Common SAT Essay Mistakes – Spacing

It seems like every student has heard of the advice to fill up the full two pages on the SAT essay. Yes, filling up two pages is the way to a higher score, but not if it’s done by writing with big letters and big spaces.

I was recently asked by a reader of the blog why his essay (pictured below) received an 8. I could tell what the problem was even from a bird’s eye view (The prompt: Is listening more important than speaking when you are trying to persuade others?).



The word count in this essay is 356. The word count in what The College Board considers a 12 essay is 406.

A difference of 50 words is an entire paragraph.

Putting huge spaces between words doesn’t impress the graders; it comes off as exactly what it is—an attempt to fill up space. To get a 12, add more detail, not blank space. Write fast, but small.

3 thoughts on “Common SAT Essay Mistakes – Spacing

  1. Hello College Panda, I would like to ask one major question. What do you think is the best and the most pratical way of gaining 12 on SAT essay? Since I urge to get 800 on my writing. Please reply, thanks~!

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