SAT Essay: What ETS Says Is Graded

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SAT Essay: What ETS Says Is Graded

ETS publications tell you that readers are encouraged to look at what has been done well, rather than what hasn't been done. According to ETS the highest score of 6 is reserved for an essay that "effectively and insightfully develops a point of view"; "is well organized and clearly focused"; uses "clearly appropriate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position"; and "demonstrates meaningful variety in sentence structure" and "a varied, accurate, and apt vocabulary," though it may have "minor errors." Even an essay with a score of 6 does NOT have to be perfect. As long as your essay is well organized with fully developed ideas, you can make a couple of errors and still get a 6. On the other hand, a low score of 1 goes to an essay that "provides little or no evidence to support its position," "is disorganized or unfocused," and "contains pervasive errors in grammar, usage, or mechanics that persistently interfere with meaning." (Visit www.collegeboard.org to read the entire set of essay-scoring guidelines.)

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