作者蒋洋洋简介：上海新航道托福及SAT 主讲，剑桥大学商学院管理学硕士，北京国际关系学院英美文学硕士，美国马瑞埃塔大学国际关系及英国剑桥大学英国文学交流学习。代表剑桥大学参加2009 年牛津大学模拟联合国及上海国际商业计划大赛，均获得优异成绩。曾于北京奥运会期间任国际奥委会国际奥林匹克博物馆馆长Francis Gabet 助理，为《今日北京》、《小康》杂志多次撰稿。教学风格清新干练，深悟剑桥之所得与国人之所需，愿与新航道各位莘莘学子共同努力。
2008年3月的SAT Essay真题为"Should people always be loyal(是否人应当始终忠诚)?"。请读者阅读下文，并评估其得分。
Loyalty is one of the most esteemed traits of all cultures in the world, though the opposite, betrayal is the most condemned. Dante’s Ninth Circle of Hell, the circle of the worst sinners, is reserved for those who have committed treasury; the Bible paints Judas for committing a most unforgivable sin, the betrayal of Christ. However, the idea of loyalty has been impressed upon the public blindly. At times, devotion is not only unnecessary, but also dangerous for the follower.
In India, marriage traditions have dictated for centuries that the bride’s family must offer a dowry (usually comprised of cash and extremely expensive gifts) for the groom’s family. The Indian government has outlawed such practices since the 1960s, in attempts to modernize the country and lift some traditional burdens off the shoulders of its citizens. However, dowries are more often than not still presented to grooms’ families today, and trouble arises when grooms or their families (or both) demand extra dowry money from the wife and her family. In that instance, a wife may be tortured until her hapless family members pay up; if they are unable to produce the money, her own husband may burn her in a crime descriptively named “bride burning,” then marry another woman. One young girl, in 2003, who famously demonstrated that loyalty was overrated in this situation, reported the demands and threats to the police. She was immediately praised by women all over India, who admired her bravery for ﬁghting off greedy and cruel in-laws, as well as reporting her husband. It was previously believed that this system of ﬁdelity to one’s husband was absolute, which caused many Indian women to refrain from calling in police intervention. However, loyalty to those who would hurt us is undeserved, and threatening or harmful actions should lead us to break off communication, trust, and end those relationships.
Another pretense under which loyalty is used to take advantage of others is through the advertising tool of “brand loyalty.” Marketers have found that consumers can be cultivated to remain faithful to certain brands for years, and that buyers come to develop personal preferences that lead them to repeatedly purchase the same brands. Modern advertising is largely aimed at creating a loyal customer base in order to stabilize the profits of multi-million dollar corporations. Yet many of these brands may follow unethical practices such as animal testing and working with sweatshop factory owners. By retaining brand loyalty to such companies’ products, consumers are unwittingly supporting the continuation of animal cruelty and unfair working conditions. It is best to be informed about our purchases, and choose products that benefit the world, rather than simply buy a brand out of habit or esthetic preference.
The concept of loyalty is a beautiful one: unswerving faith and trust in a person or idea. However, the unscrupulous have also employed the ideal to unethical deeds. People should determine for themselves why loyalty is necessary in certain situations, and whether or not this loyalty is doing more harm than good. (504 words)
2007年6月的SAT Essay真题为"Do people truly beneﬁt from hardship and misfortune(人们是否真正能从困难和不幸中受益)?"。同样，请读者阅读下文，并评估其得分。
Misfortune makes life difﬁcult and bitter, but it can also give us a chance to reflect upon ourselves. As the saying goes, “Misfortune tells us what fortune is”. It is the pain from the misfortune that makes us know that dreams are not as easy as we think to come true. All we need to do is go through the misfortune and benefit from it. Some people may argue that we cannot gain anything from misfortune, what we get is tears and broken hearts. Actually, that is not the right answer.
Nowadays, almost every family has a product from Apple. But not everyone knows how hard Steve Jobs tried, how he went through all the troubles and how he persisted despite failures or encumbrances. The feelings of being ﬁred by his own company make him learn life is not an ease but a big deal. Everyone thought he would give up including himself. God closed a door and will open another window for you. Although Steve Jobs believed in Buddhism, this is still true. He opened an animation company called Pixar and earned all the money back by producing a successful animation called “Toy Story”. He returned to Apple to prove that the choice his previous opponents had made was definitely wrong. His passion, his hard work and his creativity were what he got from the misfortune. Misfortune can make someone have the idea to change the world. That’s why we befit from hardship and misfortune.
Famous people always benefit from hardship and misfortune, but the people around us also seem to benefit from the unfortunate things. When my friend’s parents divorced, it seemed as if she had lost everything precious in her life. She did many things that was not allowed before. Because of these things, many of her friends lived far away from her and kept a distance from her. She seemed to know that things she did may make her lonely, which made her change at last. She became more optimistic than before and always told us different stories around her. What makes her attractive than before is her hard-working and humors. The misfortune caused her to change, making her a stronger and friendlier person than before.
One should expect the journey of life to be free of any obstacles. What attitude should we hold toward those obstacles? We had better view them as important chances to reﬂect on and improve ourselves. (405 words)
2012年1月的SAT Essay真题为" Should people be treated according to what they are capable of achieving instead of what they have actually done? (应该以潜力还是应该以成就来看待人)?"。很遗憾，下面这篇考场作文并没有在规定时间内完成。那么，对于这篇没有完成的作文，评分者评了多少分呢？
In society, it is generally true that those who have fulﬁlled people’s expectations receive fame and money in return, but those who have tremendous potential but always disappoint the public by failing to meet their expectations receive nothing. This rule may seem pretty obvious to some people, but I do not think it is fair.
Liu Xiang is a famous runner in China. We have also seen him as the pride of China until recently. Back then in 2004 Olympics, Liu Xiang astonished the world by getting the ﬁrst place, Chinese were so excited. Then we start to praise him as a “god”. He broke the curse that “Asian people cannot run fast enough to get an Olympic champion.” We expect more from this “hero” of China ever since, and our expectations have turned into a burden on Liu’s shoulder. He is the only “hero” of running in China, but he is also a human. Four years later, Liu started the same competition in Olympics, the Beijing Olympic Games. This was a very special event for Chinese, the ﬁrst time that Olympics was held in China. Chinese people hoped that Liu was capable of winning this game in our own country again. But Liu got injured just before the competition, and he quit just at the moment of starting the race. Chinese got very frustrated, we could not believe the truth that our one and only “hero” failed and we started to criticize that our hero is giving up as a coward. To me those criticisms are not fair for Liu has tried his best and gave his precious performance. We can see that he is capable of winning. We should not blame him for that. He is just a human too. He gives us the pride of being a Chinese, but we give him (305 words)
虽然本文的开头可圈可点，但文章结构不完整这个硬伤也同样抢眼。另外，本文在时态方面有待做较大的改进。用词重复、句型不甚丰富、代词误用、词不达意等错误也比较明显。当然，本文之所以能评4分，而不是更低的分数，也反映了评卷者对诸如不完整的结构、不够优美的语言等瑕疵的容忍度。正如《SAT官方指南》上所说，评卷者受过严格的培训，他们很清楚考生面临着巨大的时间压力，并不会期待看到完美的文章，知道SAT考场作文相当于平常人们写作文时的第一稿（the ﬁrst draft），对错误有一定的包容度。