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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 October 2014.

Prompt 1

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

Some politicians and educators advocate teaching values and character in schools. They claim that children need guidance to develop honesty, kindness, and trustworthiness and that schools should consider it their responsibility to foster these qualities just as they aim to foster academic skills. But good character simply cannot be taught in classrooms and through textbooks. Attempts to make values part of the curriculum will only take time and resources away from important academic subjects.

Assignment: Is it wrong to try to teach values and character in the classroom? 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.

Every country ought to have a program in which all young people are required to commit a year or more of their lives to doing community service at the international, national, or local level. The benefits of this compulsory service - not just for society but for the young people themselves - would far outweigh the personal cost of having to postpone individual goals for a year or more.

Assignment: Should young people be required to commit a year or more of their lives to doing community service? 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.

We tend to think of envy - jealousy of others, whether for their good fortune, happiness, or success - as a bad thing. We are told from childhood that we should not be envious of others, that we should instead be happy for others' good fortune and grateful for what we have. But envy has an undeservedly bad reputation. In fact, envy may help motivate people to improve themselves or accomplish their goals.

Assignment: Is envy necessarily 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

Not yet available.

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