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SAT Essay Prompts

Essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in June 2015.

Prompt 1

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

At the core of any good dialogue is not the ability to talk louder than another person but rather the ability to listen calmly to diverse perspectives. You can always learn more by listening to other points of view, especially those you disagree with. Spend as much time as possible listening to what other people have to say, even when you are sure of your position. Understanding and appreciating others' positions is the first step in persuading people to accept yours.

 

Adapted from Libuse Binder, Ten Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties

Assignment: Is listening more important than speaking when you are trying to persuade others? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Prompt 2

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

As much as loyalty is the foundation of our relationships with friends and those we love, our loyalties are always getting hopelessly tangled and compromised. Even if we want to commit ourselves to being true, we can never escape the conflicting demands that our contradictory loyalties create. The loyalties we have to various people can come into conflict; the loyalties we have to family may clash with the loyalties we bear our friends; our personal loyalties may be at odds with our patriotic duties.

 

Adapted from Eric Felten, Loyalty: The Vexing Virtue

Assignment: Is it possible to maintain conflicting loyalties? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Prompt 3

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

People value education that is practical, work that is profitable, and products that are supposed to be useful. Often, they abandon ideas and projects that they consider to be unrealistic or to have no immediate use. However, although it is true that being practical may lead to material rewards, being impractical may enrich people in other ways. Furthermore, today's practical products and activities may soon become outdated, while what now seems impractical may one day prove to be highly valuable.

Assignment: Do people place too much value on ideas or activities that are practical? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Prompt 4

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

According to an old saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder. In other words, the less you see of someone, the more you value them. But with so many different ways to communicate and interact in the modern world, people are rarely out of contact with one another these days. As a result, people simply do not spend enough time alone to truly appreciate the presence of others.

Assignment: Do people need to spend less time with others in order to appreciate them? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

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