Sat Essay On Can Success Be Disastrous

Please help me, write your comments about my essay.

Can success be disastrous? A question that no one questions when they try to reach success. Success is defined as money, knowledge, power, authority... etc. When people try to reach success they want one of those things and maybe all of them, but they never question what will happen through their journey and when they gain what they want what will they lose in return.

Business men is a great example for the miserable life that sometimes success may cause. Everyone wishes to be rich and powerful; and for some people their greed for success to do unpleasant things unconsciously. Through the journey of trying to rich and powerful they tend to lose some important things by time, and they don't notice that except when they reach what they wanted. We hear a lot about business men who lately got divorced and their kids turned from loving them to hating them and a lot of lovely things they had in the past but it's all gone after succeeding. You never imagine that you may lose your favorite people to reach success, but unfortunately when we gain what we want that's the time when we notices what we lost.

As an another example Dr. Faustus. Dr. Faustus is a novel about a man in the Renaissance age who didn't like being limited. Even though he reached the highest level in nearly everything his greed for more was beyond imagination. He thought that necromancy would give him the unlimited life but when Dr. Faustus made the deal with the devil and became a Magician his found that his life became more limited. He couldn't get married because he was damned, he can't bring dead people to life again, and everything Mephistopheles his '' devil servant'' told him were things he knew before. Dr. Faustus huger for the unlimited life made him blind to see the signs that appeared for him before signing that contract.

Indeed success isn't a bad thing, but before starting our journey for success we need to think what will we lose through this journey and is it worth it?

[NOTE: this applies to the pre-2016 version of the SAT]


It is hard to write an SAT essay in only 25 minutes. You barely have enough time to write it, much less come up with two examples to prove your thesis right on the spot.

Luckily, the College Board isn’t looking for a perfect essay. On page 105 in the The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd edition, they tell you exactly what they are looking for:

  • Effectively and insightfully develops a point of view
  • Is well organized and clearly focused
  • Exhibits a skillful use of language
  • Demonstrates meaningful variety in sentence structure
  • Is free of most errors

So what does that mean? For starters, your essay MUST include an introduction, at least two specific examples that directly support your thesis, and a conclusion.

Know thy foe

Read through the example essays in the book – start with the “1” essay on page 135 and read backwards to the “6” essay on page 120. Read the example and the explanation for the score. This will show you exactly how the College Board applies their criteria.

Here’s what you can do to make it easier on yourself on test day.

Brainstorm your SAT essay examples right now

The essay questions cover big themes:

  • Can success be disastrous?
  • Can knowledge be a burden rather than a benefit?
  • Is it important to question the ideas and decisions of people in authority?

Generally, the themes focus on conflict, freedom, responsibility, knowledge, and the needs or rights of individuals vs. groups. Luckily these themes are broad enough that you can use practically anything as an example to illustrate your point.

I recommend that my students pick 3- 5 examples from different genres that they could use for any particular essay. Think of the main characters, main themes, and specific examples that illustrate those themes. You don’t have to use “the classics.”

Remember, use what you know and love. (If sports isn’t your thing, then don’t use a sports example.)

Here are some recent examples my students have used:


  • Katniss in The Hunger Games (individual vs group, freedom, responsibility, courage, growing up)
  • Hermione  in Harry Potter (courage, growing up, doing the right thing, individual, sacrifice)


  • Harry Potter (responsibility, change, knowledge, failure)
  • Winnie the Pooh (importance of friendship, courage, trying again, being nice, reaching for goals)

Current Events/Politics/World History

  • Occupy Wall Street movement (freedom, fairness, individual vs. group)
  • Hutu/Tutsi conflict in Rwanda (freedom, responsibility, power, individual vs. government)
  • Hungary’s response to WWII (responsibility, politics, freedom)


  • Tiger Woods (responsibility, fame, money, family)
  • LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers (fame, money, individual vs. group)

TV Shows

  • Desperate Housewives (conflict, loyalty, doing the right thing, trust)
  • The Wire (doing the right thing, knowledge, responsibility)

Personal Examples

  • Sitting out the whole soccer season due to an injury (leadership, individual, courage, growing up)
  • Crashing the family car (growing up, freedom)
  • Losing my best friend (doing the right thing, growing up, courage)

Now that you have a variety of examples in your back pocket, how do you translate that into 25 minute essay?

Related Posts

SAT Essay: Pick a Side

SAT Essay: Outline Your Essay

SAT Essay: Write Like the Wind

SAT Essay: Review Your Work

Image source: mag3737 on Flickr



Filed Under: Strategy, Writing

0 thoughts on “Sat Essay On Can Success Be Disastrous

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *