current college list don’t require it, things can change. Finding the right college is a process. You may discover your ideal school does require the essay.

Several schools that no longer require the SAT either recommend it or make it optional and will consider it with your application. If a school recommends the essay, they are politely telling you that it will be a factor in your application. Schools that consider the essay optional or even those that say it is not required still look for evidence of your academic abilities.

Most colleges, even those that have dropped the essay requirement, have stressed that evaluating writing skills continues to be an important part of their selection process. They will seek a writing sample in some form. The SAT essay is a good opportunity to display your writing skills. And, because the prompt and format is always the same, you have opportunities to practice so you go into it well-prepared .

Top College SAT Essay Requirements

In the chart below, I have compiled a list of the top-ranked U.S. colleges and their SAT essay requirements. If you don’t see your school here, check the College Board SAT Policies page. Remember that colleges and universities often re-evaluate and make changes to their policies. Use this as a guide, but always check your prospective school’s admissions page for the most updated requirements.

As you look at which colleges require the SAT essay, it is clear that many of the top schools have dropped the requirement. But essays continue to be considered if you submit them with your application. My best advice—and your least limiting option—is to sign up, prepare for, and take the essay portion. It is a well-spent $17 and fifty minutes of your time when compared to your future.

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Colleges That Require the SAT Essay (2020): A Complete List

Several students taking tests on a long white table.

The SAT essay has been through a lot of changes in recent years. In the new SAT, it exists as a separate section from the rest of the sections. You may have heard that not all schools require it, even the ones that require standardized test scores. Why is that? Also, just because it isn’t required, does that mean you don’t have to do it? And what’s a good essay score, anyway?

First, a few things about the SAT and ACT optional essays:

  • The essay portion is scored completely separately from the Math and Reading sections (or, in the case of the ACT, the Math, Reading, and Science sections). That means your total score is not affected by your SAT Essay or ACT Essay (Writing) score.
  • The SAT Essay is graded by two College Board readers who each give it a score between 1 and 4 on three different aspects: reading, analysis, and writing. That means the highest possible SAT Essay grade is an 8|8|8. The ACT Writing section is also scored by two readers, each out of 6 (for a high score of 12).
  • You have the choice to take the SAT and ACT with or without the essay. If you opt to take the essay version, the test is slightly longer and slightly more expensive.

Second, the most important thing you can take away from this post is: don’t assume you need to take the SAT or ACT with the essay ! The number of schools that require it is low, and fewer and fewer schools are even recommending it. In recent years, schools like the California Institute of Technology, Claremont McKenna College, and the University of Michigan have all stopped asking for it. Princeton University started asking for a graded paper instead.

In short? Unless you know you’re going to score well, based on past experience or a diagnostic test, or you’re applying to certain schools, reconsider if preparing for the ACT/SAT Essay is a good use of your test prep time or if you should just skip it altogether.

Which Schools Want to See the SAT Essay/ACT Writing?

A very small number of schools outright require the SAT Essay or ACT Writing. They are:

  • All of the University of California schools
  • The United States Military Academy
  • University of Montana-Western
  • Martin Luther College
  • Soka University of America

That’s it! Of course, the University of California system is huge and includes heavy hitters like Berkeley, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and more. If you’re considering applying to any of these schools, you’ll need to take the SAT Essay. Otherwise, unless these remaining schools are on your list, you don’t explicitly need to take the essay as part of the SAT.

However, in college admissions, required isn’t the end of the line. A good number of additional schools recommend the SAT Essay. For these schools, you won’t be automatically turned away without the essay, but it’ll help your chances to have it present.

You might be surprised to learn that most of the very top schools – Harvard University, Yale University, Brown University, etc. – are not terribly interested in the SAT Essay, even though they care quite a bit about your overall SAT score (or ACT score). That’s in part because highly selective schools ask high school applicants for extensive essays, which they use to evaluate applicant’s proficiency with written English.

The colleges and universities that recommend the SAT Essay are:

  • Abilene Christian University
  • Austin College
  • Berry College
  • Chapman University
  • Colby College
  • Concordia College-Moorhead
  • Duke University
  • Michigan State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Simmons University
  • Stanford University
  • Stony Brook University-SUNY
  • Taylor University
  • University at Buffalo-SUNY
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

If any of these schools are on your list, you should seriously consider including the essay in your SAT or ACT test prep plans. Still, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Should You Take the SAT or ACT Essay?

While you could, of course, make your decision about taking the SAT Essay based on the schools to which you know you’re applying, the majority of students take the SAT or ACT before they’ve finalized their college lists. For that reason, you may need to decide whether to take the essay without knowing whether you’re planning to apply to any of the above schools.

So, if you’re signing up for the SAT or ACT soon, consider the following:

Advantages of Taking the SAT Essay or ACT Writing

The biggest advantage to taking the SAT Essay is that you cover all your bases. If you decide to apply to any of the schools on the required or recommended lists, you won’t have to go back and take it again or risk rejection for not having taken it.

Similarly, the SAT Essay can provide another data point for admissions officers about the strength of your academic profile and application—if you do well. An above-average essay or writing score can help prove your writing abilities to colleges.

On the flip side, not taking the SAT Essay at all will limit the number of schools to which you can apply and be a competitive applicant. While many selective schools do not care about the essay, some do, and they’re always looking for a reason to reject applicants. Not having an essay score could sink your application at Duke or Stanford.

Disadvantages of Taking the SAT Essay or ACT Writing

The biggest potential downside to taking the SAT Essay is that you might not score well, and colleges that don’t require or recommend the essay will have a piece of information that doesn’t show you in your best light. Given that most schools don’t want the essay, having a poor SAT Essay score can be a risk that isn’t worth taking.

Another disadvantage to taking the essay or writing portion is that you’ll be in the room longer. Fortunately, both sections come at the end of their respective tests, so it won’t tire you out for the rest of the test, but knowing that you’re going to be there an extra hour can affect students’ performance on the sections that matter most.

Similarly, another advantage to not taking the Essay portion is not having to prepare for it! College Board and ACT readers are looking for very specific elements, so you’ll need to spend time preparing, just as you would for the other sections. That’s time that might be better spent on the rest of the test, schoolwork, or extracurricular activities.

Who Should Take the SAT with Essay?

