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May 2011 Sat Essay Question 2014

May 2007 – SAT Essay Prompt

If you took the June 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. Materialism: it’s the thing that everybody loves to hate. Few aspects of modern life have been more criticized than materialism. But let’s face it: materialism acquiring possessions and spending money is a vital source of meaning and happiness in our time. People may criticize modern society for being too materialistic, but the fact remains that most of us spend most of our energy producing and consuming more and more stuff. Adapted from James Twitchell, “Two Cheers for Materialism”

Assignment:
Should modern society be criticized for being materialistic? 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. Knowledge is power. In agriculture, medicine, and industry, for example, knowledge has liberated us from hunger, disease, and tedious labor. Today, however, our knowledge has become so powerful that it is beyond our control. We know how to do many things, but we do not know where, when, or even whether this know-how should be used.

Assignment:
Can knowledge be a burden rather than a benefit? 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. We do not take the time to determine right from wrong. Reflecting on the difference between right and wrong is hard work. It is so much easier to follow the crowd, going along with what is popular rather than risking the disapproval of others by voicing an objection of any kind. Adapted from Stephen J. Carter, Integrity

Assignment:
Is it always best to determine one’s own views of right and wrong, or can we benefit from following the crowd? 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. It is often the case that revealing the complete truth may bring trouble discomfort, embarrassment, sadness, or even harm to oneself or to another person. In these circumstances, it is better not to express our real thoughts and feelings. Whether or not we should tell the truth, therefore, depends on the circumstances.

Assignment:
Do circumstances determine whether or not we should tell the truth? 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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June 7, 2014 – SAT Essay Prompts

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in June 7, 2014.

Prompt 1

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

We place far too much emphasis on experience and achievement in our society. We tend to judge people based on what they’ve done rather than on what they can do. But looking only at someone’s experience and achievements ignores how that person may develop or what that person may become. We can only determine people’s true worth by what they are capable of doing, not by what they have already done.

Assignment: Does a person’s character determine that person’s success in life? 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 like to live by the old expression, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” This expression reflects the widely shared belief that one should always try to be polite and to have consideration for another person’s feelings. While such an approach may make it easier to get along with people, no real relationship can truly thrive unless it is built on a solid foundation of truth.

Assignment: Is it more important to avoid hurting people’s feelings or to tell the truth? 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.

Identifying with a group makes people feel secure with and trust one another because of what they have in common. They might share the same interests, language, beliefs, ethnicity, or cultural background. However, by limiting their identities to a specific group, people may miss important opportunities to connect with and understand others.

Assignment:Should people focus on enjoying the present moment instead of following a plan for future achievement? 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.

People who move from place to place often say that they feel happier and more fulfilled than they would if they lived out their lives in one place. Other people say that spending a lifetime in the same community is actually a more rewarding option, because doing so enables them to maintain a strong network of family and friends—something that people who move around a lot may find difficult to develop.

Assignment: Are people who stay in the same community happier than those who move from one place to another? 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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