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Using Khan Academy’s SAT Essay Practice

Here's a quick guide to how to improve your essay-writing on Official SAT Practice.

SAT Essay Practice on Khan Academy

Our essay practice system gives you feedback to improve your writing and helps your build your writing skills.

The Prewriting Area

Use the "Prewriting" area provided to outline and organize your ideas. This step is optional, but many students find it extremely valuable.
This is a good place to figure out what each of your body paragraphs is going to do.
Here's one way to do it:
  • Start by drafting a Thesis Statement or “Claim.”
  • Then, add in ideas and examples from the text that support your thesis.
Here's another way to do it:
  • Create categories that correspond to the reasoning, evidence, or stylistic or persuasive elements you are considering including in your body paragraphs.
  • Copy excerpts from the passage and paste them into the appropriate category.
Would you like some more help? Check out our other SAT Essay Strategies!
When you’re ready to start writing your first draft, you can choose to copy your notes into the “Writing” area or to begin your first draft with a clean slate.

The Writing Area

Next, in the “Writing” area, draft the full first version of your essay.

Signal check

When you’re ready for the system to give you feedback, do a “Signal Check.”
  • First, we save a copy of your current draft to the bottom of the page.
  • Next, the system analyzes your writing and gives you specific recommendations for how to improve your writing in the three areas scored on the SAT essay: Reading, Analysis, and Writing.
You can check out the rubric, or scoring framework, that's used for evaluating your essay.
The feedback you'll receive evaluates what you've written as a complete essay, so it’s best if you’ve fully completed your first draft before clicking the “Signal Check” button.
If you haven’t written enough yet, we’ll let you know that we need you to add more details before we can give you helpful feedback.
“Signal strengths” give you a sense for how well your essay is measuring against the different criteria. These signal strengths do not indicate specific scores you would receive on the actual essay, but they are aligned with the actual test.

Revise your new draft

Based on the recommendations from our system, you should revise your draft. Once you’ve made your revisions, do another signal check to see our recommendations for your new draft.
Keep rewriting and running new signal checks to improve your essay and your writing skills!

Turn it in

Once you have your completed essay, choose “Turn it in” to mark it as complete. You’re now ready to practice your skills on the next essay or study for a different part of the SAT!
After you turn in an essay, you can come back to it later and continue to revise it.
Good Luck!
Note: to practice writing essays under timed test conditions, you should try the timed essays at the end of the first two practice tests. Our system automatically scores them for you!

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