“Our internal analysis showed that the essay component of the SAT was the least predictive element of the overall writing section of the SAT.” This made the additional stress of preparing for the essay portion a waste of time.
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Penn’s John Mc Laughlin, senior associate director for research and analysis, said in a press release that he believes removing the essay requirement may benefit first-generation Latinos and black applicants who are statistically less likely to “have complete testing profiles,” and who can “now meet our testing requirements.” This will do wonders to make the school more diverse and accessible.
At this point there are many schools that still require the SAT essay. Ryan Hickey is the Managing Editor of Petersons and Essay Edge and is an expert in many aspects of college, graduate, and professional admissions.
In almost all cases, you should avoid writing a traditional opening paragraph.
You can plunge readers right into the middle of an experience or have a opening paragraph that’s just one sentence long. Many of my students tuck a concluding sentence into the last main paragraph of their essay, which helps them avoid blah-sounding concluding paragraphs.
But Faculty of Arts and Sciences spokesperson Rachael Dane is quoted as saying, “Over the next few years, we will carefully study how predictive an element the overall writing section of the SAT is as it relates to academic work at Harvard.” The SAT has been under fire for being racially biased and classist.
The hope is that these new reforms will do something to level the playing field.
Another aspect of the test that was added in 2005 was an essay section involving a specific prompt that test takers would use to develop responses.
The trouble is, essay scoring is not as quantifiable as the other elements. Scoring was based on an assessor’s idea of how complex a student presented an argument and how that argument was supported.