May 2011 Sat Essay Prompts 2014

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in November 8 2014.

Prompt 1

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

Many thoughtful people have said that cooperation brings out the best in people and leads to success in almost all endeavors. There is a limit, however, to the value of cooperative behavior, since such behavior may suppress people’s willingness to be creative and to stand out from the crowd. Too often, cooperating means going along with the group even if that is not necessarily the best way.

Assignment: Does working with others lead to better results than acting as an individual? 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 have been taught since childhood that it is wrong to quit. We learn that quitting is impulsive and easy and that we should always endeavor to keep trying, even if it is difficult. But aren’t there certain times when quitting is the right thing to do? In those instances, it takes great courage, maturity, and self-awareness to acknowledge that the plan we have chosen may need to be changed or that a new plan should be adopted.

Assignment: Is quitting ever a good idea? 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.

Many people wish that there were fewer limits on their behavior. They believe that rules—such as those imposed by parents, teachers, coaches, employers, and governments—prevent them from being successful in the activities they undertake. Other people believe that rules assist them in becoming successful in their endeavors. They claim that rules provide guidance and help define what is expected. They even say that having too much freedom can be a burden.

Assignment: Do rules interfere with or aid in the pursuit of success? 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.

There is an old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Simply put, this means that people who make their needs or desires known by making noise—that is, by complaining—are the ones who get what they need or want. But nobody likes a squeaky wheel: the complainer may get what he or she wants, but only at the risk of being perceived unfavorably.

Assignment: Should we complain to get what we want? 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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March 8, 2014 – SAT Essay Prompts

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in March 2014.

Prompt 1

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

Many people are philanthropists, giving money to those in need. And many people believe that those who are rich—those who can afford to give the most—should contribute the most to charitable organizations. Others, however, disagree. Why should those who are more fortunate than others have more of a moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate?

Assignment: Should people who are more fortunate than others have more of a moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate? 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.

Our culture puts entirely too much emphasis on popular entertainment. Of course, we all need to be distracted occasionally, but if we spend a lot of time browsing our favorite websites, watching television, playing video games, or updating our social networking accounts, we are merely avoiding life’s more important realities. Moreover, none of these activities helps us develop any of the skills or acquire any of the knowledge we need to succeed in the real world.

Assignment: Can popular entertainment offer us anything of value, or is it just a worthless distraction? 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.

By never being satisfied with what we have, we are never content. Our focus on growth, progress, and the idea of “more” makes us fundamentally unhappy, always seeking more than what we need. I used to believe greatly in “growth,” but I’ve changed my mind. It now makes sense to me that growth for growth’s sake creates a fundamental dissatisfaction with what I have.

Adapted from Ron McDonald, The Spirituality of Community Life: When We Come ’Round Right

Assignment: Do growth and progress make us happy or do they lead to dissatisfaction? 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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