For the purpose of going deeper into just what the SAT is looking for in your essay, I've then broken down each category further (with examples).
The information in all three charts is taken from the College Board site.
The response demonstrates some comprehension of the source text.
The response shows an understanding of the text’s central idea(s) but not of important details.
We're about to dive deep into the details of that least beloved* of SAT sections, the SAT essay.
Prepare for a discussion of the SAT essay rubric and how the SAT essay is graded based on that.If you’re writing about things the author didn’t say, or things that contradict other things the author said, your argument will be fundamentally flawed.For instance, take this quotation from a (made-up) passage about why a hot dog is not a sandwich: “The fact that you can’t, or wouldn’t, cut a hot dog in half and eat it that way, proves that a hot dog is once and for all NOT a sandwich” Here's an example of a factually inaccurate paraphrasing of this quotation: The author builds his argument by discussing how, since hot-dogs are often served cut in half, this makes them different from sandwiches.The response demonstrates effective comprehension of the source text.The response shows an understanding of the text’s central idea(s) and important details.The response may contain errors of fact and/or interpretation with regard to the text.The response makes limited and/or haphazard use of textual evidence (quotations, paraphrases, or both), demonstrating some understanding of the source text.Here's an example of a statement about our fictional "hot dogs are sandwiches" passage that shows understanding of the central idea of the passage: Hodgman’s third primary defense of why hot dogs are not sandwiches is that a hot dog is not a subset of any other type of food.He uses the analogy of asking the question “is cereal milk a broth, sauce, or gravy?I'll break down what each item on the rubric means and what you need to do to meet those requirements.On the SAT, the last section you'll encounter is the (optional) essay.