This might be the biggest whopper of them all! A College Board essay grader has between one and two minutes to look at your essay—and they are paid by the essay—and that means your essay is no more valuable or interesting than the next, no matter how many picturesque images you paint.
A College Board essay grader uses a rubric to grade the essay, a neat little chart that helps the reader try to be as objective as possible.
Note: objective. Your story may rival paragraphs of The Grapes of Wrath, but the grader simply doesn’t have time to judge you on the merit of your writing, and they aren’t allowed to do so. Plus, you only have 25 minutes to pull together two pages that respond to a vague question that philosophy students could write 90 pages on.
In return, you should make your reader’s task as easy as possible, filling in as many points on the rubric as possible. Make sure your essay has a strong thesis, follows the Introduction/Body/Conclusion format (IBC), and has examples with a few good details.
Don’t like this sterile approach? Well, it’s not just the College Board that judges essays this way—so do the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Until they find a better way to grade your essays, this is the way it has to be, so get used to it. Plus, wouldn’t you rather have a fair grade than one that could be good or bad based on whether your reader “likes” your essay or not?
Revolution Prep is the national leader in on-campus and online SAT, ACT, and AP prep. Its test prep programs are recommended by more educators across the country than any other provider, and 95 percent of students recommend their friends take these programs. Revolution is also the only major company with a dedicated scholarship program, giving away more than $2 million worth of scholarships in 2012. Check them out online or give them a call at (877) 738-7737.