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SAT Writing Test: Changes Coming

By Lily Iatridis  September 28, 2015

LP - Happy Teens

If your kids are taking the SAT this fall, no worries! The changes to the test aren’t coming until March 2016.

But if they are going to take it next year or later, there are two major changes to the writing test you should know about.

1) The writing test is going to be optional. This is fantastic news for kids who don’t do well with timed writing assignments!

In the future, kids should only take the writing test if they’re confident it will improve their overall performance on the SAT.

2) Starting March 2016, the SAT is going to ask for a textual analysis essay instead of a persuasive essay.

Anyone planning on taking the writing test should take careful note of this! These are two very different types of essays.

In a textual analysis essay, kids are asked to analyze a text by another author to determine whether the author of that text achieved their purpose.

A strong textual analysis does the following things:

  • States the author’s purpose or goal
  • Briefly summarizes the text
  • Explains what the author does in the text to achieve their purpose
  • Gives specific examples from the text to show exactly how the author tries to achieve their purpose
  • Draws final conclusions on whether or not the author achieved their goals.

We teach kids how to write a textual analysis essay in one of our Essay Rock Star short courses. For more information, please click here.

In a persuasive essay, kids take a position on an issue and develop arguments to persuade readers to adopt their position. Kids are given an opinion or quote and are asked to develop their persuasive essay from there.

A strong persuasive essay does these things:

  • Takes a clear position either for or against the opinion from the very start
  • Develops several arguments consistently in support of their chosen position
  • Gives strong examples to support and explain how each argument is true
  • Never wavers from the chosen position
  • Anticipates what people who disagree with them would say
  • Includes reponses to those possible disagreements
We also have an Essay Rock Star short course on the persuasive essay only. For more information, click here.

Best of luck on your coming exams!

 

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