November 2, 2013 – SAT Essay Prompts

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in November 2, 2013.

Prompt 1

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

We are often reminded that acquiring and owning material possessions—money, property, jewelry, even clothing—will not lead to true happiness. While it is certainly true that material possessions alone cannot bring happiness or provide us with genuine meaning in life, there is something to be said for having material possessions. Not only can they make us comfortable, but the happiness they can provide, while it may be momentary, is still happiness.

Assignment: Do material possessions make us truly happy? 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.

Some people emphasize that strong leaders never depart from their goal, plan, or vision and that such dedication is, in fact, a measure of their strength. Others would argue, however, that strong leaders are flexible. Strong leaders know when to admit they have made a mistake and when it is appropriate to change their goal or mission. This flexibility shows their strength and the extent of their wisdom.

Assignment: Is flexibility the sign of a strong and wise leader? 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.

Aiming advertisements for products directly at teenagers is a practice that occurs on television, in magazines, and on the Internet. These advertisements may help prepare young people for adulthood, as teenagers gain experience in evaluating and selecting from among the many options in our complex consumer society. Many critics, however, argue that teenagers are especially vulnerable to misleading claims of the advertising industry; moreover, they argue that advertisements often promote values harmful to young people.

Assignment: Are advertisements harmful to teenagers? 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 4

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

Too often, people—especially young people, who may not have settled on a firm identity yet—try to imitate others, because it is easier to do so than to develop their own unique individuality. They focus on trying to imitate what seems attractive or desirable in others. But imitating others is never a good idea: when we imitate others, all we do is harm our ability to develop our own individuality.

Assignment: Is imitation of others always harmful? 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.