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SAT sample questions

The essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can develop and express ideas. You should, therefore, take care to develop your point of view, present your ideas logically and clearly, and use language precisely.

Your essay must be written on the lines provided on your answer sheet - you will receive no other paper on which to write. You will have enough space if you write on every line, avoid wide margins, and keep your handwriting to a reasonable size. Remember that people who are not familiar with your handwriting will read what you write. Try to write or print so that what you are writing is legible to those readers.

You have twenty-five minutes to write an essay on the topic assigned below. DO NOT WRITE ON ANOTHER TOPIC. AN OFF-TOPIC ESSAY WILL RECEIVE A SCORE OF ZERO.

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

A sense of happiness and fulfillment, not personal gain, is the best motivation and reward for one's achievements. Expecting a reward of wealth or recognition for achieving a goal can lead to disappointment and frustration. If we want to be happy in what we do in life, we should not seek achievement for the sake of winning wealth and fame. The personal satisfaction of a job well done is its own reward.

Scoring guide
SAT Writing essays are scored by experienced high school teachers and college faculty members who primarily teach English, composition, or language arts courses, or who teach a course in another subject that requires a substantial amount of writing.

Readers will use the Scoring Guide in conjunction with sample essays selected for training. The Scoring Guide provides a consistent and coherent framework for differentiating between score points.

Each essay will be scored independently by two qualified readers on a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being the highest score. The combined score for both readers will range from 2 to12. If the two readers' scores are more than one point apart, a third reader resolves the discrepancy.

These sample essays were written in response to the assignment presented above. They are in rank order from highest to lowest scores (6 to 1). Each essay is followed by an essay scorer's description of why the essay received a particular score.

Are people motivated to achieve by personal satisfaction rather than by money or fame? 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.