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SAT Essay Prompts




 
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We have a collection of the new SAT Essay Prompts from March 2005 till the most recent test released by College Board.

January 2009

If you took the January 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.

Planning lets people impose order on the chaotic processes of making or doing something new. Too much planning, however, can lead people to follow the same predetermined course of action, to do things the same way they were done before. Creative thinking is about breaking free from the way that things have always been. That is why it is vital for people to know the difference between good planning and too much planning.

Adapted from Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

Assignment:

Does planning interfere with creativity? 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.

Most people underestimate their own abilities. They tend to remember their failures more vividly than their successes, and for this reason they have unrealistically low expectations about what they are capable of. Those individuals who distinguish themselves through great accomplishments are usually no more talented than the average person: they simply set higher standards for themselves, since they have higher expectations about what they can do.

Assignment:

Do highly accomplished people achieve more than others mainly because they expect more of themselves? 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 are taught that they should not go back on their decisions. In fact, our society supports the notion that to change your mind is evidence of weakness and unreliability, leading many people to say, "Once I decide, I decide!" But why do people make such a statement? If factors, feelings, and ideas change, isn't the ability to make a new decision evidence of flexibility, adaptability, and strength?

Adapted from Theodore I. Rubin, Compassion and Self-Hate

Assignment:

Should people change their decisions when circumstances change, or is it best for them to stick with their original 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.



 

Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget, a free math problem solver that answers your questions with step-by-step explanations.


You can use the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.


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