SSAT Essay Writing Sample 1

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Directions: Choose the essay topic appropriate to your exam and write an essay. Sample responses begin on the next page.

25 Minutes

Topic: Some educators suggest that all elementary, middle school, and high school students should be required to wear school uniforms. What do you think?

Essay Sample:

Many people have suggested that all students be required to wear uniforms to school. Some students object to this idea because it takes away their individuality, but I think there are a number of reasons why school uniforms might be a good idea.

Over the past few years, there have been no dress guidelines and no dress codes in our schools. Some students just naturally dress neatly and appropriately, but others are truly sloppy. When people dress in sloppy clothing, they tend to be too relaxed. This leads to sloppy thinking. Pretty soon they lose respect for school and teachers and the whole learning process. School uniforms would remind these students that they are in school for a purpose. I think that if everyone were dressed in the same uniform there would be more school spirit too. Students would all feel as if they were part of something important.

Some students, especially girls, worry too much about their clothes and how they look. They bother their parents to spend too much on clothes, often more than their families can afford, and are always trying to compete. I have heard about boys fighting over "status" clothes. There have been cases of stealing fancy jackets and sneakers and even some knifings. School uniforms might cost more, but each student needs only two or three of them. This would take the pressure off poorer families. If everyone dressed alike, there would be no competition. A special benefit that educators probably haven't thought of is that of extra sleep. With no choice of what to wear, it will be much quicker to dress and get out in the morning.

I think we should try out school uniforms. I expect that discipline, paying attention, and school spirit will go up while squabbles about appearance and fights over clothing will go down. And I think that many students will be happier without the competition, and parents will be happier too.

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