: 1. The essay must be over 400 words in length. Research has found that 90% of essays over 400 words in length receive the highest score of 12. 2. The sample SAT Essay must use scholarly examples. There should be two or three examples with at least one from literature. Examples from history are also good. If an essay uses primarily personal experiences it is not a good guide to helping you learn as SAT graders don't score these as highly as essays that use content learned in school. 3. The essay must be organized into paragraphs. At the minimum there is an introductory paragraph with at least a sentence or two. Then one paragraph to cover each example. And often a short conclusion. If the essay has paragraphs that cover multiple examples it won't score as well and won't serve as a good example for your learning. 4. The essay must make its points explicitly. If you are reading a sample SAT Essay that you must read between the lines to get or re-read in order to understand it is not a good sample for you to learn from.
Sample sat essay topics - Michigan State University