4 Tips to Master the SAT/ACT Writing Test

By Kim Lifton
President
Wow Writing Workshop

SATAre you registered for the upcoming SAT (March 14) or ACT (April 18)? In either case, you should brush up on your essay writing skills before you take either test. Time management and focused practice can make or break your writing score.

The SAT writing test is 25 minutes; the ACT is 30 minutes. For both tests, you will be asked to answer a prompt with an opinion you can support. Regardless of your personal experience or your viewpoint, you will be able to respond.

More Than a Writing Test!

The SAT and ACT essays are not just writing tests; they are thinking tests, designed to evaluate how quickly you can organize your thoughts and get a first draft down on paper. While you need to follow the rules of written English, the real challenge comes in using your time wisely and expressing your thoughts clearly.

Be clear, concise and direct. Write legibly, on every line. You will have space to make notes and organize your thoughts.

Secrets to Mastering the SAT and ACT Writing Tests:

  1. Know your audience: Two readers will grade your SAT or ACT writing test essay, each on a scale of 1 – 6. You do not need to restate the prompt. Your audience has the prompt in front of them.
  2. Outline: Create a high-level outline for your essay. Write topic sentences and list examples. These are notes only. One of your points should be a counter-argument.
  3. Make sure you have a clear introduction: Use a nice opening (e.g., a quote, anecdote or statement). Remember, you need a thesis to support your position. It doesn’t matter which perspective you choose.
  4. Use body paragraphs: Use specific examples, and introduce one example at a time. Start a new paragraph for each new example.

Want to know how to write a fabulous counter-argument, and wrap up your essay with a conclusion that will help you score more points?

PRACTICE! PRACTICE! AND PRACTICE SOME MORE!

Wow isn’t just the national expert on the college admissions essay; we also have inside information on all aspects of the college admissions process.

Our interactive ACT and SAT writing webinars are yours when you sign up for Wow Silver. You’ll get all the writing prep and timed writing practice you need.

You’ll also get scoring rubrics and tips for both tests, plus an option to have Wow professionals score your SAT or ACT writing tests! If you are already a member of WowWritingWorkshop.com, you can upgrade to Silver here.