When the administrators of the SAT announced that their new test would include a 25-minute essay portion, writing teachers around the country were optimistic. We hoped it would be a genuine test of writing ability, and that over time it would increase the emphasis on good writing in high schools and lead to better-prepared, more-literate students being sent off to college.
Unfortunately, that no longer seems likely. Instead, the SAT essay has turned out to be a completely artificial exercise that appears to reward students for writing badly.
Write Long, Badly and Prosper