How to Score Your Own SAT Essay


Writing an essay was never so easy. But do not worrrrry ! 🙂  Research conducted at the MIT shows that high-scoring SAT essays follow at least 4-5 characteristics which the test graders look out for. Apart from the essay length, scholarly examples, explicit points there are other things a student must be informed about.

On the actual SAT two readers will rate your essay. Your essay score is the sum of their two ratings and could range from 12(the highest) to  2 (the lowest). The higher your total score between you are likely to do on the essay section of the SAT. The graders usually grade your essay holistically, rating it on the basis of their overall impression of its effectiveness. Practice is the key here and in-case you are into self studying or your teacher doesn’t have time to score your essay, here’s how you can do it yourself. The following scoring guide will help you to assess you writing strengths and weaknesses, so that you can decide which areas to focus on as you prepare for the SAT.

Position on the topic –

Tick 6 if your essay is clear, convincing and insightful

Tick 5 if fundamentally clear and coherent

4 for fairly clear and coherent

3 for insufficiently clear

2 largely unclear

1 for extremely unclear

Organization of Evidence-

6 for well organized, with stong, relevant examples

5 Generally well organized, with apt examples

4 Adequately organized, with some examples

3 Sketchily developed, with weak examples

2 Lacking focus and evidence

1 Unfocused and disorganized

Sentence Structure –

6 for varied, appealing sentences

5 for reasonably varied sentences

4 for some variety in sentences

3 for little variety in sentenced

2 for errors in sentence structure

1 severe errors in sentence structure

Level Of Vocabulary –

6 for mature and apt word choice

5 Competent word choice

4 Adequate word choice

3 Inappropriate or weak vocabulary

2 Highly limited vocabulary

1 rudimentary

Grammar and Usage

6 for almost entirely free of errors

5 Relatively free of errors

4 some technical errors

3 minor errors and some major ones

2 Numerous major errors

1 for extensive and severe errors

Overall Effect –

6 for Outstanding

5 for Effective

4 for adequately competent

3 for Inadequate, but shows potential

2 for seriously flawed

1 for fundamentally deficient

In case you find it difficult to score yourself objectively, you could ask two separate friends to score it for you, based on the above format. Now you know what graders look for in your essay 🙂 All the best !

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