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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 2014.

Prompt 1

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

What determines success in life is not intelligence or talent, but character: those qualities gained both from living in an honorable and straightforward manner and from learning to deal with disappointment and hardship. Without character, an individual has no hope of true success. Even when competing against opponents of considerable intelligence or strength, those individuals who possess strong character will ultimately win.

Assignment: Does a person’s character determine that person’s success in life? 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.

Some people like to live by the old expression, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” This expression reflects the widely shared belief that one should always try to be polite and to have consideration for another person’s feelings. While such an approach may make it easier to get along with people, no real relationship can truly thrive unless it is built on a solid foundation of truth.

Assignment: Is it more important to avoid hurting people’s feelings or to tell the truth? 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.

Identifying with a group makes people feel secure with and trust one another because of what they have in common. They might share the same interests, language, beliefs, ethnicity, or cultural background. However, by limiting their identities to a specific group, people may miss important opportunities to connect with and understand others.

Assignment:Is a strong group identity a good thing or a bad thing? 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.

People who move from place to place often say that they feel happier and more fulfilled than they would if they lived out their lives in one place. Other people say that spending a lifetime in the same community is actually a more rewarding option, because doing so enables them to maintain a strong network of family and friends–something that people who move around a lot may find difficult to develop.

Assignment: Are people who stay in the same community happier than those who move from one place to another? 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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