Those are the big-picture considerations for whether to take the SAT Essay or ACT Writing section, but it’s also worth thinking about the specifics of your college application. Much like decisions about the SAT Subject Tests, it’s important to consider your unique application. Are you someone who should definitely take the SAT with essay? Probably? Or definitely not?

Do the colleges you’re interested in require the SAT Essay?

If you’re interested in any of the above colleges that have an SAT or ACT essay requirement, you should take it. It won’t be the most important factor in your application, but not having it will be a huge red flag to these schools that you’re not serious about them because you didn’t take the time to read and understand their requirements.

Do the colleges you’re interested in recommend the SAT Essay?

Require is easy; recommend is a bit more complicated. When it comes to college admissions, it’s best to take colleges at their word. So, while schools like Michigan State may not turn you away with no SAT Essay score, they’ll be disappointed you don’t have it, unless you have a compelling reason like financial hardship. Duke University in particular has dropped numerous hints that they frown upon applications without the essay section.

Note that even some test-optional schools, like Coby, recommend the SAT or ACT essay. Of course, these schools are test-optional, so you don’t need to submit any standardized test essay at all. But because they care so much about writing skills, they want to see the essay; otherwise, even if you have a very high score, they may be insufficiently impressed.

Are you applying to any scholarships that require an SAT with Essay?

On top of that, colleges may not be the only thing you’re applying to this year! Because standardized tests play a big role in many scholarships – both offered by colleges and by external institutions – you should always check to see if any scholarships for which you’re planning to apply require you to submit SAT Essay or ACT Writing score reports.

Will the SAT Essay enhance your application?

Lastly, if you’re someone who excels in writing and feels comfortable with the SAT Essay, you might decide that taking it will boost your application! Although the essay won’t be factored into your total SAT score, it may still make a positive impact if you struggle in other areas. For some students, a writing test is something they definitely want colleges to see!

Final Thoughts

The most important thing to keep in mind about the writing sections of the SAT and ACT is that you need to do what’s best for your college goals and strategy. Remember that you don’t need to do the Essay section at every test date, so it may be that you want to take a first pass at the test and decide about the essay later. Or, you may know that it’s going to be required by one or more of your colleges, so you want to get a jump right away.

At the end of the day, wherever you’re applying, the SAT Essay or ACT Writing is just one part of your application, one that seems to hold less importance every year. While it’s important to take all parts of the process seriously, this isn’t one of the ones worth stressing about.

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The Optional SAT Essay: What to Know

Tackling this section of the SAT requires preparation and can boost some students' college applications.

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Even though an increasing number of colleges are dropping standardized test requirements, students who must write the SAT essay can still stand to gain from doing so.

Although the essay portion of the SAT became optional in 2016, many students still chose to write it to demonstrate strong or improved writing skills to prospective colleges.

In June 2021, the College Board opted to discontinue the SAT essay. Now, only students in a few states and school districts still have access to — and must complete — the SAT essay. This requirement applies to some students in the SAT School Day program, for instance, among other groups.

How Colleges Use SAT, ACT Results

Tiffany Sorensen Sept. 14, 2020

High school students having their exam inside a classroom.

Whether or not to write the SAT essay is not the biggest decision you will have to make in high school, but it is certainly one that requires thought on your part. Here are three things you should know about the 50-minute SAT essay as you decide whether to complete it:

  • To excel on the SAT essay, you must be a trained reader.
  • The SAT essay begs background knowledge of rhetoric and persuasive writing.
  • A growing number of colleges are dropping standardized test requirements.

To Excel on the SAT Essay, You Must Be a Trained Reader

The SAT essay prompt never comes unaccompanied. On the contrary, it follows a text that is about 700 words long or approximately one page. Before test-takers can even plan their response, they must carefully read and – ideally – annotate the passage.

The multifaceted nature of the SAT essay prompt can be distressing to students who struggle with reading comprehension. But the good news is that this prompt is highly predictable: It always asks students to explain how the author builds his or her argument. In this case, "how” means which rhetorical devices are used, such as deductive reasoning, metaphors, etc.

Luckily, the author’s argument is usually spelled out in the prompt itself. For instance, consider this past SAT prompt : “Write an essay in which you explain how Paul Bogard builds an argument to persuade his audience that natural darkness should be preserved.”

Due to the essay prompt’s straightforward nature, students should read the passage with an eye toward specific devices used by the author rather than poring over “big ideas.” In tour SAT essay, aim to analyze at least two devices, with three being even better.

The SAT Essay Begs Background Knowledge of Rhetoric and Persuasive Writing

Since your SAT essay response must point to specific rhetorical devices that the author employs to convince the reader, you should make it a point to intimately know 10-15 common ones. The more familiar you are with rhetorical devices, the faster you will become at picking them out as you read texts.

Once you have read the passage and identified a handful of noteworthy rhetorical devices, you should apply many of the same essay-writing techniques you already use in your high school English classes.

For instance, you should start by brainstorming to see which devices you have the most to say about. After that, develop a concise thesis statement, incorporate quotes from the text, avoid wordiness and other infelicities of writing, close with an intriguing conclusion, and do everything else you could imagine your English teacher advising you to do.

Remember to always provide evidence from the text to support your claims. Finally, leave a few minutes at the end to review your essay for mistakes.

A Growing Number of Colleges Are Dropping Standardized Test Requirements

In recent years, some of America’s most prominent colleges and universities – including Ivy League institutions like Harvard University in Massachusetts, Princeton University in New Jersey and Yale University in Connecticut – have made submission of ACT and SAT scores optional.

While this trend began as early as 2018, the upheaval caused by COVID-19 has prompted many other schools to adopt a more lenient testing policy, as well.

Advocates for educational fairness have long expressed concerns that standardized admissions tests put underprivileged students at a disadvantage. In light of the coronavirus pandemic , which restricted exam access for almost all high school students, colleges have gotten on board with this idea by placing more emphasis on other factors in a student’s application.

To assess writing ability in alternative ways, colleges now place more emphasis on students’ grades in language-oriented subjects, as well as college application documents like the personal statement .

The fact that more colleges are lifting their ACT/SAT requirement does not imply that either test or any component of it is now obsolete. Students who must write the SAT essay can still stand to gain from doing so, especially those who wish to major in a writing-intensive field. The essay can also demonstrate a progression or upward trajectory in writing skills.

