SAT Essay Help: Reviewing Assignments by Theme
Since the SAT essay was introduced, there have been nearly 100 prompts and assignments. They can be grouped into nine themes: Individuality versus Groups, Authority/Heroes, Creativity/Originality, Success, Modern Society, Choices/Problem Solving, Past versus Present, Behaviors and Emotions, and Learning. Following, you'll find the assignments paraphrased and grouped within these themes.
Individuality versus Groups
- Do people need to compare themselves with others to appreciate what they have?
- Are widely held views likely to be correct or are they often wrong?
- Is there any value in belonging only to groups with which we have something in common?
- Is it necessary for people to combine their efforts with those of others in order to be most effective?
- Are organizations or groups most successful when their members pursue individual wishes and goals?
- Is it always best to determine one's own views of right and wrong, or can we benefit from following the crowd?
- Do society and other people benefit when individuals pursue their own goals?
- Is it more valuable for people to fit in than to be unique and different?
- Are people more likely to be productive and successful when they ignore the opinions of others?
- Do we put too much value on the ideas or actions of individual people?
- Should we pay more attention to people who are older and more experienced than we are?
- Can a group of people function effectively without someone being in charge?
- Is it important to question the ideas and decisions of people in positions of authority?
- Should society limit people's exposure to some kinds of information or forms of expression?
- Do we benefit from learning about the flaws of people we admire and respect?
- Are people's actions motivated primarily by a desire for power over others?
- Should we limit our use of the term courage to describe people who risk their own well-being for the sake of others or to uphold a value?
- Should we admire heroes but not celebrities?
- Is there a value in celebrating certain individuals as heroes?
- Does fame bring happiness, or are people who are not famous more likely to be happy?
- Is it always better to be original than to imitate or use the ideas of others?
- Is it better for a society when people act as individuals rather than copying the ideas and opinions of others?
- Is creativity needed more than ever in the world today?
- Do people achieve greatness only by finding out what they are especially good at and developing that attribute above all else?
- Can people ever be truly original?
- Does planning interfere with creativity?
- Do people truly benefit from hardship and misfortune?
- Do people place too much emphasis on winning?
- Does being ethical make it hard to be successful?
- Is persistence more important than ability in determining a person's success?
- Is the effort involved in pursuing any goal valuable, even if the goal is not reached?
- Is it more important to do work that one finds fulfilling or work that pays well?
- Do people achieve more success by cooperation than by competition?
- Is it best for people to accept who they are and what they have, or should people always strive to better themselves?
- Do success and happiness depend on the choices people make rather than on factors beyond their control?
- Is criticism—judging or finding fault with the ideas and actions of others—essential for personal well-being and social progress?
- Do highly accomplished people achieve more than others mainly because they expect more of themselves?
- Can people achieve success only if they aim to be perfect?
- Is it best to have low expectations and to set goals we are sure of achieving?