The New York Times recently reported on a study of robo graders that are being used to grade writing samples, including the SAT writing section. The results of the study indicate that robo graders, i.e. computer programs that grade written essays, do a great job. The automated reader used for the SAT grades 16,000 essays in 20 seconds. 20 seconds.
So, what’s the problem? The problem is that the computer programs use very specific standards for what is good writing. If you know the standard, you can do better on the writing section. Want to know how to do better on the SAT writing section? Of course you do.
Use big words because the program thinks you are smarter if you do so. Write as much as possible because longer essays general do better than shorter essays. Don’t use short sentences or short paragraphs. Don’t start a sentence with “and” or “or”. But, use “however” and “moreover” because those words show you understand complex thinking (well, at least the computer thinks you do).
I know, you’re worried about writing an essay that is not only long but answers the question. Don’t worry, the computer program reading your essay doesn’t care if any of the facts you cite are correct. Did Abraham Lincoln cause the Vietnam war by invading Poland. Sure, why not.
Go out there and practice using big words while writing long essays and you’ll do fine on the SAT writing section. Just forget all of that when you start writing your college application essays. Because real people read those.