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The SAT Exam and Snooki from Jersey Shore? Reality TV Essay Prompt on the SAT

The most recent SAT Exam and its Reality TV Essay Prompt

Ok, so we’ve had some of our Top Test Prep students inform us that the most recent SAT exam discussed the benefits/harms of reality TV shows.  Yes, I just said it.  An actual SAT exam discussed something as ridiculous as reality television shows such as those in which contestants lose weight or are filmed in their daily life – being absurd as they are.

With the plethora of essay topics – in fact billions of possible essay prompts – it’s intriguing that the SAT / College Board writers would choose something like this.  Why would the College Board do this?  Well, perhaps the College Board is trying to make itself more relevant.  Perhaps the College Board and SAT writers are attempting to get more students to take its exam, over its rival ACT exam counterpart.  Whatever the case might be, we’re perplexed by the decision and think that students are better served writing about essay topics that will continue to be relevant five years from now – and not fade into oblivion as this prompt no doubt will….

Here’s the SAT Essay Prompt on the most recent SAT Exam:

“Reality television programs, which feature real people engaged in real activities rather than professional actors performing scripted scenes, are increasingly popular. These shows depict ordinary people competing in everything from singing and dancing to losing weight, or just living their everyday lives. Most people believe that the reality these shows portray is authentic, but they are being misled. How authentic can these shows be when producers design challenges for the participants and then editors alter filmed scenes?

Do people benefit from forms of entertainment that show so-called reality, or are such forms of entertainment harmful?”


This blog post was writtten by Chairman of Top Test Prep, and education expert Ross Blankenship.

For more information, call (800) 501-7737 or go to TopTestPrep.com.

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