Why knowing current events is important for the SAT exam

May 4th WilsonDailyPrep Newsletter


Tip of the Week

Know Your Current Events!

Today I completed my yearly ritual of readingTime magazine’s 100 Most Influential Peoplecover-to-cover, taking notes as I read. Why did I do this? Because this is the week of the SAT and bringing in current events is the key to getting a strong SAT essay score.

History, literature, sports and personal examples all provide powerful evidence to support your thesis. However, current events are an added bonus! Not only are current events easy to fit into most essays, but they will knock the socks off the grader. Writing about current political, economic or environmental issues – the so-called “grown-up problems” – immediately catches the reader’s attention. The current event details are easy to prepare for, easy to remember, and – because most students do not bring current events into their essay – give you an easy way to make your essay completely original. By following the two simple steps below, you will be able to effectively incorporate “the now” into your essay:

Step 1 – Two weeks before the exam, pick up a copy of NewsweekTime magazine or the newspaper! This week Time magazine features the100 Most Influential People. (Look for my WilsonDailyPrep email to students this week. I highlight this article and key leaders to know.)

Step 2 – Peruse the magazines, looking for feature stories that relate to the fifteen core topics.   Are heroes being discussed? Global-warming issues? War feature stories? Recent deaths of famous people? Sports stars in trouble? Find three to four good stories (ones that relate to a handful of the fifteen core topics.) Know the details of these stories – the names, the facts, the magazine you got the article from, and the month it was published. Own your moments!

For more about adding current events into your essay, check out Write the SAT Essay Right.


Read Time magazine with your child and discuss the 5 leaders that inspire you and see who inspires your child. Discuss what qualities these leaders possess that make them admirable. Have your child learn 3 specific, relevant facts about each leader.

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