The SAT essay can give a boost to the college applications of the few students to whom it is still available. If the requirement applies to you, be sure to learn more about the SAT essay and practice it often as you prepare for your upcoming SAT.

13 Test Prep Tips for SAT and ACT Takers

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SAT Essay Score: Does It Affect Your SAT score, How Many Points is it and What is a Good Score?

Rebecca Renner

How Much Is the Essay Worth for a SAT Score?

On the old version of the SAT, the essay was required. Now, it’s optional. However, if you think that means you can skip it, you might want to think again.

Some colleges still require you to submit a standardized test essay, like the one on the SAT, but other colleges don’t. If you want to keep your options open for where you can apply to college, sign up for the essay portion of the SAT and make sure you do well. Even if they say they don’t require the essay, some elite schools may still take your SAT essay score into account on your application.

Has There Always Been an Essay on the SAT?

When the College Board created a new version of the SAT in 2016, they changed a lot of things. The SAT writing score now counts for less of your overall SAT score because the two main sections of the test are now the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Math section. Your SAT writing score comes from the multiple-choice part of the exam, while your SAT essay score is derived from a new part of the exam. That is the SAT Essay section, which stands on its own and does not affect your score in either of the multiple-choice sections .

You will have 50 minutes to complete the new version of the SAT Essay section. During that time, you will have to read and analyze a text and then you will compose an argumentative essay that examines and explains the effectiveness of the rhetoric in the passage you just read.

For this portion of the SAT, you will be scored on the SAT Essay rubric to earn a score out of 24 points. This score is separate from your 1,600-point score from the rest of the test . This section is also optional and costs an extra $11.50 in addition to the standard test fees.

Do Colleges Want Your SAT Essay Score?

All colleges want your SAT writing score, but that isn’t the same as the essay score. Some colleges want you to complete the essay, others recommend it and still others neither recommend nor require it. All in all, it depends on the college. When in doubt, contact the admissions office of your prospective college for more information.

A few elite colleges continue to require the SAT essay in its current form. Some of these colleges are in the Ivy League, notably Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton and Yale. So, if you’re planning on applying to Ivy League colleges, make sure you take the SAT Essay section seriously.

Even if you’re planning on applying to state schools, you still may want to take the SAT Essay section. Both the University of Michigan system and the University of California system require SAT Essay scores from applicants who apply to any of their schools. On the other hand, some state schools like the University of Illinois only recommend that you take the essay, while other state schools have no stance on the section and most likely won’t take your score into account during the admissions process.

Why Do Some Schools Want the Essay?

We already know that some schools want the essay and others don’t, but why is there such a divide? The schools that do want the essay have several reasons for requiring it. The first is that they want students to understand that writing is an integral part of college coursework, and students who don’t have proficient writing chops will find themselves struggling with their college classes.

It also helps that the new version of the SAT essay lines up well with colleges’ expectations for clear writing and independent thinking skills. The new essay asks students to read and comprehend an argument and then synthesize one of their own based on the effectiveness of the passage’s rhetoric. The new SAT essay not only shows colleges that applicants can write, but it also shows them that applicants can think critically and recognize effective writing techniques as well.

The third reason some colleges may want the SAT essay is because they want as much information on each applicant as they can get. Sometimes, college applications provide an incomplete picture of the students who are applying. The essay gives colleges additional data that can help in choosing between two nearly identical applications, with the student who writes the best, of course, rising to the top.

Why Don’t Some Schools Want the Essay?

One of the main reasons many schools don’t require the essay is that it provides information they already have. Most college application requirements include the submission of a personal essay written by the student applying. This writing sample helps college admissions officers get to know the applicants on a personal level, sure, but it also gives students a chance to let their writing talents shine. So, giving admissions officers more data on writing is unnecessary.

Another reason some colleges don’t want the SAT essay is because they don’t require the writing portion on the ACT . Requiring the SAT essay might give an unfair advantage to students taking the SAT instead of the ACT, or it could also disadvantage students who do poorly on the SAT essay if it was required but the ACT essay was not.

Additionally, some experts believe that standardized test essays are not a good measure of future college success . This means that while the essay section does provide additional data, some colleges aren’t sure if that data is valid. Still, other schools are wary of the additional cost of the SAT essay, thinking that having to pay more money may represent a burden to underprivileged students.

Understanding the SAT Essay Rubric

To know how high you have to score, and to understand how to succeed on this portion of the test, you’ll have to take a closer look at the SAT essay rubric. On the rubric, your score comes in three parts: reading, analysis and writing . You can earn from one to four points on each part, which are then multiplied by two for your score. You can earn up to eight points in each part for an overall score of up to 24 points .

Earning Points for Reading

To earn the full eight points for reading on the SAT essay, your essay has to demonstrate:

  • That you understand the passage
  • That you can clearly communicate the passage’s main idea as well as its details and how they relate to the main idea
  • That you can interpret the ideas of the passage without errors
  • That you can both paraphrase and quote textual evidence with skill and ease

Earning Points for Analysis

To earn the full eight points for analysis on the SAT essay, your essay has to communicate:

  • Insightful analysis of the passage’s key features
  • A thorough evaluation of the author’s choices, especially in regard to rhetoric
  • Thoroughly reasoned claims that are supported by evidence from the text
  • A focus on the most relevant parts of the text instead of delving into extraneous features or tangents

Finally, the writing itself should be free of errors, precise and effective and should demonstrate a sophisticated command of standard English.

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Examples of Expository Essays in Middle School

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What Do You Have to Make on the GED to Pass?

How to Write Conclusions for Expository Papers

How to Write Conclusions for Expository Papers

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How Many Essays Does the GED Have?

  • PrepScholar: Does the SAT Essay Matter? Expert Guide
  • CollegeBoard: SAT Essay Scoring
  • Kaplan: New SAT Essay Scoring Rubric
  • Khan Academy: The SAT Essay: Overview

Rebecca Renner is a teacher and college professor from Florida. She loves teaching about literature, and she writes about books for Book Riot, Real Simple, Electric Literature and more.

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A Complete List of Colleges Requiring SAT/ACT 2023-2024

What’s covered:, which colleges are still requiring standardized tests, how will my sat/act score affect my chances of acceptance.

