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I recommend that students still prepare for (and go through with) writing an essay for the SATs with the understanding that it might not be necessary for the school of their choice. A graduate of Yale University, Ryan has worked in various admissions capacities for nearly a decade, including writing test-prep material for the SAT, AP exams, and TOEFL; editing essays and personal statements; and consulting directly with applicants.
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.
Remember that readers have to go through these rapidly and are looking for specific indicators.
So, if it’s that easy to “trick” the system, how useful can it be?
One way to start coming up with interesting ideas for your Common App essay is to check out the instructions.
I know this sounds ridiculously simplistic, but I’ve found that many students overlook these directions, and this neglect can lead to problems with your essay.
Many feel that the essay section is still a viable way for someone with particular writing ability to shine, and therefore, they are not so swift to let go.
Harvard is still hedging and currently requires either an SAT or ACT essay writing score to be submitted as part of the application process.
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.