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Maths Essay Questions

The directions and question numbers below are representative of what students will encounter on test day. Some math sections allow the use of a calculator, while others do not, as indicated in the directions.


Turn to Section 3 of your answer sheet to answer the questions in this section.

For questions 1-15, solve each problem, choose the best answer from the choices provided, and fill in the corresponding circle on your answer sheet. For questions 16-20, solve the problem and enter your answer in the grid on the answer sheet. Please refer to the directions before question 16 on how to enter your answers in the grid. You may use any available space in your test booklet for scratch work.

  1. The use of a calculator [is permitted]/[is not permitted].
  2. All variables and expressions used represent real numbers unless otherwise indicated.
  3. Figures provided in this test are drawn to scale unless otherwise indicated.
  4. All figures lie in a plane unless otherwise indicated.
  5. Unless otherwise indicated, the domain of a given function is the set of all real numbers x for which  is a real number.

Reference

The number of degrees of arc in a circle is 360.

The number of radians of arc in a circle is 

The sum of the measures in degrees of the angles of a triangle is 180.


For student-produced response questions, students will also see the following directions:

For questions 16-20, solve the problem and enter your answer in the grid, as described below, on the answer sheet.

  1. Although not required, it is suggested that you write your answer in the boxes at the top of the columns to help you fill in the circles accurately. You will receive credit only if the circles are filled in correctly.
  2. Mark no more than one circle in any column.
  3. No question has a negative answer.
  4. Some problems may have more than one correct answer. In such cases, grid only one answer.
  5. Mixed numbers such as must be gridded as 3.5 or
    (If  is entered into the grid as , it will be interpreted as not 
  6. Decimal answers: If you obtain a decimal answer with more digits than the grid can accommodate, it may be either rounded or truncated, but it must fill the entire grid.


If you will be requesting (or have been approved for) the accommodation of Assistive Technology Compatible format (digital testing for use with a screen reader or other assistive technology) for the SAT, you may wish to also review the math sample items in their fully formatted versions which are sorted as questions that permit the use of a calculator and questions that do not permit the use of a calculator. 

Please note that all testing accommodations, including requests for assistive technology and special formats, must be approved by the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities in advance of test-day.

Related Topics:
More Lessons for SAT Test Prep
Math Worksheets



 


We have a collection of the new SAT Essay Questions from March 2005 till the most recent test released by College Board.

October 2007

If you took the October 2007 SAT Reasoning Test, you would have been given one of the essay prompts below:

Prompt 1

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

A person does not simply "receive" his or her identity. Identity is much more than the name or features one is born with. True identity is something people must create for themselves by making choices that are significant and that require a courageous commitment in the face of challenges. Identity means having ideas and values that one lives by.

Adapted from Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action

Assignment:
Is identity something people are born with or given, or is it something people create for themselves? 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.


Prompt 2

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

We value uniqueness and originality, but it seems that everywhere we turn, we are surrounded by ideas and things that are copies or even copies of copies. Writers, artists, and musicians seek new ideas for paintings, books, songs, and movies, but many sadly realize, "It's been done." The same is true for scientists, scholars, and businesspeople. Everyone wants to create something new, but at best we can hope only to repeat or imitate what has already been done.

Assignment:
Can people ever be truly original? 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.


Prompt 3

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

All people who have achieved greatness in something knew what they excelled at. These people identified the skills that made them special—good judgment, or courage, or a special artistic or literary talent—and focused on developing these skills. Yet most people achieve superiority in nothing because they fail to identify and develop their greatest attribute.

Adapted from Baltasar Gracián y Morales, The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Adapted from Stephen J. Carter, Integrity

Assignment:
Do people achieve greatness only by finding out what they are especially good at and developing that attribute above all else? 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.


Prompt 4

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

Having many admirers is one way to become a celebrity, but it is not the way to become a hero. Heroes are self-made. Yet in our daily lives we see no difference between "celebrities" and "heroes." For this reason, we deprive ourselves of real role models. We should admire heroes—people who are famous because they are great—but not celebrities—people who simply seem great because they are famous.

Adapted from Daniel Boorstin, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America

Assignment:

Should we admire heroes but not celebrities? 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.

More SAT essay prompts at SAT preparation.



Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget, a free math problem solver that answers your questions with step-by-step explanations.


You can use the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.



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