Over the past three years, test-optional policies have become more prevalent in college admissions, a trend that has been further exacerbated by the pandemic. While many institutions, including some of the best colleges, have extended or even made these policies permanent, prominent public universities and tech schools, particularly in the South, are taking a different stance and are returning to mandating standardized examinations. This hybrid strategy draws attention to the ongoing discussion over the usefulness of standardized tests in assessing student potential and emphasizes the need for students to remain aware of these changing admissions tactics.

So, if you’re wondering if a school on your list is still requiring standardized tests, keep reading to find out.

Note: Please make sure to check the official website of the school you’re applying to. Some schools may recommend taking standardized tests, but it’s not required. However, especially if the school is highly selective, a recommendation should generally be viewed as a requirement.

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, should i retake the sat after scoring a 1380.

I'm a junior and I just got my SAT scores back. I scored a 1380, and I'm feeling a bit stressed about it. Is this score good enough for competitive colleges, or should I put in more time and effort to boost it?

A 1380 is a solid SAT score that puts you in around the 94th percentile nationally. However, whether it is sufficient for competitive colleges really depends on the particular schools you're interested in applying to and your overall application profile.

To determine if your 1380 is adequate for your target schools, take a look at the middle 50% range of SAT scores for recently admitted students at each college on your list. This information is usually available on the universities' websites or common data sets. If your score falls within or above that range, you're in a good ballpark. However, if it falls below, you might want to consider retaking the SAT to become a more competitive applicant.

Additionally, while test scores are important, it's essential to note that competitive colleges also take into account other aspects of an application, such as your grades, course rigor, extracurricular activities, essay, and letters of recommendation. If you have a strong profile in other areas, your SAT score may not be as significant of a factor as you might think. Moreover, there are many test-optional schools where submitting your SAT score is optional, allowing colleges to focus more on other areas of your application.

If you do decide to retake the SAT, it's important to invest in test preparation to maximize potential score improvements. Many students show an increase in their scores after retaking it, but the improvement varies based on various factors like study habits and strategies used.

To sum up, research your target schools and see where your initial score aligns with their admission data. Factor in the strength of the other components of your application and decide if retaking the SAT is the best use of your time and resources. Good luck!

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, sat essay tips: 15 ways to improve your score.

SAT Writing , SAT Essay


Whether you've never written an SAT Essay or didn't get the score you wanted on your last test, you can benefit from knowing more: both about the essay itself, and what really matters when the graders are reading your essay.

To introduce you to what you'll have to do, we've gathered up these 15 tips to master the SAT essay . If you can reliably follow all these points, you'll be able to get at least a 6/6/6 on the SAT essay—guaranteed.

UPDATE: SAT Essay No Longer Offered

In January 2021, the College Board announced that after June 2021, it would no longer offer the Essay portion of the SAT (except at schools who opt in during School Day Testing). It is now no longer possible to take the SAT Essay, unless your school is one of the small number who choose to offer it during SAT School Day Testing.

While most colleges had already made SAT Essay scores optional, this move by the College Board means no colleges now require the SAT Essay. It will also likely lead to additional college application changes such not looking at essay scores at all for the SAT or ACT, as well as potentially requiring additional writing samples for placement.

What does the end of the SAT Essay mean for your college applications? Check out our article on the College Board's SAT Essay decision for everything you need to know.

The Challenge

The SAT Essay is a very short assignment. You only get 50 minutes to read a 650-750 word passage, analyze the devices the author uses to structure her/his argument, and write a full-fledged essay —and it can pass in a flash if you don't have a method for attacking it.

Writing an SAT essay requires a very specific approach that's unlike the essays you've been writing for English class in school. The goal of this strategy is to cram in as many as possible of the desired components in the 50 minutes you've got. In this article, we give you 15 key tips for the SAT essay.

The first five tips in this article relate to what the College Board tells us about what's a good essay. The next five are truths that the College Board doesn't want you to know (or doesn’t make explicit). And the last five tips for SAT essay writing show you how to build an SAT essay, step by step.

What the College Board Does Tell You: 5 Tips

The College Board explains the main components of the successful SAT Essay in its scoring criteria. Here they are, condensed:

#1: Give a Clear Thesis

The SAT essay rubric states: "The response includes a precise central claim.”

What this means is that your essay needs to make a clear argument that the reader can easily identify.  All you have to do to create your "precise central claim" is to identify the main idea of the passage and list the methods the author uses to support it.

Fortunately, the SAT provides you with the passage’s main idea, so you don’t have to go hunting for it yourself. I've bolded the claim in this (fake) sample prompt so you can see this for yourself:

Write an essay in which you explain how Sam Lindsay builds an argument to persuade her audience that more works of art should feature monsters . In your essay, analyze how Lindsay uses one or more of the features listed in the box above (or features of your own choice) to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of her argument. Be sure that your analysis focuses on the most relevant features of the passage.

Your essay should not explain whether you agree with Lindsay’s claims, but rather explain how Lindsay builds an argument to persuade her audience.

Now, here's an example of a thesis statement for an essay responding to this prompt:

In the article “Monsters Monsters Everywhere,” Sam Lindsay uses personal anecdotes, vivid language, and appeals to emotion to persuade her audience that more works of art should feature monsters.

It's fine to copy the exact words describing the author’s central claim from the prompt into your thesis statement—in fact, this guarantees that the graders will see that your thesis is there and on-topic.

#2: Include Both an Introduction and a Conclusion

The SAT essay rubric states: "The response includes a skillful introduction and conclusion.”

Including an introduction paragraph in your essay is absolutely essential to getting a Writing score above a 4 (out of 8). The introduction paragraph introduces the reader to what you’ll be talking about and allows you to set up the structure for the rest of the essay. Plus, an introduction can be a pretty good indicator of the quality for the rest of the essay—a poorly constructed introduction is often a warning that the essay that follows will be equally discombobulated.

It's best to have both an introduction and a conclusion, but if you’re running short on time and can only have one, definitely pick the introduction. The main reason for this is that a good introduction includes your thesis statement. For the SAT essay, your thesis (or your "precise central claim") should be a statement about what devices the author uses to build her/his argument.

