The essay is the first section of every SAT. Therefore it is essential to write a great essay. The essay is worth a maximum of 240 points towards the total writing score of 800. Knowing that you have written a great essay will provide you with the positive momentum necessary to attack the rest of the test. The good news is that the essay topics assigned will be broad enough to allow you to be creative and to adapt your thesis to anything you feel like writing about.
The best way to prepare for the essay is to review your life experiences. Buy a stack of 3"x5" index cards. Use an index card for any event that had a profound impact on you. Make sure you jot down at least 3 bullet points per index card. For example, let’s say you went on a European family vacation, or had an interesting summer job. Maybe a certain individual taught you an unforgettable skill or lesson. Perhaps you read a book that you enjoyed or witnessed an unusual event, or read something in the newspaper that affected you. All of these index cards serve as "banks" of potential information for your SAT essay. When test day arrives, you will be ready with sufficient substance to include in your essay.
Use the first two minutes to map out a crude outline. This will help you organize and keep your train of thought. Use the last two to three minutes to check over your writing. Check for run-on sentences, double sentences, or other obvious mistakes that could be easily corrected.
Write neatly! If you have poor penmanship, try printing. If you essay is illegible and the reader cannot read your handwriting you will get a score of zero.