Practicing ACT and SAT Essays

One question keeps coming up from students taking our two newest classes,  Ace the ACT Writing Test and Score on the SAT Essay,  “How should I write my essay?”Our answer: It depends.

Both the ACT and SAT essay exams are thinking tests as much as writing tests. There is no perfect format; no perfect number of paragraphs; no proven introductory statement that will win over graders every time.

While students are enthusiastic about the opportunity to practice timed writing, and they tell us the process helps them understand what the essays tests are all about, they seem anxious about how to approach these challenging tasks.

So we provide guidelines:

  • Choose a position and stick with it.
  • Open with a compelling introduction.
  • Include a clear thesis statement at the end of your first paragraph.
  • Support your arguments with specific evidence and examples.
  • Include and develop a counter-argument because your score will suffer if you don’t.
  • Wrap up with a strong conclusion.
  • Allocate time to outline and review your essay.

Wow also emphasizes that these guidelines offer a framework, not a formula for success.   Practice can help.

You can start practicing in one of our Wow classes,  where you will get tips, work on an essay as a group, then complete another one on your own. We collect the essays at the end of the class and return them with a score and comments.