This book breaks the mold of SAT prep books. Rather than offering dry, formulaic exercises, Ace the SAT Essay invites readers to get to know Jamie…By tracking her work with an English teacher as she prepares for the SAT, readers will see how to use their own unique stories in their writing. They will also learn how to compose–in their own voices and under test pressure—short, clear, meaningful essays. Dr. Lebo offers lessons in writing that will serve students throughout their lives.
-— Carol Henderson, author of Losing Malcolm: A Mother’s Journey Through Grief. www.carolhenderson.com
Dr. Lebo’s book transcends the narrow focus of its title, timed essay writing, and addresses the elements of effective writing in general. Good thing it does, too, as the college undergraduate admissions process pays much more attention to the essays in the application than to the as yet unproven validity of SAT writing scores.
-— Gene Gross (college admissions reader of over 15,000 essays)
How can you “ace” the SAT essay? To achieve a high grade, the College Board, made up of those who develop, administer, and score the exam, says you must “organize” and “develop” your ideas using “clear, appropriate examples” to support them. You must “display consistent facility in the use of language,” and “demonstrate variety in your sentence structure and range of vocabulary.” And to claim a “6,” the highest score of all, you must “effectively and insightfully address the writing task.”
As a successful psychologist and writing teacher, Dana Lebo observed that students who write effective essays achieve insight during the writing process. And it is this moment of insight—-a special form of seeing-—that enables them to write “in the zone.”
This book will empower you to produce an above-average essay. Unlike other texts on writing or SAT preparation, this book will show you how an understanding of psychology can enhance how you write and what you say. Through the story of Jamie, a high school student who must take the writing test again after her poor performance on it the first time around, you will explore ideas and strategies to manage anxiety and create an “effective and insightful” essay.
Whatever your present level of proficiency at writing may be, the overall aim of this book is to raise it. If you read with an open heart and mind, adapt the suggested strategies to your personal learning styles and interests, and tackle for a few minutes each day the recommended exercises at the end of each chapter—you should experience marked improvements in what and how you write.
In fact, you might gain so much confidence that you look forward to the discoveries your writing can reveal about yourself.
Dr. Dana Lebo founded The Write Workshop, a program currently sponsored by Bell Leadership Institute in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For over a decade, The Write Workshop has helped hundreds of high school students across the country improve their essay writing skills for college and beyond. Many of the writing skills and techniques that Dr. Lebo teaches in The Write Workshop appear in Ace the SAT Essay.
While earning a Master’s degree from Georgetown University, Dr. Lebo was awarded fellowships to study languages, anthropology, and international development in the Middle East. Her cross-cultural experience inspired her to complete her doctoral degree in psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University and specialize in helping individuals and teams in multicultural organizations improve their performance.
Today, Dr. Dana Lebo is a licensed psychologist in North Carolina, New Jersey, and New York. She works as a trainer and executive coach at Bell Leadership Institute, helping senior managers in the workplace build their leadership skills. She uses many of the best practices, tools, and techniques she has learned from fields of psychology and leadership development to help high school students improve their writing performance.
ISBN: 1-978-934442-38-8 • 2010 • 200 Pages • Softcover • $24.95