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Rumors have also indicated that this section might be used to identify possible cheating. If a student scores perfectly on all the other sections and bombs the fifth surprise section, that might be a red flag. To find out why, we need to take a trip back in time. In other words, students can expect to see this fifth section more often. Does the fifth section count? Do you have any suggestions as to whether I should take the risk of doing the essay or not? Harry, Few colleges require the essay.

The University of California system and the United States Military Academy may stick with it for a little while longer. That said, several prominent colleges still recommend the essay, and I usually still recommend taking it. You would have to do pretty poorly to actually damage your chances of admission. Have your tried the automated Khan Academy essay scorer? On the old SAT essay, a good writer could wing it and do well.

The current essay requires a bit more thought and structure. Hi, I am an international student and I took the sat last year when I was in grade I did receive a decent composite score but my essay score was a I still thought it was ok until my teachers told me that the essay score should be improved, and now I am considering retaking the test. Should I? Especially since I was under time attack my handwriting was even worse, and now I fear that my messy essay itself would be a great disadvantage, let alone the score.

Jessica, You should not retake the SAT because of your Could it be improved? Your teachers presumably think highly of your writing skills, so you might be able to do better on a repeat testing.

About the SAT

Will it strengthen your application? For example, if you had a and an application that read like it came from a prize-winning novelist, it might raise an eyebrow. Should I retake to improve my essay, especially since I got a 4 in one of the sections? Maria, A 17 total is a good score for the essay. Should I retake essay portion? I see where these essay tests are not required but recommended for college admissions. Do I have to send essay scores if I take essay portion?

None of these schools require it. Every application keeps saying I need to enter in a score from , but the essay scores are three parts. Would you be able to help me? Isabella, Do you have an example or two? The Common App has a single field that has you add up your three scores to get a value this is not actually what College Board intended, but it is how many colleges deal with the 3 essay domain scores.

You are absolutely correct that there is no such thing as a Essay score.


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Thanks, Maddie. Maddie, Your essay score will not hinder your application. Your , of course, is well above typical. You should be very proud. Bhavya, Sorry for the late reply. If you are not planning on applying to a University of California campus, you should be OK skipping the essay on your next sitting. We are applying to the good schools. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Sure, it would be nice to show an versus a , but the practical impact is virtually nil. On the other hand, I think there is a danger in showing the Even colleges that say they superscore sometimes make all scores available to admission officers. Could she get eliminated or filtered out early if she goes with SAT Essay score?

The Essay is by far the least important score component. Admission offices are more likely to favor what students are capable of, not their lowest scores. I still believe that sending both scores is the best decision.

The Subject Scores will certainly help her testing portfolio. My daughter really wants to apply with the SAT score even though her Essay Scores are lower at Which of the above 2 scores gives her a better chance? If, for some reason, only one score could be submitted, I would probably side with your daughter — although, honestly, those scores are very close.

How a Good SAT Essay Can Get a Bad Score

There is no such restriction, though, so I would send them both. Pomona, in fact, requires all scores. Seo Yeun, Not many colleges report essay scores. The closest analogue that does report scores is UC Berkeley. Do you think that you have a better score in you? If you nail the March test, you can decide whether or not to keep the essay under wraps.

One argument for sending it would be that you are an international students. Your scores might actually put their minds at ease. I was wondering if I should retake? I plan on applying to colleges like Rice, Northwestern, Cornell, Emory, etc.

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How SAT Essays Are Graded

Sara, Those are actually excellent essay scores. Do not retake just to get a higher essay score. I am planning to apply to some Ivy League colleges, such as Brown, and I think Brown requires the essay. So again, should i retake everything? Av, The good news is that none of the Ivy League colleges require the essay. In fact, virtually every college and university has dropped the essay requirement outside of the University of California and West Point. The risk of repeating is that your might go down — especially since you already maxed out your Math score.

Depending on where you are applying and their policies on Score Choice and superscoring, that risk may not matter. Tiffany, I generally recommend against repeating the SAT just to improve an essay score. Since the UCs will use your highest score, there is no risk if you do decide to re-test.


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  • The first time I took it I got a with a on the essay. The second time I got a with a on the essay. Lucy, Unless a college requires all scores, send only your The essay is simply too minor a factor to drive this decision — and, again, your is just fine as is. And his essay score was He will retake the SAT in December.

    None of the schools he will apply requires or recommends the SAT Essay. Or should he skip the Essay portion in December? Just one more thing. So, is it better to retake the SAT essay to improve the chance? Thank you very much.

    John, While most schools will simply ignore the essay score, there is no guarantee that this will be true in all cases. If he feels that he can do better on the essay, I would include it in December. Hello, I am an international student. I took sat twice. The first time was without an essay and scores were ERW: and M: I also took subject tests Math 2: and Physics: Which scores do you recommend to send?

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    Oleksii, First, you might want to consider which colleges will superscore your results or only consider your highest overall performance. That makes the decision easier, since you can send both scores. Your scores are not that dissimilar. We did not realize she would have to send the scores of the essay. She is in range or on the cusp with the for most of her schools she will apply for.

    None of the schools require the essay, do you think she should take the SAT without essay again in hopes of equaling her score or better, so she can send scores without the essay.