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Should You Take The New SAT Essay?

As you may know, the New 1600 SAT Essay is optional. So many students may be under the impression that they do not have to take the New SAT Essay. However, if you are a 2400 Expert student, you must take the New SAT Essay. The only exception would be if you are a high school senior who knows that none of the colleges you are applying to require the essay portion of the New SAT. Then and only then, can you skip taking the SAT Essay. For the rest of you, you must take the New SAT Essay.

A perfect case study that demonstrates why you need to take the New SAT with Essay is actually the ACT. The ACT has been essay-optional for many years now. However, most competitive colleges require that students who take the ACT submit their ACT score WITH essay. Essentially, competitive colleges are not going to let you skip the essay portion of these standardized exams. And because most 2400 Expert students are applying to competitive colleges, I would suggest that all 2400 Expert students go ahead and complete the essay portion of the SAT. If you are a freshman, sophomore, or junior in high school who doesn’t know exactly what colleges you will apply to your senior year, you should be on the safe side and take the SAT Essay. The last thing you would want to happen is to take the SAT without essay now, then come senior year, you find out a college you are applying to requires the SAT with essay.

In addition, the New SAT Essay is easy to prep for. The College Board made many changes to the New SAT Essay in order to make it less easy to game. Many test prep companies (especially 2400 Expert) had figured out how to game the old 2400 version of the SAT Essay. Therefore, the College Board went back to the drawing board and redesigned the SAT Essay hoping that it would not be as “preppable” as before. However, I would argue that the new SAT Essay is actually easier to prep for than ever. So there’s really no reason to not take it.

Finally, the New SAT Essay is also helpful to prep for. When you prepare for the SAT Essay, you will see benefits far beyond just the SAT Essay. You will learn how to use larger vocabulary words effectively. You will learn how to develop an analysis more effectively. You will learn how to write faster. You will learn how to organize a coherent composition. All of this will help you on many other essays. You will suddenly score higher on your high school English class essays. You will be better able to compose essays for other high school standardized exams (SAT Subject Exams, AP Exams, ACT, etc.). You will even be able to write better essays for future standardized exams. For example, I got a perfect score on my GMAT essay simply because I used 2400 Expert Essay Strategies! You will craft better college admissions essays. You will write better scholarship essays. And your essays in college will become easier to write. With all of these benefits, there really is no excuse for skipping SAT Essay prep.



Shaan Patel

Shaan Patel is the founder of Prep Expert Test Preparation (formerly 2400 Expert), a #1 bestselling SAT prep author, an MD/MBA student at Yale and USC, and winner of an investment deal with billionaire Mark Cuban on ABC's Shark Tank. He raised his own SAT score from average to perfect and teaches students his methods in an online SAT prep class.