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The #1 Reason SAT & ACT Essays Score Low

It’s a far too common story: students that frequently score A’s on their essays in school come up short on the SAT or ACT. Unfortunately, normally proficient writers can end up scoring lower than expected on test day. 

Why the difference? Why are so many students disappointed in their essay score on the SAT or ACT?  It’s a simple answer: most essays miss the mark because they lack a clear thesis. A clear thesis is the most important element to scoring high on both the SAT and the ACT essay.  While a clear thesis may be important on a school essay, it is paramount to a good score on the SAT and ACT. Without it, you can score no higher than a five out of a possible six, and in many cases not better than a four.  Most baffling is how unmistakably easy it is to communicate a clear thesis. Both the SAT and the ACT offer a question in which the writer must pick a side. Test scorers could care less which side you take as long as you take a side.  Score higher by stating only one side of the argument. Make it patently obvious which side you take. The easy route is to answer the prompt in the positive or the negative, whichever will be the argument you develop in your essay. You don’t need a catchy opening as some people might suggest. Just spell out your main point and hit the reader over the head by repeating it throughout the essay. After reading your essay, there should be no mistake as to your perspective on the issue.  Sounds simple, and it really is. Unfortunately, even the best writers get lost in their own prose. Avoid a low score on your essay by making a clear point and sticking with it.  Learn more test tips by reading “2400 SCORES: 24 Life Lessons to Demystify the SAT® and Boost Your Score” by Brooke Higgins available at Amazon Contact CROSSWALK to learn about SAT and ACT Boot Camps, private test prep and academic tutoring for all subjects on the Monterey Peninsula. 

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