Introductions can be tricky to write, because whatever you write in that paragraph can then make you feel like you’re locked into writing just about that. If you’re struggling with the introduction paragraph, leave yourself 10 blank lines at the beginning of the essay and jump into writing your body paragraphs. Just make sure you remember to go back and write in your introduction before time’s up!

#3: Use Effective Language and Word Choice

There are a couple of parts of the Writing score section on the SAT essay rubric that pertain directly to style.

The SAT essay rubric states this about a perfect-Writing-score essay: "The response is cohesive and demonstrates a highly effective use and command of language."

For most of us, "command of language" is an area that takes a long time to develop, so unless your language skills are really rough or you're prepping at least a year ahead of time (or both), you'll probably get more out of focusing on the other components of the essay.

The SAT essay rubric also states: “The response has a wide variety in sentence structures. The response demonstrates a consistent use of precise word choice. The response maintains a formal style and objective tone.”

This basically boils down to: don't be repetitive and don't make grammar mistakes. In addition, you should avoid using first person statements like "I" or "My" in the essay, along with any other informality. You're writing the equivalent of a school paper, not an opinion piece.

Bad (Too informal):

“I think that Sam’s super persuasive in this article cause she’s just so passionate. It made me feel kinda bad that I don’t really monster it up in my everyday life.”

Good (Formal):

“Lindsay’s passionate defense of how drawing monsters 'allows us to laugh at our personal foibles' causes her audience to put themselves in her shoes and empathize with her position.”

Finally, try to use different words to describe the same idea—don't use "shows" 15 times. Take the chance to show off your vocabulary ( if, and only if , the vocabulary is appropriate and makes sense) . This component is the biggest reason why revising your SAT Essay is essential—it's fast and easy to change repeated words to other ones after you're finished, but it can slow you down during writing to worry about your word choice. If you're aiming for a top score, using advanced vocabulary appropriately is vital.

#4: Only Use Information From the Passage

All the relevant information is in the passage, so avoid getting drawn into the topic and using your outside knowledge—you want to be sure to show that you’ve read the passage.

In real life, there are many ways to support a thesis, depending on the topic. But on the SAT, there's one kind of correct support: specific details drawn from the passage you’re asked to analyze . We'll show you more below.

#5: Focus Your Essay on Relevant Details

You don’t have to mention every single detail that makes the argument effective. In fact, your essay will be more coherent and more likely to score higher in Analysis if you focus your discussion on just a few points . It's more important to show that you're able to pick out the most important parts of the argument and explain their function that it is to be able to identify every single persuasive device the author used.

Think about it as if you were asked to write a 50-minute essay describing the human face and what each part does. A clear essay would just focus on major features—eyes, nose, and mouth. A less effective essay might also try to discuss cheekbones, eyebrows, eyelashes, skin pores, chin clefts, and dimples as well. While all of these things are part of the face, it would be hard to get into detail about each of the parts in just 50 minutes.


And this is the eye, and this is the other eye, and this is the...other eye...and the other eye...and the other...wait...what's going on here?

What the College Board Doesn’t Tell You: 5 Secrets

Even though the SAT essay has clearly stated, publicly-available guidelines, there are a few secrets to writing the essay that most students don't know and that can give you a major advantage on the test.

#1: Read the Prompt Before the Passage

Why? Because the prompt includes the description of the author’s claim. Knowing what the author’s claim is going into the article can help keep you focused on the argument, rather than getting caught up in reading the passage (especially if the topic is one you're interested in).

#2: Your Facts Must Be Accurate…But Your Interpretation Doesn’t Have to Be

A big part of the Analysis score for the SAT essay is not just identifying the devices the author uses to build her argument, but explaining the effect that the use of these devices has on the reader . You don’t have to be completely, 100% accurate about the effect the passage has on the reader, because there is no one right answer. As long as you are convincing in your explanation and cite specific examples, you’ll be good.

Here's an example of an interpretation about what effect a persuasive device has on the reader (backed by evidence from the passage):

Lindsay appeals to the emotions of her readers by describing the forlorn, many-eyed creatures that stare reproachfully at her from old school notebook margins. The sympathy the readers feel for these forgotten doodles is expertly transferred to Lindsay herself when she draws the connection between the drawn monsters and her own life: “Often, I feel like one of these monsters—hidden away in my studio, brushes yearning to create what no one else cares to see.”

Now, you don't necessarily know for sure if "sympathy for the doodles" is what the author was going for in her passage. The SAT essay graders probably don't know either (unless one of them wrote the passage). But as long as you can make a solid case for your interpretation, using facts and quotes from the passage to back it up , you'll be good.

#3: You Should Write More Than One Page

This has always been true for the SAT essay, but for the first time ever, the College Board actually came out in The Official SAT Study Guide and explicitly said that length really does matter . Here's the description of a one-paragraph, 120-word-long student response that received a Writing score of 2/8 (bolding mine).

“Due to the brief nature of the response , there is not enough evidence of writing ability to merit a score higher than 1. Overall, this response demonstrates inadequate writing .” (source: The Official SAT Study Guide , p. 176 )

You’ll have one page for (ungraded) scrap paper that you can use to plan out your essay, and four pages of writing paper for the essay—plan on writing at least two pages for your essay .

#4: Be Objective When Reading the Passage

Being able to stay detached while reading the passage you'll be writing the essay about can be tricky. This task might be especially difficult for students who were used to the old SAT essay (which pretty much made it mandatory for you to choose one side or the other). You’ll have to practice reading persuasive essays and gaining objectivity (so that you are able to write about how the argument is constructed, not whether it’s good or bad).

A good way to practice this is to read news articles on topics you care deeply about by people who hold the opposite view that you do . For instance, as a composer and violist/violinist, I might read articles about how children should not be encouraged to play musical instruments, since it holds no practical value later on in life (a view I disagree with vehemently). I would then work on my objectivity by jotting down the central ideas, most important details, and how these details relate to the central ideas of the article .

Being able to understand the central ideas in the passage and details without being sidetracked by rage (or other emotions) is key to writing an effective SAT essay.


Don't let the monster of rage distract you from your purpose.

#5: Memorize and Identify Specific Persuasive Techniques

Once you’re able to read articles objectively (as discussed in point #4 above), the next step is to be able to break down the essay passage's argument . To do this successfully, you'll need to be aware of some of the techniques that are frequently used to build arguments.

