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SAT Essay Prompts




 

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

For updated SAT materials, please see:

Related Topics:
More Lessons for SAT Test Preparation

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

November 2009

If you took the November 2009 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.

Popular culture refers to television shows, movies, books, musical selections, artworks, products, activities, and events that appeal to the interests and desires of large numbers of people. Popular culture tells us a lot about the people of a society. Some people may criticize popular culture or deny its influence on their lives, but one thing is clear: popular culture typically displays the ideas and principles that people value most.

Assignment:

Are the values of a society most clearly revealed in its popular culture? 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.

Some people ruin their chances of achieving success or refrain from attaining a goal because they have learned that success is selfish. But they should not feel guilty about trying to achieve their own goals. People who act on their inner desires—their greatest wishes and ambitions—only make their own and other people's lives better and are more likely to benefit society. Imagine how much better the world would be if everyone could be happy and fulfilled.

Adapted from Sheri O. Zampelli, From Sabotage to Success

Assignment:

Do society and other people benefit when individuals pursue their own 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.

No matter how much people try and how much they believe in themselves, everyone encounters situations in which it is impossible to succeed. People are often advised, "Never give up," but sometimes, when it seems as though success will not be achieved, they should stop trying, learn from the experience, and move on.

Adapted from Phyllis George, Never Say Never

Assignment:

Is it better for people to stop trying when they feel certain they will not succeed? 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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