right arrow
Informational Message Stay on top of the information you need to navigate the admissions process amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We've got articles, videos and forum discussions that provide answers to all of your test prep, admissions and college search questions.   Visit our COVID-19 resource page.

Introducing Kai!
Your College Confidential guide bot.


Kai can provide tips and support as you research and apply to colleges, and explore majors and careers.





Chat with Kai
here, 24/7!


or Skip Forever

A new forum experience awaits you this November! We can't wait to share it with you soon. Want to see how it looks before the big move? Experience the new CC Forums now and let us know your thoughts!

SAT w/essay component - stinks

byadg123byadg123 478 replies80 threads Member
D is a strong writer but needs 2 days of stewing and drafts to do a good essay. How much would a poor showing on the SAT hurt her? The rest of her application will be good but not amazing enough to wipe out a significant black mark.
12 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: SAT w/essay component - stinks

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6929 replies2 threads Senior Member
    My D is the same -- exceptional writer but has to think for quite a while before she writes. I was very pleased when she finally decided to skip the essay part of the SAT.

    After her acceptances came in, and after much thought, she choose to go to the one university that she applied to that won't even look at SAT scores. ;-)
    · Reply · Share
  • byadg123byadg123 478 replies80 threads Member
    DadTwoGirls - are we talking twins?
    I've got them and it's so much fun trying to research 2 sets of schools at once! If a bad SAT essay knocks you out of Amherst's box that would be a shame, but a bit of a blessing as it's one less thing to worry about!
    · Reply · Share
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13238 replies247 threads Senior Member
    Standardized Test Results- Official Score Reports (for one of the following):
    ACT (Writing Test recommended)
    or
    SAT (Essay Section recommended)

    Only recommended, not required. I think they'll be more interested in the CA and supplemental essays.
    · Reply · Share
  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp 1294 replies1 threads Senior Member
    Top colleges really don't place much stock in the SAT or ACT essays. The scoring on those things is terrible.
    · Reply · Share
  • byadg123byadg123 478 replies80 threads Member
    The common data set says Highly [in bold] Recommended.
    · Reply · Share
  • AsleepAtTheWheelAsleepAtTheWheel 1231 replies45 threads Senior Member
    With study/practice any student who has command of the language can learn to write a top-scoring SAT essay. Simply put, this is not normal 'writing'. It's writing in a way to score well on one specific test. In the older format, when the essay wasn't optional, Son #1 raised his writing score from a 650 to an 800 solely by mastering two study books, one of which dealt with the essay. Son #2 (the one at Amherst) also got a perfect score, working with the same books. The author of that book has a new edition for the new essay/test:
    https://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Killer-Essay-Award-Winning/dp/0578169312/ref=la_B005FD3HHU_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493242801&sr=1-1

    Right off the bat the book tells you that for the test you're not writing as you normally would. You're writing to score high on the essay. It has the student ready to write within a minute or two of reading the prompt. Not much thinking is necessary.
    I appreciate that this may not work for everybody, but it was very very helpful to my kids.
    · Reply · Share
  • rmsdadrmsdad 101 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Echoing Asleep, and it applies to all of the test's components - it is a matter of playing the game to master a specific skill. My D took the SATs 3 times - each time focusing most on one of the tests. Since Amherst (and most schools) super score, she was able to raise her two lower scores by 200 points and all the prior ugly scores had no impact. Your D needs to be motivated - and then practice, practice... . We chose weekly lessons with a tutor - certainly an expense not everyone can afford, but the investment is paying huge dividends now.
    · Reply · Share
  • suzy100suzy100 5695 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Is this purely about the essay and not the Writing score? If so, I really would not worry about it. I don't think much stock is placed on the essay score anymore. Maybe Princeton still does, but research the schools your D is interested in to see if they even look at/require the essay. I'm seeing more and more schools that don't.
    · Reply · Share
  • byadg123byadg123 478 replies80 threads Member
    edited April 2017
    @suzy100 - This is in the Amherst forum because they want it. I'm checking out the schools on D's definite/likely list for those that don't superscore or do require the essay.
    edited April 2017
    · Reply · Share
  • ricka8ricka8 354 replies24 threads Member
    edited April 2017
    I got in with a 24 on the ACT essay component, so I definitely wouldn't worry too much about the essay score! Although my composite was a 35 and I got high scores in English and Reading so I'm sure that helped me and balanced out the essay score...
    edited April 2017
    · Reply · Share
  • byadg123byadg123 478 replies80 threads Member
    @rmsdad - what materials did your D use? Our plan is to focus on Math for the June test (33 days!), Verbal for August, and then see if we're done or need one more pass whenever the next one is. Deciding on SAT only has helped them focus and one section at a time is even better though it invites boredom.
    · Reply · Share
  • rmsdadrmsdad 101 replies8 threads Junior Member
    edited May 2017
    @byadg123 - We used the The Official SAT Study Guide and The Official SAT Online Course.both by the College Board;. We are getting ready this summer to start the study process with D2. We will also be using the book from the College Board (the updated version) and will make as much use of Khan Academy as we can. This time around, it looks like I will have to be the tutor as the prior one retired and there is not another in our small town. Not my idea of an ideal summer, but it is one way to spend more time with D2.
    edited May 2017
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity