Should you take the SAT with the essay to get into top universities?
A list of reasons for "Yes"
Show off your writing skills!
There is always a shortage of candidates with strong writing skills in the university applicant pool. Taking the SAT with the essay gives you a chance to show off your organizational writing skills. If you can organize an essay well, you'll get a great score — and if you get a great score, it helps to make your college application stand out.
Tell colleges about your personality: are you someone who likes taking the extra step?
Taking the SAT with the essay also tells universities reveals a little about your character. If you're someone who took the essay section, it means you're probably someone who likes to reach above and beyond. You're probably someone who wants to stand out, and cares about getting into a better college and pushing yourself to higher limits. Most importantly, you're someone who's willing to put in the time preparing for a non-required section of an exam — and if you're willing to do that, you're also probably willing to work harder in life and do more than just the "requirements" of any task, which will benefit you in university.
Having more on your resume almost never hurts
Having extra goodies in your application almost never hurts! The more you add to your application, the more interesting you are as a person, and the more you care about pursuing a rigorous education. College applications are a place to brag unapologetically, and you should take advantage of that as much as you can!
Recommended = do it
Most top universities, at the very minimum, will "recommend" or "strongly recommend" the essay portion of the SAT (some might even require it). The word "recommend" should never be read as "optional" if you're trying to achieve your personal best. If you want the absolute best for yourself, you should always read the word "recommend" as "definitely do."
A List of Reasons for "No"
If you think it will hurt your application more than help it...
If you think that doing the essay section of the SAT will hurt your application, only then should you consider skipping it. There could be many reasons for this: your writing skills are absolutely terrible; you don't know what to write for the prompt; or you don't think you'll be able to write enough to fill out a strong essay within the given time limit. Hopefully, this blog post will help you decide whether or not the SAT essay is for you, and if it will strengthen your college application at the end of the day!