Sat essay prompts collection

Contents:
  1. Is your SAT score enough to get you into your dream school?
  2. Why is the SAT essay changing?
  3. Sat essay practice
  4. SAT Essay Archives | The Critical Reader

Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Is your SAT score enough to get you into your dream school?

Today many young people spend their time developing one special talent. But such devotion to a single special ability or skill, whether in the arts, in sports, or in any other area, may not be a good idea. Should young people focus their efforts on developing just one talent? There are books that try to show the world as it is and books that try to show the world as it should or could be.

Which sort of books should we be offering children and reading ourselves? This is so much better than writing an essay that rambles or contradicts itself.

Now, this is not the only way to organize a winning essay, but it makes a lot of sense, and it takes some of the guesswork out the equation if you already know how you are going to organize your essay before you even walk into the SAT. Tip 4: Examine the sample student essays on the College Board website carefully. This is a brand new essay, and it is brand new for everyone.

The people who will be grading your essay will have been trained to grade it like the sample essays that are on the website, so these free samples and the reasons why they got the scores they did are a gold mine of information. Remember, you too are writing for a specific audience: the SAT graders. So know what they are looking for and write for them. Seriously, guys, cool it with the changes. Follow the link for more on that. Kristin Fracchia. John A. At the same time, however, I believe that there are very compelling reasons for schools to continue requiring some sort of writing sample completed under proctored conditions.

Although some of my initial concerns about the SAT essay were unfounded, the principal issue remains that it is fundamentally a nonsense assignment, one presented in muddled language that says one thing and means something else. While they comprise a wide range of themes, styles, and periods, the passages chosen for that test are usually selected because they are exceptionally interesting from a rhetorical standpoint.

Different types of reading can be appropriate for different situation, and this type of reading in this particular context is well justified. In contrast, the texts chosen for analysis on the new SAT essay are essentially the type of humanities and social science passages that routinely appear on the current SAT — serious, moderately challenging contemporary pieces intended for an educated general adult audience.

Most students will in fact do a substantial amount of this type of reading in college. By most academic standards, however, these types of passages would not be considered rhetorical models. It is possible to analyze them rhetorically — it is possible to analyze pretty much anything rhetorically — but a more relevant question is why anyone would want to analyze them rhetorically. In fact, that will often be the only way that students can produce an essay that is sufficiently lengthy to receive a top score. First, although the SAT essay technically involves an analysis, it is primarily a descriptive essay in the sense that students are not expected to engage with either the ideas in the text or offer up any ideas of their own.

With exceedingly few exceptions, however, the writing that students are asked to do in college with be thesis-driven in the traditional sense — that is, students will be required to formulate their own original arguments, which they then support with various pieces of specific evidence facts, statistics, anecdotes, etc. They may on occasion find it necessary to discuss how a particular author presents his or her evidence in order to consider a particular nuance or implication, but almost never will they spend an entire assignment focusing exclusively on the manner in which someone else presents an argument.


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So although the skills tested on the SAT essay may in some cases be a useful component of college work, the essay itself has virtually nothing to do with the type of assignments students will actually be expected to complete in college. This is a book written by actual freshman composition instructors with decades of experience.

That sounds like a reasonable task on the surface, but it falls apart pretty quickly once you start to consider its implications. When students do the type of reading that the SAT essay tests in college, it will pretty much always be in the context of a particular subject sociology, anthropology, economics, etc. By definition, non-fiction is both dependent on and engaged with the world outside the text.

There is no way to analyze that type of writing meaningfully or effectively without taking that context into account.

Why is the SAT essay changing?

Any linguistic or rhetorical analysis would always be informed by a host of other, external factors that pretty much any professor would expect a student to discuss. In college and in the working world, the primary focus is never just on how evidence is presented, but rather how valid that evidence is. You cannot simply present any old facts that happen to be consistent with the claim you are making — those facts must actually be true, and any competent analysis must take that factor into account. Rather, I would argue that the difficulties students and employees have in using evidence effectively is actually a symptom of a deeper problem, namely a lack of knowledge and perhaps a lack of exposure to or an unwillingness to consider a variety of perspectives.

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Sat essay practice

Rather, you are responsible for evaluating the conditions under which those statistics were gathered; for understanding the characteristics of the groups used to obtain those statistics; and for determining what factors may not have been taken into account in the gathering of those statistics. You are also expected to draw on socio-cultural, demographic, and economic information about the population being studied, about previous studies in which that population was involved, and about the conclusions drawn from those studies. I could go on like this for a while, but I think you probably get the picture.

As a result, they figure that they can score some easy points by cranking up the flattery. As a result, the entire point of the assignment is lost.

SAT essay prompts

The goal is to comprehend, not to judge or praise. Otherwise, the writer risks setting up straw men and arguing in relation to positions that they author does not actually take. The sample essay scoring, however, implies something different and potentially quite problematic. When students are rewarded for offering up unfounded praise and judgments, they can easily acquire the illusion that they are genuinely qualified to evaluate professional writers and scholars, even if their own composition skills are at best middling and they lack any substantial knowledge about a subject.

These are not theoretical concerns for me; I have actually tutored college students who used these techniques in their writing.

SAT Essay Archives | The Critical Reader

My guess is that a fair number of colleges will recognize just how problematic an assignment the new essay is and deem it optional. But that in turn creates an even larger problem. Bill Fitzsimmons at Harvard came out so early and so strongly in favor of the SAT redesign that it would likely be too much of an embarrassment to renege later, and Princeton, Yale, and Stanford will presumably continue to go along with whatever Harvard does.

Aside from those four schools, however, all bets are probably off. If that shift does in fact occur, then no longer will schools be able to flag applicants whose standardized-test essays are strikingly different from their personal essays. I read a few of the essay prompts and honestly they seem like a joke. The result?


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Score inflation. A similar phenomenon is inevitable here: when there is such a big mismatch between ideal and reality, the only way for the College Boart to avoid embarrassment and promote the illusion that students are actually doing college-level work is assign high scores to reasonably competent work that does not actually demonstrate mastery but that throws in a few fancy flourishes, and solid passing scores to work that is only semi-component.

So I agree halfway.