SAT Essay Sample 9 from Kaplan

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SAT Essay Sample 9 from Kaplan 12 Practice Tests for the SAT

“If you would thoroughly know anything, teach it to others. One who ceases to learn cannot adequately teach.”--Tryon Edward, Dictionary of Thoughts


Do you think that teaching something to another person can help you to learn or master a subject or process? 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

Many of us are familiar with the expression, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” However, this phrase neglects the essential role of teachers. To teach a subject, you have to know the subject and figure out how to pass on that knowledge to others, and this process improves your own mastery of the subject that you teach. Thus, teaching a subject does enhance your knowledge of that subject, as I discovered from personal experience.

One of my favorite subjects in high school has always been English. I love words and writing. My freshman English teacher noticed my enthusiasm, so she recruited me to work in an after-school program as a tutor for middle school students who needed to improve their writing before getting to high school. At first, I was nervous about taking on this responsibility. After all, I didn’t really know how I managed to write well or why I liked doing it so much. But my teacher convinced me to join the program, and I soon realized how teaching someone else to write could improve my own writing.

My seventh-grade student had a wonderful imagination, but she couldn’t put her ideas together on paper in a way that made sense. She was very frustrated by low grades on her creative essays, and after reading one of her compositions, I could understand both her frustration and her teacher’s low evaluation. This student’s problem was primarily a result of poor narrative flow. Her ideas were wonderfully interest-ing, but she jumped from one topic to another so quickly that it was very difficult to understand what she was trying to As she and I discussed her essays, I had to find ways to explain to her what was missing and how to improve her writing. I was obligated to put into words certain parts of the writing process that I hadn’t really though about before. As we continued our meetings, I realized that not only was I learning from her but that my own writing was also improving. My advice to my student led me to re-evaluation and refine my compositions. If I hadn’t had the opportunity to teach this student, I would not have gained this knowledge and insight about my own writing.

Truly, then, my personal experience shows that teaching a subject to someone else can help you to more thoroughly know the subject in question. In this life, we all have certain skills. When we choose to share these skills with others, we become teachers and increase our own understanding and mastery of the skill we pass on.

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