October 2008 Sat Essay Tips

(Hi all. Please do me a favor and grade my SAT practice essay. Please do grade on a scale of 1-6, as the SAT graders do. Please do not hesitate to point out mistakes as well as advice on how I can improve my work. I have typed it verbatim, and I have noticed several mistakes myself as I typed. )

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

We are frequently told that compromise is the best way for people to work out their differences. When people compromise, with each side losing a little in order to reach a satisfactory agreement, both sides can continue to live in harmony. However, compromise can work only when the issues at stake are not that important. Compromise does not work when there is a genuine difference of opinion about strongly held principles or ideas.


Is compromise always the best way to resolve a conflict? 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.


Keen observation will reveal one thing about the world in which we reside today. If we have indeed found in compromise, the best solution to conflict, the world of terror, fear, international suspicion and animosity is rather devoid of it. Compromise, in my view, might serve as an effective measure to put a stop to a limited range of conflicts, but it is by no means capable of resolving all the conflicts that we encounter.

The betraying weakness of compromise can be seen in situations that do not have a win-win resolution. The Treaty of Versailles, and the British Appeasement policy, which were among the factors that led cumulatively to World War Two, are historical examples that stand as testimony to the graves consequences that arise from making compromises that are not favorable to both parties.

The failure of compromise as an effective solution is also seen in its inability to reconcile parties with clearly divergent mindsets. A notable example that comes to mind is the perennial debate surrounding abortion, with both the pro-life and pro-choice camps adamantly refusing to compromise any part of their personal sets of beliefs, which are deeply entrenched in their personal value systems.

It is an unfortunate yet inescapable truth of our existence that the moral and legal standards of other men are in conflict with our own. What is to us, an unforgivable and heartless action can be to another a perfectly rational decision with a justifiable outcome, as evidenced by the gruesome beheading of the journalist Daniel Pearl. Of what use then, in the face of such divergent mindsets, is compromise?

It is undeniably true that compromise has its place in our world. In fact, daily conflicts around us are peacefully resolved with compromise, and both parties are able to leave with smile on their faces. However, in our imperfect world of violence, mistrust, ideological clashes and extremism, one must keep in mind the fragility and the shortcomings of the human race. It is only on such a day when those weaknesses can be eradicated that one can declare compromise to be the solution to all our conflicts.

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Format Changes and Tips for the New SAT starting March 2016

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SAT Math Help (New, Redesigned)

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