The SAT essay prompt does mention a few of these techniques (bolding mine):

As you read the passage below, consider how Lindsay uses

  • evidence, such as facts or examples , to support claims.
  • reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence.
  • stylistic or persuasive elements, such as word choice or appeals to emotion , to add power to the ideas expressed.

It’s certainly possible to wing it and go into the test without knowing specific names of particular persuasive devices and just organically build up your essay from features you notice in the article. However, it's way easier to go into the essay knowing certain techniques that you can then scan the passage for .

For instance, after noting the central ideas and important details in the article about how more works of art should feature monsters, I would then work on analyzing the way the author built her argument. Does she use statistics in the article? Personal anecdotes? Appeal to emotion?

I discuss the top persuasive devices you should know in more detail in the article " 6 SAT Essay Examples to Answer Every Prompt ".

How to Get All the Necessary Components in 50 Minutes: 5 Step-By-Step Strategies

When you write an SAT essay, you only have 50 minutes to read, analyze, and write an essay, which means that you need a game plan going in. Here's a short step-by-step guide on how to write an effective SAT essay.

#1: Answer the Prompt

Don’t just summarize the passage in your essay, or identify persuasive devices used by the author—instead, be sure to actually analyze the way the author of the passage builds her argument. As  The Official SAT Study Guide states ,

"[Y]our discussion should focus on what the author does, why he or she does it, and what effect this is likely to have on readers."

College Board makes a point of specifying this very point in its grading rubric as well—an essay that scores a 2 (out of 4) or below in Analysis " merely asserts, rather than explains [the persuasive devices'] importance. " If you want to get at least a 3/4 (or a 6/8) in Analysis, you need to heed this warning and stay on task .

#2: Support Your Points With Concrete Evidence From the Passage

The best way to get a high Reading score for your essay is to quote from the passage appropriately to support your points . This shows not only that you’ve read the passage (without your having to summarize the passage at all), but also that you understand what the author is saying and the way the author constructed her argument.

As an alternative to using direct quotations from the passage, it’s also okay to paraphrase some of what you discuss. If you are explaining the author's argument in your own words, however, you need to be extra careful to make sure that the facts you're stating are accurate —in contrast to scoring on the old SAT essay, scoring on the new SAT essay takes into account factual inaccuracies and penalizes you for them.

#3: Keep Your Essay Organized

The SAT essay rubric states: “The response demonstrates a deliberate and highly effective progression of ideas both within paragraphs and throughout the essay.”

The main point to take away from this is that you should follow the standard structure for an SAT essay (introduction-body-body-conclusion) . Using a basic four- to five-paragraph essay structure will both keep you organized and make it easier for the essay graders to follow your reasoning—a win-win situation!

Furthermore, you should connect each paragraph to each other through effective transitions. We'll give you ways to improve your performance in this area in the articles linked at the end of this article.

#4: Make Time to Read, Analyze, Plan, Write, and Revise

Make sure you allocate appropriate amounts of time for each of the steps you’ll need to take to write the essay—50 minutes may seem like a long time, but it goes by awfully quick with all the things you need to do.

Reading the passage, analyzing the argument, planning your essay, writing your essay, and revising are all important components for writing an 8/8/8 essay. For a breakdown of how much time to spend on each of these steps, be sure to check out our article on how to write an SAT essay, step-by-step .


#5: Practice

The more you practice analysis and writing, the better you’ll get at the task of writing an SAT essay (as you work up to it a little at a time).

It's especially important to practice the analysis and writing components of the essay if you are a slow reader (since reading speed can be difficult to change). Being able to analyze and write quickly can help balance out the extra time you take to read and comprehend the material. Plus, the time you put into working on analysis and writing will yield greater rewards than time spent trying to increase your reading speed.

But don't forget : while it’s okay to break up the practice at first, you also really do need to get practice buckling down and doing the whole task in one sitting .

What’s Next?

This is just the beginning of improving your SAT essay score. Next, you actually need to put this into practice with a real SAT essay.

Looking to get even deeper into the essay prompt? Read our complete list of SAT essay prompts and our detailed explanation of the SAT essay prompt .

Hone your SAT essay writing skills with our articles about how to write a high-scoring essay, step by step and how to get a 8/8/8 on the SAT essay .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points?

Check out our best-in-class online SAT prep classes . We guarantee your money back if you don't improve your SAT score by 160 points or more.

Our classes are entirely online, and they're taught by SAT experts . If you liked this article, you'll love our classes. Along with expert-led classes, you'll get personalized homework with thousands of practice problems organized by individual skills so you learn most effectively. We'll also give you a step-by-step, custom program to follow so you'll never be confused about what to study next.

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Laura graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in Music and Psychology, and earned a Master's degree in Composition from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and GRE and loves advising students on how to excel in high school.

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Guest Essay

The Best College Is One Where You Don’t Fit In

Two people walking down a pathway on an otherwise seemingly empty college campus.

By Michael S. Roth

Mr. Roth is the president of Wesleyan University.

This time of year, college campuses like the one where I live fill up with high school seniors preparing to make what feels like a momentous choice. The first imperative is to find a school that they can afford, but beyond that, many students have been advised to find one where they can see themselves. Too often, they take this to mean finding a place with students like them, even students who look like them — a place where they will feel comfortable. I can’t tell you how many families have described driving many hours to a campus somewhere and having their daughter or son say something like: “We don’t need to get out. I can tell already this isn’t for me.”

“How about the info session?” the patient parent asks.

Choosing a college based on where you feel comfortable is a mistake. The most rewarding forms of education make you feel very uncomfortable, not least because they force you to recognize your own ignorance. Students should hope to encounter ideas and experience cultural forms that push them beyond their current opinions and tastes. Sure, revulsion is possible (and one can learn from that), but so is the discovery that your filtered ways of taking in the world had blocked out things in which you now delight. One learns from that, too.

Either way, a college education should enable you to discover capabilities you didn’t even know you had while deepening those that provide you with meaning and direction. To discover these capabilities is to practice freedom, the opposite of trying to figure out how to conform to the world as it is. Tomorrow the world will be different anyway. Education should help you find ways of shaping change, not just ways of coping with it.

