May 2005 - SAT Essay Prompts

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Essay prompts from the May 2005 SAT administration

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in May 2005.

Prompt 1

it is easy to see why----aside from the income it provides----having a job is so desirable in our culture.Work works for us. It structures our time and imposes a rhythm on our lives. It gets us organized into various kinds of communities and social groups. And perhaps most important, work tells us what to do every day.

Assignment:

Do people depend on work ---- whether it is a job, schoolwork, or volunteer work ---- to determine what their daily activities and interactions with others should be? 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 observation.

Prompt 2

There is no progress unless someone comes up with a new way of looking at things, of trying things that have never been done or thought of  before. We cannot move forward by looking backward to old customs and past experience. There can be no advancement or improvement unless there are people who look forward in pursuit of the new and untried.

Assignment:

Does progress depend on people with new ideas rather than on people whose ideas are based on the current way of doing things? 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 observation.

Prompt 3

We are afraid that our cause is unjust, or that it is unclear, or that it is too insignificant to justify the horrors of a confrontation with Authority. We will endure almost any inconvenience before undertaking head-on, I'm-here-to-tell-you complaint.

Adapted from William F. Buckley, Jr., “Why Don’t We Complain?”

Assignment:

Are people afraid to speak out against authority, whether the authority is an individual, a group, or a government? 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 observation.

Prompt 4

Alone we can afford to be wholly whatever we are and to feel whatever we feel absolutely. With others we are busy wondering what does my companion see or think of this, and what do I think of this, and what do I think of it? The original impact of our feelings gets lost or reduced.

Adapted from May Sarton, The Rewards of Living a Solitary Life

Assignment:

Does worrying too much about other people's opinions prevent us from seeing things clearly? 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 observation.

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