SAT Essay Prompt from May 2019 SAT Test in Asia

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As you read the passage below, consider how Joanne Lipman uses:

- evidence, such as facts or examples, to support claims.

- reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence.

- stylistic or persuasive elements, such as word choice or appeals to emotion, to add power to the ideas expressed.

Adapted from Joanne Lipman "Let's Expose the Gender Pay Gap".Originally published August 13, 2015 in The New York Times.

1. HOW serious are we, really, about tackling income equality? . . .

2、More than a half-century after President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the gap between what men and women earn has defied every effort to close it. And it can't be explained away as a statistical glitch, a function of women preferring lower-paying industries or choosing to take time off for kids.

3. Claudia Goldin, a labor economist at Harvard, has crunched the numbers and found that the gap persists for identical jobs, even after controlling for hours, education, race and age. Female doctors and surgeons, for example, earn 71 percent of what their male colleagues make, while female financial specialists are paid just 66 percent as much as comparable men. Other researchers have calculated that women one year out of college earn 6.6 percent less than men after controlling for occupation and hours, and that female M.B.A. graduates earn on average $4,600 less than their male classmates for their first jobs.

4、 It's not that men are intentionally discriminating against women—far from it. I've spent the past year interviewing male executives for a book about men and women in the workplace. A vast majority of them are fair-minded guys who want women to succeed. They're absolutely certain that they don't have a gender problem themselves; it must be some other guys who do. Yet they're leaders of companies that pay men more than women for the same jobs.

5、 Women are trying mightily to close that chasm on their own. Linda Babcock, an economist at Carnegie Mellon and co-author of the book "Women Don't Ask," has found that one reason for the disparity is that men are four times more likely to ask for a raise than women are, and that when women do ask, we ask for 30 percent less. And so women are told we need to lean in, to demand to be paid what we're worth. It's excellent advice—except it isn't enough.

6、 There is an antidote to the problem. Britain recently introduced a plan requiring companies with 250 employees or more to publicly report their own gender pay gap. It joins a handful of other countries, including Austria and Belgium, that have introduced similar rules. (In the United States, President Obama last year signed a presidential memorandum instructing federal contractors to report wage information by gender and race to the Department of Labor.) The disclosures "will cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women's wages up," Prime Minister David Cameron said last month.

7、 Critics of the British plan protest that it's too expensive and complex. Some contend that it doesn't address the root of the problem: systemic issues that block women from higher-paying industries, and social issues like unconscious bias.

8. But real-world results suggest otherwise. Last year, the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers voluntarily released its gender pay gap in Britain, one of five firms in the country, including AstraZeneca, to do so. Simply saying the number out loud "created much more momentum internally" to close it, Sarah Churchman, who runs the firm's British diversity and inclusion efforts, told me.

9. PricewaterhouseCoopers's analysis showed that most of its 15.1 percent pay disparity (compared with a Britain-wide gap of more than 19 percent) reflected a lack of women in senior jobs. So the firm focused on whether it was promoting fairly. In 2013, the grade just below partner was 30 percent female, yet only 16 percent of those promoted to partner were women. A year later, the percentage of women promoted to partner had more than doubled.

10. The potential cost savings of publishing the gender wage gap are enormous. About 20 percent of large companies now train employees to recognize unconscious bias, spending billions of dollars to try to stamp out unintentional discrimination. Paying for a salary analysis is cheaper and potentially more effective. Evidence also suggests that less secrecy about pay results in greater employee loyalty and lower turnover. . . .

11、 Political realities being what they are, the chances of achieving [full] transparency are slim; even the tepid C.E.O. pay gap rule took the S.E.C. five years to push through, in the face of fierce industry opposition.

12、 But why would we not want a measure that will settle the controversy over the pay gap with quantifiable facts? Shining some much-needed sunlight on the gender wage gap will make a difference for every one of us, men and women, right now.

Write an essay in which you explain how Joanne Lipman builds an argument to persuade his audience that Americans need to work fewer hours. In your essay, analyze how Marcus Stern uses one or more of the features listed in the box above (or features of your own choice) to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of his argument. Be sure that your analysis focuses on the most relevant features of the passage.

Your essay should not explain whether you agree with the author's claims, but rather explain how Marcus Stern builds an argument to persuade his audience.

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