These days, the first thing that campus visitors may notice are protests over the war in Gaza. These will be attractive to some who see in them an admirable commitment to principle and off-putting to those who see evidence of groupthink or intimidation. Any campus should be a “ safe enough space ,” one free of harassment and intimidation, but not one where identities and beliefs are just reinforced. That’s why it’s profoundly disturbing to hear of Jewish students afraid to move about because of the threat of verbal and physical abuse. And that’s why it’s inspiring to see Muslim and Jewish students camped out together to protest a war they think is unjust.

Refusing to conform can mean being rebellious, but it can also mean just going against the grain, like being unabashedly religious in a very secular institution or being the conservative or libertarian voice in classes filled with progressives. I recently asked one such student if he perceived any faculty bias. “Don’t worry about me,” he replied. “My professors find me fascinating.” Some of the military veterans who’ve attended my liberal arts university have disrupted the easy prejudices of their progressive peers while finding themselves working in areas they’d never expected to be interested in.

Over the years, I’ve found nonconformists to be the most interesting people to have in my classes; I’ve also found that they often turn out to be the people who add the greatest value to the organizations in which they work. I’m thinking of Kendall, a computer science major I had in a philosophy class whom I saw on campus recently because she was directing an ambitious musical. When I expressed my admiration at her unlikely combination of interests, she was almost insulted by my surprise and enthusiasm. Had I really stereotyped her as someone not interested in the arts just because she excels in science?

Or take the student activist (please!) who a couple of years after leading a demonstration to the president’s office made an appointment to meet with me. I was worried about new political demands, but she had something else in mind: getting a recommendation for law school. I could, she reminded me with a smile, write about her leadership abilities on campus. And I did.

Of course, even students who refuse to fall in with the herd should learn how to listen and speak to it and to various groups different from their own. That’s an increasingly valuable capacity, and it will help them make their way in the world, whatever school they attend, whatever their major.

Side by side, students should learn how to be full human beings, not mere appendages, and this means continually questioning what they are doing and learning from one another. “Truly speaking,” Ralph Waldo Emerson said about a century ago, “it is not instruction, but provocation, that I can receive from another soul.” That’s why the colleges — large public institutions or small faith-based colleges or anything in between — that nurture and respond to the energies of their students are the ones that feel most intellectually alive.

So, what makes a school the right one? It’s not the prestige of a name or the campus amenities. First and foremost, it’s the teachers. Great teachers help make a college great because they themselves are never done being students. Sure, there are plenty of schools filled with faculty members who think alike, who relish the bubble of fellowship in received opinion. A college can make being weird or radical into adolescent orthodoxy. These places should be avoided. By contrast, there are colleges with great teachers who practice freedom by activating wonder, a capacity for appreciation and a taste for inquiry — and who do so because they themselves seek out these broadening experiences. You can feel their own nonconformity as they try to provoke their students away from the various forms of received opinion.

Finding the right college will often mean finding these kinds of people — classmates and mentors, perpetual students who seek open-ended learning that brings joy and meaning. That’s what young people checking out schools should really be looking for: not a place merely to fit in but a place to practice freedom in good company.

Michael S. Roth is the president of Wesleyan University. His most recent books are “ The Student: A Short History” and “ Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist’s Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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  1. What Colleges Require the SAT Essay: Lists With Explanations

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  2. Do colleges prefer SAT with essay?

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  3. Which Colleges Require SAT Essay in 2022-2023?

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  4. What is a Good SAT Essay Score?

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  5. How to Write a Good SAT Essay

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  6. 2020 Colleges That Require the SAT Essay

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  1. What Do Colleges Want? (Part 1)

  2. What exactly do colleges want from us??! #university #collegeadmissions #students

  3. How is SAT essay written?

  4. How to Find Your Best Fit College

  5. Applying to Colleges in 2024

  6. What Do Colleges Want? (Part 2)


  1. Which Colleges Require the SAT Essay? Complete List

    The last thing you want to do is take the SAT without the Essay and get a good score—but then find out that one of your target schools requires you to take the SAT with Essay. Remember that some colleges change their application policies from year to year, so make sure to double-check the testing policies of the schools you're applying to .

  2. What Colleges Require the SAT Essay?

    The SAT Essay used to be required at many top colleges, but it has become optional at many schools. Now, among elite schools, only the University of California schools require the Essay. Other selective colleges like Duke University, Amherst College, and Colby College recommend the Essay, but it's not required.

  3. Which Colleges Require SAT Essay in 2022-2023?

    In recent years, no Ivy League schools have required applicants to submit their SAT scores with the essay. The same applies to other prestigious top-notch schools such as Caltech, Stanford, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, NYU, MIT, and more. Many liberal arts colleges also did not require or recommend you take the SAT with the essay.

  4. Colleges That Require SAT Essay

    This is how the current list of schools that require or recommend the non-compulsory SAT essay looks as of the 2020/2021 academic year - as indicated by the College Board: Abilene Christian University TX- Recommended. Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences NY- Recommended. Amherst College - Recommended. Allegheny College PA- Recommended.

  5. Should I Take the SAT Essay? How to Decide

    Taking the SAT with the essay will also cost you a bit more money. Taking the SAT without the essay costs $46, but if you choose to take the essay, it costs $14 extra, raising the total cost of the SAT to $60. However, if you're eligible for an SAT fee waiver, the waiver also applies to this section of the exam, so you still won't have to pay ...

  6. Which Colleges Require the SAT Essay?

    The SAT essay is a good opportunity to display your writing skills. And, because the prompt and format is always the same, you have opportunities to practice so you go into it well-prepared. Top College SAT Essay Requirements. In the chart below, I have compiled a list of the top-ranked U.S. colleges and their SAT essay

  7. What Is the SAT Essay?

    College Board. February 28, 2024. The SAT Essay section is a lot like a typical writing assignment in which you're asked to read and analyze a passage and then produce an essay in response to a single prompt about that passage. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your reading, analysis, and writing skills—which are critical to ...

  8. Colleges That Require the SAT Essay (2020): A Complete List

    The biggest potential downside to taking the SAT Essay is that you might not score well, and colleges that don't require or recommend the essay will have a piece of information that doesn't show you in your best light. Given that most schools don't want the essay, having a poor SAT Essay score can be a risk that isn't worth taking.

