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May 2013 Sat Essay

May 2009 – SAT Essay Prompt

If you took the May 2009 SAT Reasoning Test, you would have been given one of the essay prompts below:

Prompt 1
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below. There are good reasons to pay attention to people who are older or more experienced than we are, even if their opinions on important issues are very different from ours. Of course, not every person older than us is worth learning from, while many young people are. But if the only people we listen to are our age and are likely to see things the same way we do, we will miss out on something important.

Assignment:
Should we pay more attention to people who are older and more experienced than we are? 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. Good decision making generally requires people to think carefully and logically and to pay attention to practical details. However, people who depend on their feelings and emotions to make important decisions are not likely to spend hours gathering information, making lists, considering all possible outcomes, and so forth. When comparing the advantages or disadvantages of one course of action to another, these people ask themselves, “What do my feelings tell me?”

Assignment:
Should people let their feelings guide them when they make important decisions? 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. Thanks to great advancements in technology, we live today in a world in which knowledge is more readily available to greater numbers of people than ever before in history. Having more and better technology, however, has not made people wiser or more understanding. Indeed, people are so overloaded with information today that they have become less, rather than more, able to make sense of the world around them than our ancestors ever were.

Assignment:
Has today’s abundance of information only made it more difficult for us to understand the world around us? 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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March 9, 2013 – SAT Essay Prompts

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in March 9, 2013.

Prompt 1

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

People often focus on “the details,” those seemingly minor features and elements that often have major effects or consequences. Whether they are making ordinary, everyday decisions, analyzing historical events, or enjoying the plot of a novel, many people consider the details to be all-important. Others, however, argue that paying attention to details distracts people from the big picture—perceiving an idea, goal, or plan in its entirety.

Assignment: Is it a disadvantage to pay attention to details? 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.

Whatever their goals—to be the best at something, to solve a difficult problem, to have a rewarding career—most people anticipate that reaching those goals will bring them contentment. When people are working toward a goal, they imagine that achieving it will bring an end to their struggles and put them at ease. But the opposite is more likely to occur. Rather than bringing contentment, achievement often brings dissatisfaction.

Assignment: Are people likely to be dissatisfied rather than content once they have achieved their goals? 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.

Even on unimportant matters, many people so fear conflict with those in positions of leadership or authority that they willingly suppress or deny their own thoughts and ideas. We cannot criticize people who feel this way. After all, in most cases, those in leadership positions are entitled to some respect in their decision-making role. More likely, however, people remain silent—they do not oppose people in authority—simply because they do not want to be considered “troublemakers.”

Adapted from Derrick Bell, Ethical Ambition

Assignment: Are people too willing to agree with those in charge? 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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