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SAT writing

General Information

  • The SAT provides five scores:–three multiple-choice section scores for Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing; an essay score; and a total score.
  • Each multiple-choice section is on a 200-800 scale.
  • The total score is the sum of the three multiple-choice section scores.
  •  The range of total scores could be anywhere from 600-2400. It is valid for five years.


  • Each section of the test differs slightly in its scoring method.
  • Writing, the newest section on the SAT, is divided into a short essay and two multiple-choice sections.
  •  The essay is given a score of 0 to 6, with 6 being the highest score, by two human graders.
  • The two scores are added together to create the complete essay score.
  •  The essay score will influence your overall writing score.
  • Critical Reading and Mathematics consist of three multiple-choice sections.
  •  In addition to multiple-choice questions, mathematics will include 10 student-produced response questions, for which no penalty is given for a wrong answer.


  • For each correct answer you give, you will be awarded one point.
  • For each incorrect answer you give, one-quarter of a point will be deducted from your overall score.
  • There is neither a penalty nor an award for any questions left blank.
  • Your essay will be given a score anywhere between 2-12. You will be given a zero if your essay is in pen, illegible, or off topic.
  • The end score report should be available online three weeks after the test, and by mail after approximately a month.
  • It will provide not only your overall score, but also the scores you received on each section.


  • The SAT is offered seven times a year.
  • The most popular administration has traditionally been the May exam, but the SAT is also offered in June, October, November, December, January, and February/March.
  • Registration is required approximately one month before the exam date.


Posted on October 6, 2011 by Manhattan Review

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What do both National and Local Scholarships frequently require?  ESSAYS!

Scholarship Essays must not only be interesting and well-written, but must address the specific nature of the scholarship itself, and answer in a clear, decisive way any question that may be asked in the scholarship application.  Sometimes these questions are very explicit: “Why do you deserve this scholarship?”  To be quite frank, even less direct questions, like “What does being a Polish-American mean to you?” or “What is the most important lesson you have learned as a high school student?” or “How do you think your education has prepared you to enter the field of engineering?” all require you to answer: “Why do you deserve this scholarship?”  Persuasion is the goal of scholarship essays.  Remember: even though there may be fewer applicants for a specific scholarship than for your favorite college, frequently there is only ONE winner.

Some tips to make that ONE winner YOU:

  • Use very specific examples from your life experience (this may help you with your SAT writing section as well!)
  • Adhere to the length requirements of the essay – your 500-word essay might be great, but will lose out when the word requirement is 1000 – or 250!
  • Learn about the organization that sponsors the scholarship, and not just the basics.  You want to appeal specifically to the attitude of the organization.  Read the website, get in touch with employees, or, even better, last year’s winner.
  • Make sure your style of writing matches the style of the essay question.  Some organizations ask light, informal, or even humorous questions, and others are deeply earnest and serious.  Don’t mix them up!
  • Even if you write one hundred scholarship essays, don’t send out a single one without proofreading and asking a teacher or mentor to read it first.
  • Don’t expect to do double-duty with your scholarship essays and win over the deciding committee; they’ll know if you just swapped a sentence or two from your college personal statement!
  • Don’t lose out because you didn’t submit a neat, organized, attractive application!

Writing scholarship essays may seem like a daunting task, especially with the busy lives of most students, but remember this: the more essays you write, the easier it becomes.  Practice will not only improve your writing, but improve your chances at winning the scholarship you need to afford college.

Posted on July 27, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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