SAT Sample Prompts

One of the best ways to prepare for the SAT writing test is to practice writing. Remember, you are being asked to present and support your point of view, using examples and evidence from your experience, reading, etc. Try these sample prompts to get yourself started. If you need help preparing for the SAT writing test, contact us!

The samples below come directly from the College Board, which administers the SAT.Sample Prompt 1
Reality television programs, which feature real people engaged in real activities rather than professional actors performing scripted scenes, are increasingly popular.

These shows depict ordinary people competing in everything from singing and dancing to losing weight, or just living their everyday lives. Most people believe that the reality these shows portray is authentic, but they are being misled.

How authentic can these shows be when producers design challenges for the participants and then editors alter filmed scenes?

Do people benefit from forms of entertainment that show so-called reality, or are such forms of entertainment harmful?

Sample Prompt 2
Photographs are very much a part of our daily lives. They show us faraway places, things to buy, important people and happenings, and sometimes just the ordinary. These pictures seem like frozen moments of real life. Cameras do copy what is in front of the lens, and so, in that sense, photographs show us what is real. They are at the same time, however, creations of the artist’s intentions and unconscious mind.

Adapted from Leslie Sills, In Real Life: Six Women Photographers

Assignment: Are photographs straightforward representations of real life, or are they artistic creations reflecting the photographer’s point of view? 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.

Sample Prompt 3
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

When we are young, we learn from parents and teachers that we should wait patiently for what we want. Few people would dispute the wisdom or truth of this teaching. Our society, however, with its mad rush and hurry and its insistence on instant gratification and quick responses, encourages and rewards impatience. Experience teaches us that we should not and do not have to wait.

Assignment: Is it better for people to act quickly and expect quick responses from others rather than to wait patiently for what they want? 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.