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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 May 2015.

Prompt 1

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

Many people believe that loyalty—whether to an individual, an organization, or a nation—means unconditional and unquestioning support no matter what. To these people, the withdrawal of support is by definition a betrayal of loyalty. But doesn’t true loyalty sometimes require us to be critical of those we are loyal to? If we see that they are doing something that we believe is wrong, doesn’t true loyalty require us to speak up, even if we must be critical?

Assignment: Does true loyalty require unconditional support? 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.

From a young age, we are taught that we should pursue our own interests and goals in order to be happy. But society today places far too much value on individual success and achievement. In order to be truly happy, we must help others as well as ourselves. In fact, we can never be truly happy, no matter what we may achieve, unless our achievements benefit other people.

Assignment: Must our achievements benefit others in order to make us truly happy? 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.

In today's complex society there are many activities and interests competing for our time and attention. We tend to think that the more choices we have in life, the happier we will be. But having too many options—choices about how to spend our time or what interests to pursue—can be overwhelming and can make us feel like we have less freedom and less time.

Adapted from Jeff Davidson, "Six Myths of Time Management"

Assignment: Is having too many choices a problem? 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.

From the time we are very young, we are cautioned to think before we speak. That is good advice if it helps us word our thoughts more clearly. But reflecting on what we are going to say before we say it is not a good idea if doing so causes us to censor our true feelings because others might not like what we say. In fact, if we always worried about others' reactions before speaking, it is possible none of us would ever say what we truly mean.

Assignment: Should we always think before we speak? 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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