Sat Essay Prompts June 2009

June 2009 – SAT Essay Prompt

If you took the June 2009 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. The discovery that someone we admire has done something wrong is always disappointing and disillusioning. Yet even when people we consider heroes have been tarnished by their faults, they are no less valuable than people who appear perfect. When we learn that an admired person, even one who is seemingly perfect, has behaved in less than admirable ways, we discover a complex truth: great ideas and great deeds come from imperfect people like ourselves.

Assignment:
Do we benefit from learning about the flaws of people we admire and respect? 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 say you should be content with what you have and accept who you are. But it is possible that too much self-acceptance can turn into self-satisfied lack of ambition. People should always strive to improve themselves and to have more in their lives�friends, things, opportunities. After all, where would we be if great people, both in history and in our own time, did not try to have more and to improve themselves?

Assignment:
Is it best for people to accept who they are and what they have, or should people always strive to better 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 3
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below. So-called common sense determines what people should wear, whom they should respect, which rules they should follow, and what kind of life they should lead. Common sense is considered obvious and natural, too sensible to question. But people’s common sense decisions may turn out to be wrong, even if they are thought to be correct according to the judgment of vast majorities of people. Adapted from Alain de Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy responsible.

Assignment:
Can common sense be trusted and accepted, or should it be questioned? 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.

May 2009 – SAT Essay Prompt

If you took the May 2009 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. There are good reasons to pay attention to people who are older or more experienced than we are, even if their opinions on important issues are very different from ours. Of course, not every person older than us is worth learning from, while many young people are. But if the only people we listen to are our age and are likely to see things the same way we do, we will miss out on something important.

Assignment:
Should we pay more attention to people who are older and more experienced than we are? 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. Good decision making generally requires people to think carefully and logically and to pay attention to practical details. However, people who depend on their feelings and emotions to make important decisions are not likely to spend hours gathering information, making lists, considering all possible outcomes, and so forth. When comparing the advantages or disadvantages of one course of action to another, these people ask themselves, “What do my feelings tell me?”

Assignment:
Should people let their feelings guide them when they make important decisions? 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. Thanks to great advancements in technology, we live today in a world in which knowledge is more readily available to greater numbers of people than ever before in history. Having more and better technology, however, has not made people wiser or more understanding. Indeed, people are so overloaded with information today that they have become less, rather than more, able to make sense of the world around them than our ancestors ever were.

Assignment:
Has today’s abundance of information only made it more difficult for us to understand the world around us? 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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