Both the SAT and the ACT feature essay sections that can cause anxiety. The ACT essay challenges students to write a persuasive essay about a broad topic in just 40 minutes, while students opting to take the SAT must analyze a source text in under 50 minutes. This timing can feel understandably tight to students, especially after completing the other sections of either test, but Peach State Tutoring & Test Prep can help keep you on track.
Serving students across Georgia, Peach State Tutoring & Test Prep of offers SAT prep and ACT prep, as well as academic tutoring and the RANDD reading and study program. They can teach you strategies and techniques to handle any question, including the essay.
5 Strategies For The SAT & ACT Essay Section
1. Time Management
Decide beforehand how much time you will spend brainstorming, outlining, writing, and–for the SAT–analyzing the source text. Rehearse that timing when you take practice tests.
As you prepare, notice what kind of structure works for you. For example, is your argument better formulated in four paragraphs or five? Practice until this structure is second-nature to you on test day.
3. State Your Position
For the analytical SAT essay, state upfront what you will focus on from the source text. Will you examine literary devices, explore the progression, or analyze the rhetoric? For the ACT, consider the three options in the prompt: full agreement, partial agreement, or complete disagreement. State up top which position you are taking and give specific reasons why.
4. Narrow It Down
Rather than trying to tackle everything a broad ACT prompt or rich SAT source text has to offer, narrow the scope. Choose the two or three elements of the SAT source text you find most compelling and focus on them. Likewise, isolate the angle of the ACT prompt that interests you most and flesh that out.
5. Be Specific
Use lots of concrete details to support your analysis or argument. Highlight specific parts of the SAT source text or significant historical context that can help you make your case. Choose very specific supporting examples from current events, history, literature, media, or your own experience to make your case on the ACT.
Either test can feel like a marathon, forcing students to flex critical thinking muscles and rely on time management skills. That’s why it’s important to prepare and practice. Peach State Tutoring & Test Prep can help you determine which test you should take using a free SAT vs. ACT evaluation. Then, they will administer a practice test to establish a baseline to be improved upon.
Tutors at Peach State Tutoring & Test Prep have advanced degrees and a track record of success with ACT and SAT prep. Of Georgia’s 20 perfect ACT scores in 2016, two were attained with the help of Peach State Tutoring & Test Prep. Find out more online, or call (678) 824-6890.