November 2012 - SAT Essay Prompts

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Essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in November 2012.

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in November 2012.

Prompt 1

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

It often seems as though we truly respect only people whom we do not know, such as leaders and other public figures. It is much more difficult for us to respect people who are familiar to us and are part of our everyday lives. The fact is that if we were to develop close personal relationships with these strangers that we look up to, we would see that they are only ordinary people, just as flawed as we are.

Assignment: Does familiarity prevent people from developing or maintaining respect for others? 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.

Stories about the great achievements of others, from athletic championships to scientific or artistic breakthroughs, often inspire people to make great achievements of their own. Such stories, however, do not reflect the fact that real progress is more often a gradual process consisting of many small improvements than the direct result of a single great act. People would probably achieve more if they were encouraged to aim for small accomplishments rather than for great achievements.

Assignment: Is it better to aim for small accomplishments instead of great achievements? 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.

Most of us value sincerity—open, honest communication and behavior. We try hard to be sincere with others, and we expect others to be just as open and honest with us. Sincerity can be a problem, however, when by expressing our true thoughts and feelings we might offend others. At such times, it is often better for us to pretend to agree with others rather than take the risk of provoking feelings of anger or resentment.

Assignment: Is it better for people to agree with others, even if doing so means being insincere? 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.

It is very important for people to be serious about themselves and to make serious efforts to attain their goals. In school or at work, for example, people have to put in real effort and stay focused on their tasks; in sports, people have to train hard and concentrate on improving their skills. People who are serious, however, forget there are other important personal qualities they should develop.

Assignment: Are people too serious? 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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