SAT Essay Questions

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

 

 

October 2007

If you took the October 2007 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.

A person does not simply "receive" his or her identity. Identity is much more than the name or features one is born with. True identity is something people must create for themselves by making choices that are significant and that require a courageous commitment in the face of challenges. Identity means having ideas and values that one lives by.

Adapted from Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action

Assignment:
Is identity something people are born with or given, or is it something people create for 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 2

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

We value uniqueness and originality, but it seems that everywhere we turn, we are surrounded by ideas and things that are copies or even copies of copies. Writers, artists, and musicians seek new ideas for paintings, books, songs, and movies, but many sadly realize, "It's been done." The same is true for scientists, scholars, and businesspeople. Everyone wants to create something new, but at best we can hope only to repeat or imitate what has already been done.

Assignment:
Can people ever be truly original? 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.

All people who have achieved greatness in something knew what they excelled at. These people identified the skills that made them special—good judgment, or courage, or a special artistic or literary talent—and focused on developing these skills. Yet most people achieve superiority in nothing because they fail to identify and develop their greatest attribute.

Adapted from Baltasar Gracián y Morales, The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Adapted from Stephen J. Carter, Integrity

Assignment:
Do people achieve greatness only by finding out what they are especially good at and developing that attribute above all else? 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.

Having many admirers is one way to become a celebrity, but it is not the way to become a hero. Heroes are self-made. Yet in our daily lives we see no difference between "celebrities" and "heroes." For this reason, we deprive ourselves of real role models. We should admire heroes—people who are famous because they are great—but not celebrities—people who simply seem great because they are famous.

Adapted from Daniel Boorstin, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America

Assignment:

Should we admire heroes but not celebrities? 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.

More SAT essay prompts at SAT preparation.

 

 

 

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Info on the new SAT Test at CollegeBoard's site
 

 

 

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