SAT Essay Prep

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 Have you ever wondered what a high scoring SAT essay looks and sounds like? Below you will find an essay that scored a 6 on the SAT.  This essay is very clear and consistent so be sure to read it and learn from it.

Essay:

Although it is good to stand out and make one’s own decisions, sometimes it is beneficial to take the advice of others.  We can see through the demise of King Lear that he shouldn’t have ignored Kent’s warning to not disown Cordelia.  The ignominious loss of Sweden in the Great Northern War also demonstrates that rulers should listen to their advisers.

Listening to his advisers would have saved Lear from making a poor decision.  In Shakespeare’s play King Lear, Lear decides to divide his hand amongst his three daughters according to how much each daughter loved him.  Goneril and Regan, the two wicked daughters, exaggerate their love for him, while Cordelia, the  youngest daughter, claims to love Lear only so much as a daughter should love her father.  Lear becomes furious with this blunt answer and disowns Cordelia, leaving Goneril and Regan with the most land.  These two sisters, who are the new rulers of the Kingdom, mistreat their father until he goes insane.  If Lear had only listened to his adviser Kent’s warning not to divy up the land the way he did, Lear wouldn’t have suffered such a miserable fate.

Charles XII of Sweden could also have avoided a bad outcome of events if he didn’t act so impulsively in the Great Northern War, which began in 1700.  In this conflict, Russia went to war with Sweden over a foothold in the Baltic Sea.  Sweden was the favor to win, and dealt Russia a humiliating defeat at the Battle of Narva.  Peter the Great of Russia, however, took this early loss as a wake up call and built up his navy.  While he was doing this, Charles became ambitious and made the poor decision to invade Poland, thus dividing his tropps and resources.  He didn’t pay any attention to his advisers, who urged him to stay the course of the war he was already in.  Sweden ended up losing the entire war because of Charles’ actions at the final Battle of Poltara in 1721.  Charles would have succeeded if he didn’t ignore the suggestions of others.

Both Lear and Charles made irrational decisions that would have been prevented if they hadn’t so stubbornly acted by their own intuitions alone.  In order to succeed in this world, we must learn to take the advice of others and appreciate the advantages in doing so.

* Essay from 2007-08 ScoreWrite-A Guide to Preparing for the SAT Essay
 

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