For years I sought the best SAT essay template that would always work, no matter what the prompt question was.
As a professional SAT tutor, I fantasized about a single, all-powerful essay method that could improve any student’s Writing score.
What’s more, I desperately needed this method to be quick and simple. The essay isn’t important enough to spend a lot of time prepping for, especially when there are other sections like Math and Reading that need attention.
I researched other tutors’ methods, trying to create my own technique from pieces of theirs, but the truth is that all our methods were pretty similar.
It took an epiphany in the middle of a lesson to finally realize exactly what I was looking for.
The result was the incredible strategy that YOU are now about to learn – one that’s guaranteed to increase your SAT score in a short time…
And best of all, it’s actually pretty fun, and you get to LIE to your essay grader.
Did you know that you’re allowed to lie on the SAT essay? That you’ll never, ever lose any points at all, even if the grader knows that you’re making up facts?
How could lying possibly help your SAT Essay score? Time to find out!
Why lie in your SAT essay template?
If I had to sum up a good SAT essay in one sentence, I would say something like this:
A good SAT Essay is organized, on-topic, and quickly uses specific examples as supporting evidence for a simple and straightforward stance on the prompt.
Perhaps the most important part of this definition is “uses specific examples as supporting evidence.”
Your supporting examples are the meat of your argument. Without them, there’s no reason for the grader to agree with you. Without proof, no argument can be convincing.
One problem: It’s easy to get stuck thinking up evidence
Honestly, it’s not easy to come up with evidence early in the morning when you’re stressed and tired.
I’ve seen so many students waste precious time brainstorming and not really getting anywhere. They think and think and end up paralyzed by analysis.
The other problem: It’s hard to come up with good evidence
On the other hand, I get plenty of students who don’t spend enough time finding good evidence and they turn in essays full of fluffy generalities like:
“In general, everyone would agree that creativity has contributed a great deal to our civilization.”
Ugh. Pardon me while I barf.
That’s the least-convincing, most un-supported, weakest-sounding crap, yet I hear this kind of stuff all the time in my lessons.
An effective SAT essay template must include some sort of secret recipe for always including powerful evidence… and that’s what my secret method is perfect for.
The solution: Incorporate lying into your SAT Essay template
The solution? Simply use flat-out lies to make your SAT essay more powerful and convincing – which leads directly to a higher Writing score.
I’ll explain exactly how to tell effective lies that you can use over and over again – just give me a second first to explain why you’re going to love this essay method if you stick with it.
Benefits to lying on the SAT essay:
- You’ll spend way less time brainstorming at the beginning
- Your evidence is always guaranteed to be on-topic
- The specific details of your evidence are customized to the prompt
- As a result your essay is incredibly convincing
- Your examples set your essay apart from all the others
- The lying strategy is fun and easy
- Less need for memorizing evidence before the day of the SAT
Where and how to lie in your template:
Your lies are going to for the supporting evidence and the meat of your body paragraphs.
The specific way you’re going to lie?
Your first body paragraph will discuss a fictional “Princeton University study” that deals with the prompt question you’ve been asked.
Your second body paragraph will explain an imaginary book by an invented author that tells a “before and after” story about a single character who is grappling with the same issues as the SAT essay prompt has raised.
Body Paragraph 1: Imaginary “Princeton University” research
This method deserves its own post, which I will write as soon as I can.
However, in a nutshell, you’re going to say something like the following:
In 1953, researchers at Princeton University conducted a study in which 1000 volunteers were broken down into groups of 500 each. The two groups performed [some task] under differing conditions: the first group [situation related to one side of the prompt] while the second group [situation related to the opposite side of the prompt].
The participants were then tracked for 50 years. At the end of the student, participants who [condition #1] were found to be far happier and more successful – on average, these 500 participants had higher salaries, larger, happier families, and a greater sense of personal fulfillment, as measured by self-reported studies.
Conversely, the other 500 participants who [condition #2] were found to be struggling with issues such as unemployment, drug addiction, and poverty.
Although the exact cause could not be determined with 100% certainty, the researchers theorized that [possible simple logical explanation for results]. 15 years later, a Harvard University professor conducted a similar study, with results that supported the original conclusion.
Can you see how powerful this argument is, even with the specific details removed?
The whole “prestigious university researchers getting scientific results” approach is very convincing.
I’ll come back and write more about how to use this trick in a new post.
For now let’s look at the second body paragraph of this liar’s template.
Body Paragraph 2: The Made-Up Novel
Alright – why stop lying now? Let’s just keep going.
Your second body paragraph for this essay template will be about a made-up book by a made-up author.
I usually follow the plot line of:
- Main character is being bad in some way [negative side of the prompt]
- This is directly causing negative results in his life – provide examples
- Some transforming event happens that changes his ways
- The character now acts in the [opposite side of the prompt]
- This directly causes positive results in his life – provide examples
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but I would still like to write a separate post on how to do this, which I will link to when I’ve finished it.
Why is this a great SAT essay template?
As we’ve already established, this SAT essay strategy produces guaranteed results, because it directly addresses both the common difficulties students have and the most important points that graders score you on.
It saves thinking time, while providing more specific, easy-to-use evidence than sitting and thinking about books and examples from history class.
Furthermore, this outlined structure is very convincing on a deep level, which means you will get a high score.
It’s so convincing because you have both the left-brain and the right-brain angle; the logical and the creative side; the scientific research combined with the keen author’s observations of human nature.
I like to lead with the scientific study to show “Hey, these logical thinkers have done research with real numbers and real science, and they agree with what I’m saying.”
Then I follow up with “Not only that, but this great author, who is known for his penetrating intuition into human nature, has been saying the same exact thing for years in his popular books.”
The grader is helplessly trapped in our amazingly-convincing web of made-up “facts” and has no choice but to give our essay a 10, 11, or even a perfect 12.
Not convinced that you’ll get away with lying?
Are you still worried that this plan will backfire and you’ll lose points for telling lies?
If that’s you, go back and reread this article about why it’s ok to lie on the SAT essay.
I promise – you are absolutely fine to lie on the SAT essay without penalty.
Practice is what really makes this template work:
Here’s the other remedy for uncertainty and concern about actually applying this essay strategy on the day of the test: PRACTICE.
If you’re expecting to just read this article and suddenly get a 12, you’re totally mistaken.
Although it only takes a couple of practice attempts to get this method right, it still requires a few early attempts before it will feel natural.
You need to try it on your own a couple times to really see the pattern that you’ll use no matter what prompt you’re writing about.
How do you practice this essay template?
Simple – do it in a few steps. You can master this method in under two hours if you’re willing to put in the work.
First, pick a few prompts and brainstorm convincing, relevant studies and made-up novels that will support the prompt. Don’t worry about using a timer.
Second, practice writing out complete body paragraphs that get into specific details about the study and the book. Make sure to write it down – don’t just think about it. It’s not the same, once you actually start writing.
After repeating this process just a few times, you’ll really get the hang of it.
Just ask me if you have any questions!
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