A sample essay question

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

People who like to think of themselves as tough-minded and realistic tend to take it for granted that human nature is “selfish” and that life is a struggle in which only the fittest may survive.

According to this view, the basic law by which people must live is the law of the jungle. The “fittest” are those people who can bring to the struggle superior force, superior cunning, and superior ruthlessness.

Adapted from S.I. Hayakawa, Language in Thought and Action Question: Do people have to be highly competitive in order to succeed?

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.

Reprinted with permission from the College Entrance Examination Board.

Catelyn Maloney, a student in Marvin Gans’s English class at Brockton High School, worked on a timed practice essay last week in preparation for the new SAT. (Globe Staff Photo/ Lane Turner)

For SAT takers, a new test

Essay portion may be struggle for students

By Maria Sacchetti
Globe Staff / March 9, 2005

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Teachers drilled students for years on math formulas, vocabulary words, and time-saving tricks, hoping to help them score big on the SAT. But over the past few months, teachers in classrooms around the state have scrambled to add a new skill to students' arsenals: how to write an essay in just 25 minutes. (Full article: 1174 words)

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