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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)

Writing Section – Mixed Messages

Karl Schellscheidt

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comI read an article from The Buffalo News this morning about the mixed messages that high school students are receiving about the SAT writing section:

Writing is important (my English teacher says so, and it is, after all, now part of the SAT), BUT

many colleges are not considering the SAT essay in the admissions process.

The very end of the article suggests that, despite the mixed messages, preparing for the SAT can be a positive experience, generally, and that preparing for the writing section, specifically, can help students improve their writing. I agree 100%. In fact, my own writing skills have improved since I began tutoring students for the “new” writing section a few years ago. (I admit my writing is not perfect, but it probably never will be!)

On a somewhat related point, I find it interesting that within the American school system, writing instructors stress clarity and brevity, yet most of what students are forced to read in their English classes is convoluted and difficult to understand. Talk about mixed messages.

The SAT Essay: What Not To Do . . . Unless You “Want” a Zero

Essay  SAT  Videos  Writing
Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep video

To avoid a dreaded zero, be sure to avoid three specific mistakes when writing your SATessay. In this video, I discuss the three ways to secure a zero.

Oh yeah, in this video I also discuss the characteristics of essays that received the “perfect” score of six. (more…)

SAT Essay Rubric – Grammar and Word Usage

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoThis entry is the fifth and final video post dedicated to explaining the categories of the SAT essay grading rubric – or scoring guide. In this entry Karl discusses Grammar and Word Usage.

(more…)

SAT Essay Rubric – Use of Language

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoThis entry is the third of 5 video posts dedicated to explaining the 5 different categories of the SAT essay grading rubric – or scoring guide. In this entry you’ll find out how essay graders view your choice of vocabulary words.

(more…)

SAT Essay Rubric – Organization

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoThis entry is the second of 5 video posts dedicated to explaining the 5 different categories of the SAT essay grading rubric – or scoring guide. Find out the second secret factor the essay grading groups use.

(more…)

SAT Essay Rubric – Development of Position

Essay  SAT  Videos  Writing
Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoThis entry is the first of 5 video posts dedicated to explaining the 5 different categories of the SAT essay grading rubric – or scoring guide. Find out how “they” determine your final essay score!

(more…)

Avoiding Scholarship Scams

Michelle Hartwell

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comCollege is just around the corner for many kids and most will have questions about how to fund this endeavor. Savings, student loans, grants and scholarships are all part of covering college fees, but scholarships can provide great benefits because unlike loans, scholarship payouts do not have to be repaid. Free money essentially — provided you (more…)

What Makes a Good Writer?

PK

eprep test prep videoWhat makes a good writer?

It’s a question that appears to have some magical, formulaic answer. For better or for worse, it doesn’t. A Princeton graduate and accomplished writer, John McPhee (’53), gave the best answer to this question: “Perseverance.” Of writing, McPhee said, “You have to stay with it.” Great writing doesn’t simply happen; it takes time, struggle, and a willingness to accept that sometimes you won’t know where you’re headed.

When will I know when I’ve gotten there (to where my writing is “good”)?

As in any other pursuit (more…)

Expert Advice on the Essay from Harvard, Brown and Virginia

Karl Schellscheidt

college admissions expert advice from eprep.com The College Essay

I just came across this WSJ.com article on the college essay. Thought it might be of interest to ePrep visitors. The WSJ writes:

College essays give students a chance to set themselves apart from thousands of other applicants. But where should students start when every word counts? The Wall Street Journal Online emailed admissions directors at three universities and asked for their take on college essays, including what role they play and how admissions committees go about reading all those essays. Brown University’s James Miller, Harvard College’s Marlyn McGrath Lewis and the University of Virginia’s John Blackburn gave us their answers.

How to Score the SAT Essay: The SAT Essay Rubric

Essay  SAT  Writing
Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoThe SAT Writing includes a mandatory hand-written essay.  Today, I’d like to give you the actual essay “rubric” that’s used to score the SAT essay. (See below.)  Remember, your essay will be scored by two qualified essay graders. Based on the rubric below, each grader will score your essay on a 1-6 scale. (more…)

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