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Introduction to the SAT Writing Test

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Two graders will independently grade your essay on a scale of 1 to 6, and your score will be the total of their marks. (On the rare occasions when the marks of these two graders disagree by more than one point, an additional grader is called in as a tiebreaker.)

Combining the Two Sections: How Your Final Writing Test Score Will Be Calculated
Your final score on the SAT Writing Test will be a weighted average of your essay score (on a 2-to-12 scale) and your multiple-choice score (out of 49). The essay counts for about one-third of your overall score. The following table provides a simple way to combine the two writing sub-scores to get your final 200-to-800 Writing Test score.

Essay / Multiple-Choice Scoring Grid

 49 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 12 800 770 730 690 640 600 560 520 11 780 750 710 670 620 580 540 500 10 760 730 690 650 600 560 520 480 9 740 710 670 630 580 540 500 460 8 720 690 650 610 560 520 480 440 7 700 670 630 590 540 500 460 420 6 680 650 610 570 520 480 440 400 5 660 630 590 550 500 460 420 380 4 640 610 570 530 480 440 400 360 3 620 590 550 510 460 420 380 340 2 600 570 530 490 440 400 360 320

To use the table, locate your essay score in the left-most column and your nearest multiple-choice score in the top row. For example, a student who received a 9 on the essay and a raw score of 35 on the multiple-choice section would score a 630 for the combined writing sections. The precise table will vary from test to test, depending on the test's relative difficulty, but the basic principle is the same.

The scores in bold, running down in a diagonal band across the grid, are rough equivalents of your multiple-choice and essay scores. If the box with your combined score lies above the bold band, your essay score was significantly better than your multiple-choice score; you would likely make rapid gains if you reviewed the grammatical concepts tested by those questions.

If your combined score lies below the bold band, your multiple-choice score was significantly better than your essay score; you would likely make rapid gains if you reviewed the tips on essay writing and practiced applying them.

In addition to your overall score on the 200-to-800 scale, your score report will include your essay score on the 2-to-12 scale, and your multiple-choice score on a 20-to-80 scale (to distinguish it from your overall score).

That Guarantee, Revisited
The guarantee I made to you at the start is not an exaggeration if you apply yourself conscientiously to the upcoming four chapters. The SAT Essay: Basic Principles will cover the basic principles of the essay.

In The SAT Essay: Basic Principles I'll show you how to write an essay that will knock the socks off the SAT graders!

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From The RocketReview Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to the New SAT and the PSAT by Adam Robinson. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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