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SAT Essay Prompts - March 2012




 

Materials on this page relate to the SAT before March 2016.

For updated SAT materials, please see:
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SAT Essay Prompts from March 2005 till the most recent test released by College Board.

March 2012

If you took the March 2012 SAT, 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.

Mistakes we have made in the past are supposed to make us wiser, stronger, and better able to deal with the future. This approach suggests that we should continue to focus on our mistakes, that we should remember them, no matter how painful or embarrassing to us they may be. But nothing is to be gained by concerning ourselves with old mistakes. We should forget them as soon as possible.

Assignment:

Is it best to forget about past mistakes as soon as possible? 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 all have "authorities"—experts and specialists, from authors to doctors to politicians—who seem to dictate our lives and determine our futures. In the best of circumstances, these authorities can make us feel safe. They make our decisions for us. They look out for our interests. Or so we hope. But not everyone we consider an authority is deserving of our trust.

Adapted from Douglas Rushkoff, Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say

Assignment:

Do people put too much trust in the guidance of experts and authorities? 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.

The word "tradition" seems innocent enough; we associate it with holiday observations and customs practiced by our ancestors. But tradition, or at least the belief in it, is a trap. At every level, from the individual to the national, tradition is simply an excuse for doing things the way they have always been done, even if that way makes no sense or causes harm to others.

Assignment:

Does tradition prevent people from doing things in new or more sensible ways? 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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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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