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Time to Appreciate Timed Essays

By Katherine Han

One of the greatest pains of a high school student is the infamous in-class, timed essay. The announcement of an upcoming timed-essay isn’t exactly greeted with shouts of joy and excitement. Rather, it is greeted with groans and anxiety. However, teachers don’t schedule timed essays to torture us. They are trying to teach us important skills that are necessary for our future. Namely, for the SAT. Although timed essays can be tiring and stressful, the skills that students gather from these essays can be very helpful. Writing an essay for the SAT is optional, but many top colleges in America require the essay to be written. One reason is so that they can assess your writing ability. Another reason is so that they can have a sample of your writing to compare to your college application. This is to make sure you didn’t plagiarize on the writing portion of your application. So, in many ways, writing an essay for the SAT is essential. Writing timed essays in school can be very stressful for many students due to the existence of the time limit, and the fact that it will affect their grades. However, this is what makes writing timed essays in school so important. The weight of the essay on the SAT is much heavier than the weight of a timed essay you write for school. If you feel extremely pressured while writing an essay for school, you will feel even more pressure when you are in that SAT testing room. It is important that you practice writing essays under a time limit. Even if you fail a couple of times, you will slowly start to get better as you practice more and more.

I recently took a practice SAT, and I got extremely nervous when I got to the essay portion. After I read the prompt and the passage I was writing about, I suddenly felt less nervous. I had to write a rhetorical analysis essay, something I had written many times before in school. I felt really grateful that my school made me write so many timed essays, because the moment my pencil hit the paper, I started to write and didn’t stop until the timer went off. It was such an exhilarating feeling. Knowing that I knew what I was doing, and that I was doing well. So, the next time your teacher announces a timed essay, try to remember that he or she is trying to help you. Additionally, remember that this practice will only make you a stronger writer and test-taker.

About Katherine Han

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