January 2013 - SAT Essay Prompts

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Essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in January 2013.

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in January 26, 2013.

Prompt 1

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

People generally prefer originality to imitation, which is often considered inferior and second-rate. However, we have learned most of what we know by imitating others. Mastering any skill or gaining any knowledge means that we must learn from those who have gone before us. In fact, it is not until we have imitated others and learned from them what there is to know that we can strike out on our own and maybe create something new.

Assignment: Is it necessary for people to imitate others before they can become original and creative? 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.

Many people say that money is not the most important thing in life and that being overly concerned about money leads only to unhappiness. Others point out, however, that money and wealth have always been of dramatic significance in society. They argue that there is really nothing more important to one’s overall quality of life than money.

Assignment: Is money the most significant factor in determining a person’s quality of 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 3

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

Young people are highly influenced by popular culture. They attempt to define themselves on the basis of what they see on television, in newspapers and magazines, and in the movies. In fact, young people accept the values of popular culture as their own, believing that those values are central to their personal development and social acceptance.

Assignment: Is popular culture the strongest influence on a young person’s identity? 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.

Many people believe that our behavior should be consistent, that we should always be ourselves. They feel that we should not act one way with some people and another way with others. But is this right? Should our behavior always be consistent, or should we behave differently in different situations? Isn’t behaving differently according to the people we are with or the situation we are in simply a matter of politeness and common sense?

Assignment: Should people change their behavior depending on what situation they are in? 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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