SAT Tutor

I’m not so sure, Marvin. As a former SAT essay reader, I never considered myself as much a fool as many tutors liked to tell their students I was. I credited myself with being able to discern whether or not a student had any idea what they were talking about. I’ve studied the ‘templates’ with interest and found them as substantive as telling the students to have an introduction, three examples (which usually turned out to be Hitler, Gatsby and one other from a movie they’d recently seen), and a conclusion. In other words, it was so superficial that it did nothing to teach a student to actually conceive and develop an idea, which was a requirement for any score above a three of six. Teaching the template may have been easy for the coach, but I never saw how it actually helped the student to write a better essay, unless the student was starting at such a low level that a three was an improved score.

I agree with you that the new essay is much more coachable, as I stated in my post.

I had ~2000 students use my template on the old SAT and the average essay score was 11.2.These are international students, studying in Asia (I’m in Asia), plenty of whom had fluency issues of varying severity and vanishingly few of whom could really write a great 2-page essay on their own in 25 minutes.

Nobody wants to believe templates work, but they do, and it’s trivially easy to train kids to use them.

You don’t have to believe me, of course, and I have nothing to gain from convincing you, but if you’d like to exchange PMs, I can share more about the nuts and bolts of how it works :slight_smile:


I didn’t say that. I think it’s just as coachable, but it’s not quite as fool-proof or brainless as the old one. The new one requires a more flexible template and more student decision-making. Not a lot, but more :wink:

@Wood5440 , @marvin100 is right. The old Essay was way coachable. One template fit every possible prompt. It was a joke.

Furthermore, the old Essay you only had to read a paragraph, pick a pro or con, then throw in preprogrammed examples like the ones you mentioned: Hitler, Gatsby, etc.

The new Essay you have to read a whole freaking story. You can still use a template, but if you fall asleep reading the long, drawn out, boring story, you’re dead.