Very simply, this book is for two kinds of people: 1. People for whom English are not their first language or 2. People who don’t read OR write formal documents in their workplace.

The trick to the essay questions is pretty straightforward. Rather than reading essays that “worked”, a person is better off reading the op/ed page in the New York Times and/or practicing what I would call the 5-paragraph rule. I used this (made-up) rule to get a 6 on the essay section with no preparation; (the essay is scored 1-6, 6 being the highest). Basically, the exam states a very simple statement, either ridiculously agreeable or ridiculously disagreeable. All you have to do is say why you agree/disagree with the statement. So what you can do is break it up as follows: paragraph 1 – State your opinions very clearly, e.g.

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I agree with this statement because of reason 1, reason 2 and reason 3. Paragraph 2 – Support reason 1, reason 1 makes sense because blah blah blah. Paragraph 3, same as the second paragraph. Paragraph 4 – optional, you don’t need 3 reasons. I had 3 for one essay on 2 for the other.

Paragraph 5 – wrap it up by re-iterating your reasons for agreeing/disagreeing with the statement, e.g. In conclusion, I agree with this statement because of reason 1, reason 2 etc. Voila! Practice this method with a couple of incredibly simple statements. It’s more of how you structure the essays than the content. Remember that one of the two graders is a computer. Here is a practice statement:

1. Women were given the right to vote in the latter half of the 20th century. The presidents from this time period have caused more mass destruction than from the first half of the century. Thus, women should not have the right to vote. (Yes, some of the statements are this stupid.)

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