This is the caveat to the second question. To score well, you should reference plenty of evidence, but also make sure it’s focused on helping you make your point. Don’t just throw quotes in and hope it looks good. The graders will know the passage very well and will know what you should have picked up on. Planning your essay before you begin writing is essential to ensuring your essay stays focused and only uses evidence that backs up any claims you make about the author and his or her point.
For high school students who want to prepare for their freshman English Composition classes, the High School Writing Mechanics course or the High School Paragraph Writing course are helpful options.
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Finally, you'll find that some schools report critical reading and math scores, but not the writing scores. This is because the writing part of the exam never fully caught on when it was introduced in 2005, and many schools still do not use it in their admissions decisions. And when the redesigned SAT rolled out in 2016, the writing section became an optional part of the exam. In the near future, we will probably cease to see SAT writing score data for most colleges.
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