SAT Essay Sample 6 from Barron

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SAT Essay Sample 6 from Barron's Writing Workbook for the New SAT

SAT Essay Prompt

Think carefully about the following passage and the assignment below.

Gandhi labeled close friendships as dangerous because “friends react on one another” and “sometimes loyalty to a friend will lead us into wrongdoing.”

Assignment: Do you agree or disagree that friends react on one another and can lead us into wrongdoing? Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your readings, experiences or observations.

Suemee's Essay - Score of 6

Friends can almost always convince or persuade you into doing something that you think is wrong. You feel pressure on you because you feel if you don’t do what they say, you could lose them, which may be a large portion of your life. The deeper and longer a friendship has lasted, the more that person knows your weaknesses that could possibly be used against you in negative ways.

For some people, friends are the only thing in their life they can depend on, and these friends are like an outlet from their other personal problems. Because friends are such a big part of their lives, these dependent people will risk many things in order to continue their relationships. Some may steal, get into drugs, break communication with their own families and become unsuccessful in school. Others may follow their friends because they think that without those people they’d be empty and feel insecure about themselves.

Friends can also react on one another in positive ways. Being able to tell friends things you couldn’t tell family and helping each other with school work are two positive impacts friends can make in an individual’s life. There are probably more positive effects friends have on one another than negative effects, or else friendships would not exist, and everyone would live for and by themselves.

I think keeping a few close friendships could be a definite benefit for you, but keeping too many could hurt and even damage you in the end. You lose track of what you have told this person and what another person knows about you. Also, some people may just be using the friendship as a stepping stone to get elsewhere, leaving you behind in the dust. Overall, however, keeping a few friendships that are close are pluses because these people are reliable and cause you to be in more control of your life.

Overall, I agree that close friendships can be dangerous, but if no one had friends, we would lose a lot of human interaction and trust. It would be hard to live in a world if we had no friendships or just slight, shallow acquaintances. Failing friendships where someone has felt betrayed make a person stronger and smarter by knowing how to better chose one’s next friend.


Suemee did an okay job on a subject that could very quickly garner a lot of trite responses. Within the very narrow time limit of 25 minutes, she puts forth her ideas and supports them well. There is nothing terribly clever about the response; it just does a good job. It flows well, and the writer does not just parrot Gandhi’s ideas or anyone else’s. In fact she makes it clear that yes, friendships might be problematic, but overall a few good friends are good for us, and without them we would be lonely indeed.

Paragraph structure and development are good. Grammar and usage are, for the most part okay. The infamous voice of “YOU” is overused. Once in awhile she seems to realize what she is doing, and she will revert to “a person” or “one,” but like so many of us, “you” comes creeping back into the essay.

Overall, this is a good response, and is likely to receive a five from the SAT readers.

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