December 2005 - SAT Essay Prompts

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Essay prompts from the December 2005 SAT administration

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

Prompt 1

We like to think that if someone has “the right stuff,” he or she will naturally rise to the top. But it isn't true.In that some way that acting talent doesn’t guarantee stardom, the  capacity for leadership doesn't guarantee that one will run a corporation or a government. In fact, at least in our time, genuine achievement is not highly valued, and those who are skilled at achieving greatness are not necessarily those who are ready to lead.

Adapted from Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader

Assignment:

Are leaders necessarily people who are most capable of leadership? 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

How valuable is history for our generation? On the surface this question is not as easy as it once might have been, for there is a widespread belief that history may no longer be relevant to modern life. We live, after all, in an age that appears very different from the world that came before us.

Adapted from Stephen Vaughn, “History: Is it Relevant?”

Assignment:

Is knowledge of the past no longer useful for us today? 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

The free expression of thoughts and opinions is one of humanity’s most precious rights. Every citizen must be able to speak, write, and publish freely, provided that he or she is held accountable for the abuse of this liberty in cases determined by the law.

Adapted from Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

Assignment:

Is it necessary to limit or put restrictions on freedom of thought and expression? 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

Progress is likely to slow down once science and technology have met our basic human needs. New developments in science and technology will not continue to produce more societal benefits. In fact, the promise that science and technology will continue to benefit us is increasingly doubtful when so many individuals find their lives changing in ways they cannot control and in directions they do not desire.

Adapted from Daniel Sarewitz, “Social Change and Science Policy”

Assignment:

Do the benefits of scientific and technological  developments come at the cost of undesirable changes to people's lives? 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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