Mastering the SAT Essay in 25 Minutes: The Bode Miller Approach

SAT Writing Instructor Terri of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts teaches you how to approach the SAT essay. Similar to the way Bode Miller approaches an Olympic skiing event, Terri shares Gold Medal advice on how to pace yourself wisely during this section.

Today, I’m going to help you master your pacing and speed so you can write an effective essay for the SAT in 25 minutes.

1. Be prepared

One of the biggest time savers on your SAT essay is to be prepared. Students always ask me how I can prepare for the SAT essay. Well you can, you can come prepared armed with details about historical facts, current events, your favorite literature, meaningful person
personal examples and observations, and you just might be able to use this information on any SAT question that you encounter

2. Pacing

The next huge time saver is pacing. We’re going to divide 25 minutes into manageable parts or minutes. Minutes one through four are basically the pre-writing stage.

  • Minute one: Read and analyze the assignment question and decide what it’s asking you to do.
  • Minute two: Brainstorm examples. Call forth a wealth of ideas and feelings that you might have.
  • Minute three: Take a stand. This will be your thesis statement, this is your position.
  • Minute four: Write a brief outline.
  • Minutes 5 to 17: Use your outline, write as legibly as you can, and fill as many lines as you can. The length of the essay does matter. It should be a page and a half to two pages.
  • Minute 18: Checkpoint. You should really see where you’re at in the process.
  • Minutes 19 through 22: Finish the supporting paragraph you’re on and your conclusion.
  • Minutes 23 to 24: Proofread. First, for stylistic issues like the logic of the essay and the flow, add transition words and check if paragraphs are indented.
  • Last last minute: Reword. Use synonyms to replace words that you’ve used over and over.

Practice writing 25-minute SAT essays at home, and you’ll improve not only your pacing but also your essay score and your writing score as a whole.

Good luck.

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