Barron's SAT Essay Sample 7

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SAT Essay Sample 7 from Barron's Writing Workbook for the New SAT

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.”

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.

Sartu's Essay

I think some time close friendships can be dangerous because friends know you better than others. Sometimes they react to your instability. They can make a big deal out of some things; they pressure you to do something for them that you don’t want to do.

Sometimes they encourage you to do something. For example, your friends want you to join the basketball team or other sport or club, and that is good. Sometimes, however,  they ask you to break rules just for them. If you do something bad, they might turn around and say “my goodness, I can not believe you did (or said) that.” Then they start to freak out and you become scared.  But you won’t be expecting this reaction from them because they are the ones who suggested it in the first place.

It is not okay that we sometimes commit sins for the sake of loyalty to others. Would you commit sin for the sake of loyalty to others? Sometimes, our friends want us to do extreme things. For instance, some people would tease others by saying they like someone else better. Sometimes it happens accidentally that we commit sins for the sake of our loyalty to others. We have to be alert, however, and keep ourselves from being sucked into something we don’t want. Often when we do something that goes against our own beliefs, we later feel guilty and we wonder just how we ended up is such a situation.

Probably the best defense we have is to choose our friends wisely. We don’t have to have a lot of friends, but a few loyal and trustworthy ones are what we need to find.


This response needs a bit of work. It is not a terrible response. In fact, it quite adequately fulfills the needs of the assignment. Nothing is expressed with much depth. Good statements are made, but they lack specifics to back up the ideas expressed. Nevertheless, this is an acceptable response. No doubt SAT readers would give this essay a four.


The essay demonstrates critical thinking on the issue of friendship. The last lines are particularly perceptive. However, the examples are few and not very strong, therefore limiting the development of the essay. The response is organized, and it demonstrates coherence. This is one of those essays that you now would grow stronger if the student had the leisure to step away from it and return to it with a strong revision and bolstering of ideas.

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