SAT Prep – Is "Alright" All Right?

On the SAT essay, is it acceptable to use the word alright?

The short answer is: No. Alright is all wrong. Use the two-word form, all right.

However, this requires a bit of explanation. Alright is now widely used, particularly in informal settings such as blogs, emails, text messages, instant messages, tweets, and even some classrooms. Many well-known writers, including James Joyce and Langston Hughes, have used it in literature. It is ubiquitous in written dialog and, sadly, in student papers.

In fact, according to Merriam-Webster Online, the single word alright has been in use since 1887.

The two-word phrase all right was used more than five hundred years ago, spelled al right by Chaucer around the year 1385. The word fell out of favor, then returned to common usage later, when Percy Bysshe Shelley employed it in Scenes from Goethe’s Faust.

In any case, all right is the much older form. It remains the standard for use in formal writing today. Alright should be used, if at all, only in informal writing.

Whenever you write, it is important to keep your audience in mind. When you compose your SAT essay, you are writing for a group of scorers who are, for the most part, English teachers and grammarians. I myself look askance at alright in formal – and even informal – writing. Your SAT scorer is likely to do the same. Students who don’t understand the difference between formal and informal writing risk losing crucial points once that number two pencil hits the paper.

Why take chances? Stick to formal writing on the SAT. All right?

For more information on studying for the SAT, read How to Succeed with SAT Test Preparation

GAMSAT Prep – Writing Effective Essays for the Exam

For those who are interested in joining one of the medical schools in the area, you need to start GAMSAT prep because this is an exam that determines if you will be able to study to become a doctor or not. This exam has three major sections and one of the areas that most students have a problem with is writing essays. This is part of the Written Communication section of the exam. The section includes two essays and each one of them is supposed to be written within half an hour.

The one hour that is provided for this section can seem to be very limited for some people but it is possible to write two great essays within this period. During GAMSAT prep, you need to practice how to come up with coherent essays in an hour. A lot of practice is required in order to come up with an essay that stands out. To get an essay that stands out, you need to start working on the structure. This means that your ideas need to be broken down. The structure should include an introduction, body and then conclusion. Once you have outlined your structure, it is easy for you to know where each idea will be placed.

In most cases, students are given quotes from which they can base their judgment on. This means that you should read the quotes carefully to determine what you will base your arguments on. The essay can discuss the differences of the quotes that are offered. This can help you to build your arguments and you can also include some of the personal experiences that you have had in the essay. This will show that you are able to relate the quotes that you are given with the things that have happened in your life. Current affairs that are related to the issue that you are discussing in the essay can also be incorporated.

During GAMSAT prep, you need to know how to come up with strong arguments when you are writing your essay. Weak arguments will not earn you the kind of marks that are required when you want to join a reputable medical school. The details of your essays will be ignored during the evaluation process if you are not able to make a strong argument. In academic essays, argumentative points are usually discouraged but when it comes to this type of exam, you need to support your views with a very strong argument.

Make sure you have a well laid out plan before you begin to write the essay. This will make it more coherent. At the beginning of the essay, you should have a statement of purpose that is very clear. The introduction is very important because this is what determines if someone will continue to read it or not. Statistics and facts always work better at the beginning of an essay. You can also have a rhetoric question that will make people think. It is also effective to include some news about an event that has taken place recently when you are writing your essay introduction.