Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
    (1964-1969)
  • Stanford University
    (1969-1984)
  • Princeton University
    (1988-2003)

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    (1966-1977)
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    (1977-1987)
    International Office Director
    (1987-2002)

The SAT Essay Gets A Big Yawn

Essay  News  SAT  Writing
Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoA recent New York Times article discusses the tendency of many colleges to ignore SAT essay scores when reviewing applications. Some colleges are even ignoring results of the Writing section completely. (Note: While it is scored separately on a 0-12 scale, the essay accounts for 30% of the Writing section’s 800 points.)

“We didn’t look at even one of the essays” or consider their scores, says Lee Stetson , dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, echoing the sentiments of colleagues at Harvard, Brown and Dartmouth.

The article bears out what I have seen on a small scale and somewhat anecdotal basis — colleges are not sure what to make of the new SAT Writing section and its 25-minute essay.