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Longer Essay = Higher SAT Score?

Is there a secret to scoring higher on the SAT? According to 14-year-old Milo Beckman, there is: just write longer essays, regardless of content.

A new study contends that if you write a longer SAT essay, you will get a higher SAT score, regardless of the content of your essay.

But that's not the most surprising thing about the study. No, the most unusual thing is that this study was conducted by a 14-year-old high school student who is in the process of taking the test himself.

Milo Beckman, 14, has taken the SAT twice. The second time, he improved his score on the essay. Most students would be thrilled, but Milo was annoyed because he thought his second essay was inferior. [...]

Milo said his second essay did have one thing going for it: it was longer.

"My hypothesis is that longer essays on the SAT essay component score higher," he said.

So he asked his fellow students at New York City's Stuyvesant High School to count how many lines they had written on their essays and to provide their scores. [...]

Milo says out of 115 samples, longer essays almost always garnered higher scores.

Elizabeth Leamy of ABC's Good Morning America has the story: Link


I remember this well from secondary school in the 70s. I often contended that longer essays gained higher scores regardless of merit and once argued the point with my teacher, comparing my terse C-grade essay with a verbose A-grade. I matched every point made in the "superior" work, but didn't waffle.

My teacher wasn't impressed.

Nor was I.
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I would believe this. I never took the sat's, but I did have a similar thing happen when I took what was called the high school proficiency test. Aced every part (was always a good tester) except for the essay. I thought I had written a clear, conscise, to the point essay, and was amazed I would have to take it again. Wrote another essay, which I really tried hard on, and was told I would have to redo that part of the test again! The third time I just dragged it out into the longest piece of crap I could write. I ended up getting 95% on the worst essay I've ever written!
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Well the opposite happend to me when i retook my geography A2 exam. My frist paper was over 9 sides long and that was the largest amount i had ever written for an exam. Result came back, E. Retook only wrote 5-6 sides and ended up with a B.
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It would be pretty amazing to have all the SAT graders ALL be ready to give points just because as essay was long. Anyone who has ever spent time grading knows that you can tell pretty quickly into an essay if the student is on the ball or not.
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He's making an assumption that the second essay was better based on one factor: length. Maybe the second essay was indeed better, just not in his opinion. He's starting from a non-objective viewpoint.
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He has taken the test twice already and he is only 14??? That's absurd. Im 17 and I only taken the test once, during my junior year... People start prepping way too early, i feel embarrassed for him.
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