March 9, 2013 – SAT Essay Prompts

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in March 9, 2013.

Prompt 1

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

People often focus on “the details,” those seemingly minor features and elements that often have major effects or consequences. Whether they are making ordinary, everyday decisions, analyzing historical events, or enjoying the plot of a novel, many people consider the details to be all-important. Others, however, argue that paying attention to details distracts people from the big picture—perceiving an idea, goal, or plan in its entirety.

Assignment: Is it a disadvantage to pay attention to details? 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.

Prompt 2

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

Whatever their goals—to be the best at something, to solve a difficult problem, to have a rewarding career—most people anticipate that reaching those goals will bring them contentment. When people are working toward a goal, they imagine that achieving it will bring an end to their struggles and put them at ease. But the opposite is more likely to occur. Rather than bringing contentment, achievement often brings dissatisfaction.

Assignment: Are people likely to be dissatisfied rather than content once they have achieved their goals? 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.

Prompt 3

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

Even on unimportant matters, many people so fear conflict with those in positions of leadership or authority that they willingly suppress or deny their own thoughts and ideas. We cannot criticize people who feel this way. After all, in most cases, those in leadership positions are entitled to some respect in their decision-making role. More likely, however, people remain silent—they do not oppose people in authority—simply because they do not want to be considered “troublemakers.”

Adapted from Derrick Bell, Ethical Ambition

Assignment: Are people too willing to agree with those in charge? 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.