SAT Essay Sample 1 from Kaplan

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SAT Essay Sample 1 from Kaplan 12 Practice Tests for the SAT

“No one is contented in this world, I believe. There is always something left to desire, and the last thing longed for always seems the most necessary to happiness.”--Marie Corelli, A Romance of Two Worlds


Do you think that people are capable of finding happiness or are they always searching for something beyond what they have? 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.

SAT Sample Essay - Score of 6

Happiness means different things to different people. My sister is happiest when she performs onstage in a play. My best friend is happiest when he’s pitching a perfect game on the baseball field. People find happi-ness in all sorts of ways, but that doesn’t mean they stop searching for something more. Finding happi-ness and continuing to pursue other goals are not mutually exclusive propositions. Instead, both of these activities can work together to motivate you, as I’ve learned from my own experience.

When I was in middle school, my favorite class was art and I was disappointed that the class period was so short and only twice a week. Although I was happy during those times, I really missed art during the rest of the week. However, Knowing that art class was approaching helped motivate me to pay attention in the rest of my classes because I knew that my “reward” would soon follow. Once we were in the art room and I was immersed in painting or sculpting or drawing, I found incredible happiness in the creative proc-ess and carried this feeling with me throughout the remainder of the day. Yet I wasn’t Fully satisfied with this small amount of exposure and I wanted more. I could and did appreciate the happiness I had, but at the same time I was looking for something beyond that.

So I begged my parents to let me take art classes after school and on the weekend. I managed to convince them I’d be happier if I could have this additional creative time, and I was right. Taking more and different art classes outside of school exposed me to a variety of different techniques and media that I never had time to explore in school, like metal-working, wood-carving, and I grew even more en-thusiastic about the visual arts and found even more happiness than I could have imagined thanks to these additional classes. By wanting something more, I was able to find additional contentment and inspira-tion and I truly was happy with the results.

Yet I didn’t stop reaching for other goals. I really wanted to have my artwork displayed for the pub-lic, so I worked very hard for several years to develop a portfolio and I achieved my goal last year with my first solo show at a local gallery. This success gave me much happiness, and I’m already planning addi-tional shows. Being content with my art makes me happy on a regular basis, but this doesn’t keep me from wanting something more at the same time. For me, striving for additional goals adds to my happiness , so I don’t see the two actions as contradictory at all. Instead, searching for something beyond what you have can help you to appreciate and enhance whatever it is that makes you truly happy.

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