Simple Study Guides

For Writing, Math, Essays, SAT, ACT and more...

There's nothing more boring and ineffective than generalities.  Interesting, convincing writing is specific. Instead of writing "Last year in one of my classes...", write "For example, I found myself in a predicament during a review session in Pre-calculus when...".


Here's a great example of how to continue to drill down from general to more and more specific. Try to do this every time you're about to write a supporting sentence in one of your SAT essay body paragraphs.

Know what you are going to write, even before you see the prompt - Part 1: Structure.

First of all, come up with an essay STRUCTURE that you will use, no matter what the prompt is, no matter what your examples are. You should not be trying to organize your paper while the timer is counting down, so do it now. Many different formats might be appropriate; here's a suggestion that is based upon the 5-paragraph essays that you're already writing in school.

We'll discuss the overall paragraph structure first:

Introduction (1-2 sentences)
Example #1 (6-8 sentences)
Example #2 (6-8 sentences)
Counterexample (6-8 sentences)
Conclusion (1-2 sentences)

check back here for more detailed info


Twenty-five minutes to compose an essay addressing a random prompt! Uggghhhh!

You probably have two big problems with writing the SAT essay (which counts toward your Writing score):

  • There is not enough time
  • It is hard to come up with examples

Here are some simple strategies to help you overcome these difficulties. They'll be posted in blog-style installments, so keep checking back if you want a perfect score on your SAT essay...

(first off... be sure to buy The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd edition before attempting ANY prep for the SAT.)

Read more: Strategies for Writing the SAT Essay