  9. The Optional SAT Essay: What to Know

    Here are three things you should know about the 50-minute SAT essay as you decide whether to complete it: To excel on the SAT essay, you must be a trained reader. The SAT essay begs background ...

  10. Everything You Need To Know About The SAT Essay

    Every SAT essay is assessed and scored by two separate evaluators. The assessment is based on three categories - Reading, Analysis, and Writing. You can earn a score of anywhere between 1 and 4 in each of these categories. The individual scores are then added together to give you a total score on your essay.

  11. The Ultimate SAT Essay Study Guide: Tips and Review

    While most colleges had already made SAT Essay scores optional, this move by the College Board means no colleges now require the SAT Essay. It will also likely lead to additional college application changes such not looking at essay scores at all for the SAT or ACT, as well as potentially requiring additional writing samples for placement.

  12. The SAT Writing Section (Essay): Here's What You Need to Know

    For example, with this practice essay, it could look like this: Intro: Braun argues that continuing to invest in space tech and research keeps us competitive in the world economy. Devices: logos, imagery, allusion. Body 1: Logos (logic): paragraph 3, 5, 7. Body 2: Imagery: paragraph 4, 6. Body 3: Allusion: paragraph 8.

  13. SAT with essay vs without

    Hey there! It's a good idea to think about whether to take the SAT with or without the essay. I'll share some pros and cons of each option and discuss the essay's relevance in college admissions. Pros of taking the SAT with the essay: 1. Some colleges require or recommend it: While the number of colleges requiring the essay has significantly decreased, there are still a few that prefer it.

  14. SAT Essay Scoring

    Responses to the optional SAT Essay are scored using a carefully designed process. Two different people will read and score your essay. Each scorer awards 1-4 points for each dimension: reading, analysis, and writing. The two scores for each dimension are added. You'll receive three scores for the SAT Essay—one for each dimension—ranging ...

  15. Do Colleges Want Your SAT Essay Score?

    The third reason some colleges may want the SAT essay is because they want as much information on each applicant as they can get. Sometimes, college applications provide an incomplete picture of the students who are applying. The essay gives colleges additional data that can help in choosing between two nearly identical applications, with the ...

  16. A Complete List of Colleges Requiring SAT/ACT 2023-2024

    Many colleges still place a high value on your SAT or ACT score in the competitive college admissions landscape of today. CollegeVine's free chancing engine provides a comprehensive solution to understand how your test scores, along with other profile elements like GPA and extracurriculars, affect your chances of acceptance.

  17. The SAT

    Practice and Preparation. The key to successful preparation for the SAT is practice. Find tips on how to study for the SAT using full-length practice tests on Bluebook, downloadable forms if you're approved to test on paper, and Official Digital SAT Prep on Khan Academy®.

  18. The Persistent Grip of Social Class on College Admissions

    The SAT is falling out of favor, but a study looking at essays suggests "soft factors" have their own issues. ... Take the college essay. ... Colleges may want to pursue egalitarian goals, but ...

  19. Home

    Show colleges you're ready. Learn about the SAT Suite of Assessments, which includes the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9. Home - SAT Suite of Assessments | College Board

  20. Everything You Need to Know About the Digital SAT

    The SAT puts your achievements into context. That means it shows off your qualifications to colleges and helps you stand out. Most colleges—including those that are test optional—still accept SAT scores. Together with high school grades, the SAT can show your potential to succeed in college or career. Learn more about why you should take ...

  21. Do Colleges Really Care About the SAT Essay?

    So, do colleges really care about the SAT essay? The answer isit depends. Do the necessary research to see what's required of you and then plan accordingly. And if you want to play it safe, you'll probably want to take the essay once and then focus on other aspects of your college application.

  22. Does the SAT Essay Matter? Expert Guide

    The old SAT Essay involved a fairly arbitrary task and bore no resemblance to any work students do in college. However, the revised essay engages a student's rhetorical analysis skills and requires the kind of analytical thinking students will perform in college. Thus, some colleges require the new SAT Essay because they feel it gives ...

  23. What Do Colleges Look For in an Essay?

    Initiative. Initiative is one of the top qualities that colleges look for. Students who show initiative will likely bring that take-charge attitude with them to college, where it will help them contribute to the campus. The essay should always involve you taking some kind of action—it shouldn't just be about things that happened to you.

  24. Stand Out in High School

    While grades and test scores are important, colleges also want to see the person you're becoming and the skills you've learned outside of class. High School Classes Colleges Look For . If you're in high school and thinking about college you should know that the courses you take matter. That's because college admissions officers want to see ...

  25. College Application Essay Guide: A How-to With Samples!

    Ask yourself: "Do I want to write about it?" If the answer is no, then don't write about it. When it comes to your college essay, it should be something about yourself that you want to tell the college about. Common App provides a set of essay prompts to choose from. To give you an idea, here are the of the 2024/2025 prompts to consider:

  26. College Application Process Should Be Less Complicated

    More than 1,000 colleges use the Common App — a template for basic information — but applicants often must submit additional material, such as personal essays, tailored to each school.

  27. Should I retake the SAT after scoring a 1380?

    A 1380 is a solid SAT score that puts you in around the 94th percentile nationally. However, whether it is sufficient for competitive colleges really depends on the particular schools you're interested in applying to and your overall application profile. To determine if your 1380 is adequate for your target schools, take a look at the middle 50% range of SAT scores for recently admitted ...

  28. SAT Essay Tips: 15 Ways to Improve Your Score

    While most colleges had already made SAT Essay scores optional, this move by the College Board means no colleges now require the SAT Essay. It will also likely lead to additional college application changes such not looking at essay scores at all for the SAT or ACT, as well as potentially requiring additional writing samples for placement.

  29. Kimberly M.

    Schedule an online tutoring session with Kimberly M. to learn Essay Writing and Literature online. Read reviews, see more subjects Kimberly M. tutors and schedule a session. ... Want to get into a great college? Your GPA matters! ... Try a Free Session. Enrollment Advisor. 1-800-2REVIEW (800-273-8439) ext. 1. 1-877-LEARN-30. FAQ. Hours. Mon-Fri ...

  30. Opinion

    Mr. Roth is the president of Wesleyan University. This time of year, college campuses like the one where I live fill up with high school seniors preparing to make what feels like a momentous ...