Sat Essay Prompts January 2012 Sat

SAT Essay Prompts - May 2012




 


Materials on this page relate to the SAT before March 2016.

For updated SAT materials, please see:

We have a collection of the new SAT Essay Prompts from March 2005 till the most recent test released by College Board.

The following are the SAT essay prompts given for May 2012.

Related Topics:
More SAT Essay Prompts & Help, More SAT Math Lessons

May 2012

If you took the May 2012 SAT, you would have been given one of the essay prompts below:

Prompt 1

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

People talk too much about their feelings. They share their deepest secrets and innermost thoughts on television talk shows. They write revealing autobiographies. They buy books that advise them to tell others about their feelings. We would be far better off if we followed the advice of Florence Nightingale, a pioneer in the field of nursing, who thought that people too often waste their feelings by talking about them and should instead turn their feelings into actions that bring results.

Assignment:

Is it better for people to act on their feelings than to talk about them? 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.

As people become more knowledgeable and experienced, they eventually realize that complete equity and justice—whether in politics, in education, or in day-to-day events—will never really be achieved. Even so, they are encouraged to continue to hope for and fight for fairness. But shouldn't people put their energies to better use? There will always be unfairness in life, and becoming an adult means finding ways to make the best of this fact.

Assignment:

Should people accept unfairness and find ways to make the best of it? 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.

No amount of wealth can help humanity move forward and make progress, even under the management of the most dedicated and socially conscious workers. Money leads only to selfishness and becomes an irresistible temptation to its owners to abuse it. The only thing that can lead people to praiseworthy ideas and noble deeds is to follow the example of those great individuals who put other factors before money.

Adapted from Albert Einstein in Alice Calaprice, The New Quotable Einstein

Assignment:

Does money lead to selfishness? 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.

Advertisements provide information about available products and services. Many people argue, however, that something else is going on: advertisements try to convince people that when they buy things, they are also buying satisfaction and happiness. Advertisements merely fool people into believing that the next "new and improved" product will make their lives better, and the result is that people are even more unhappy and dissatisfied than they would have been without the advertisements.

Assignment:

 Do advertisements contribute to unhappiness and dissatisfaction? 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.




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The directions below are representative of what students will encounter on test day.

The essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can read and comprehend a passage and write an essay analyzing the passage. In your essay, you should demonstrate that you have read the passage carefully, present a clear and logical analysis, and use language precisely.

Your essay must be written on the lines provided in your answer booklet; except for the planning page of the answer booklet, you will receive no other paper on which to write. You will have enough space if you write on every line, avoid wide margins, and keep your handwriting to a reasonable size. Remember that people who are not familiar with your handwriting will read what you write. Try to write or print so that what you are writing is legible to those readers.

You have 50 minutes to read the passage and write an essay in response to the prompt provided inside this booklet.

  1. Do not write your essay in this booklet. Only what you write on the lined pages of your answer booklet will be evaluated.
  2. An off-topic essay will not be evaluated.

The student responses provided in the following set illustrate common score combinations earned on the redesigned SAT. Each response has received a separate score for each of the three domains assessed: Reading, Analysis, and Writing. The scores are presented in order by domain directly preceding each sample essay. Scores for the samples provided below were assigned on a 1-4 scale according to the redesigned SAT Essay Scoring Rubric. It is important to note that although these are representative samples of student ability at each score point, the set itself does not exhaustively illustrate the range of skills in Reading, Analysis, and Writing associated with each score point.

Although all of the sample essays were handwritten by students, they are shown typed here for ease of reading. The essays have been typed exactly as each student wrote his or her essay, without corrections to spelling, punctuation, or paragraph breaks.

Practice using sample essay 1.

Practice using sample essay 2.

Learn more about how the essay is scored. 

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