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Chris Lele

How to Use SAT Essay Prompts from College Board

For those SAT high achievers there are a limited number of College Board tests. Once you’ve gone through the blue book, you are forced to use questions from other publishers, and no one can write questions quite the way College Board does.

However, there is one section in which you are in luck: the essay prompts. After each administering of the SAT, College Board releases the four essay prompts that accompanied the test. No, don’t worry­—you only have to write one essay. The four prompts are to ensure that there is no cheating across time zones (Hey buddy in Hawaii – the prompt was so and so).

With four prompts release for every SAT there is vast number of essays you can practice from. Below are just some prompts:

Is it wise to be suspicious of the motives or honesty of other people, even those who appear to be trustworthy?

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Does improvement or progress usually involve a significant drawback or problem of some kind?

Is it wrong or harmful to motivate people to learn or achieve something by offering them rewards?


Of course endlessly writing SAT essays is not going to increase your score. Nonetheless, with a patient teacher, tutor, parent (or bright friend), you can use any of these prompts as practice, giving that person your essay for feedback.

Also by doing plenty of practice essays you will not only develop into a stronger essay writer (provided the feedback is constructive) but you will also pick up on an important fact: The SAT recycles the themes from many of its essay prompts.



After seeing a couple of dozen essays prompts, the chances of you being surprised by the essay topic test day are very low. And just as with any area in which you must perform at a high level, preparation is key.


About Chris Lele

Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 10 million views. You can read Chris's awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and High School blog! You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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