The SAT Essay is designed to measure how well a test taker understands a passage and can use it as the basis for a well-written, thought-out discussion. Test takers are allotted 50 minutes to read a passage, explain how its author builds a persuasive argument to persuade, and support that analysis with evidence from the passage and understanding of literary conventions.
The timed nature of this section also rewards both reading and writing speed along with critical test taking skills like focus, endurance, and answer awareness.
SAT essays are scored on three dimensions: Reading, Analysis, and Writing. Two independent scorers each award between 1 and 4 points in each category. SAT Essay scores are reported separately from the 400-1600 SAT Composite and have no influence on the multiple-choice scores.