<p>Essay grading depends on whatever lap your essay falls into. If you are a "good" writer, it is essentially no different than drawing a 10, 11, or 12 out of a hat. Obviously, some writing is more effective than others, but one's final score is largely subjective.</p>
<p>^seconded. Especially with an 11, you know that you could have been unlucky and gotten two readers who gave you the 5 (therefore 10) or lucky and gotten two 6's (therefore 12).
I think 10 is genuinely the dividing line between a good and okay SAT essay.</p>
<p>^Completely agreed. Unfortunately, it can have an effect on your future. With two wrong on an essay of 10 and 12, the discrepancies of the scores can vary by about 40 points, which can ultimately decide an admission's decision.</p>
<p>I think you're overexaggerating the impact of the essay. You have more leeway with the essay than the MC, since you can get a 9 on the essay and still get an 800, but if you get 2 wrong for MC it's automatically a 790 even with a 12 essay. Overall, the essay has a significantly lesser impact on your writing score, as it should.</p>