Why Should Your
Student Study Extra
Hard For The SAT
Three hours and forty-five
minutes! thats what
Julie said when I told her how
long the New SAT was.
And I have to study Critical
Reading, Vocabulary, Math, Grammar
and Writing! she added.
Yes, I said. Youve
got to study all of that.
Well, Ill just
prioritize by focusing on the
important stuff like the Math,
Reading, Vocabulary and Grammar.
The essays only 25 minutes
of the test. It cant affect
my score that much right?
Julie was partly right. The
essay is only about 1/9th of
your potential score of 2400.
However, in this case what Julie
didnt know could hurt
What she didnt know is
that college admissions officers
wont just look at Julies
essay score when judging her
suitability for admission.
They will read a scan of the
essay she wrote and use that
as one criterion when they decide
to reject or accept her application.
In fact there are at least
three important ways that college
admission officers plan to use
your student's SAT Essay in
deciding who will attend their
1. To see if your student can
really handle the pressure of
a college blue book
How can an admissions officer
know who will sail through their
college exams, get on the honor
roll each semester and graduate
in 4 years?
The answer: they cant
know for sure.
Thats why they are constantly
looking for new ways to predict
college success and failure.
And since most high school students
dont take in class essay
exams as part of their curriculum
admissions officers cant
use their transcripts to see
how well theyll do on
college essay exams. Thats
where the SAT Essay comes in.
Many universities intend to
use it to see who will do well
on exams. For example, Ted Spencer,
director of undergraduate admissions
at the University of Michigan
in Ann Arbor and trustee of
the College Board stated, The
SAT essay will be a first draft,
written under timed conditions
not unlike the on-demand writing
of a college "blue book"
exam. It will
a better, more complete understanding
of the student's writing abilities.
And Lee Stetson, dean of admissions
at the University of Pennsylvania
in Philadelphia, said, the
essay test will give admissions
officers a better feel for applicants'
writing and verbal skills and
their ability to perform under
2. To see how well you communicate
ideas on the spot
(even for math and science majors).
Its a common misconception
that math and science majors
only need to do well on the
Math section of the SAT. College
officials from math and science
oriented disciplines have consistently
expressed the need for their
students to have highly developed
For example, Ben Streetman,
Dean of the College of Engineering
at the University of Texas at
Austin said, This new
requirement will be a great
help to us in choosing students
who can succeed in engineering.
One of the most important skills
an engineer has is the ability
to present his or her ideas
verbally and in writing. Virtually
every engineering project begins
with a written proposal, requires
interim reports and culminates
in a written summary. Professional
success in engineering depends
not only on the ability to apply
the techniques of math and science
to solve problems, but also
on the engineer's ability to
write those proposals and reports
in a way that helps others understand