WSAT Sample Questions and Responses

See sample responses to the WSAT or practice by setting a timer to 75 minutes and responding to one of the sample questions below.

Sample Responses

WSAT ESSAY (Note: A thesis statement sums up the essay’s argument, while topic sentences sum up the main idea of each body paragraph.)

When you think of a criminal do you think of an old man with a cane and gun hobbling about trying to rob someone of their money? No! Most people know that teenagers are the ones that do most of the crime in America. Sociologists tell us that the majority of crimes are done by young men ages 16 to 24. A study recently revealed that the majority of young men in jail were high school dropouts. How can we combat this? One way would be for the Illinois legislature to consider a bill that would require the high school dropout age to be raised from 16 to 18. This means that just about every young man in America would earn a high school diploma. Raising the legal dropout ager for high school students is a good idea for several reasons.

First of all, raising the age means that most students will graduate and be eligible for better jobs. In the past a high school dropout would have had trouble finding a job. He might sit at home and find himself bored and miserable because of no money in his pocket. Friends in the same situation might come visit him and talk him into illegal activity in order to score some cash. Before the young man realizes, he’s into illegal activity and in trouble with the law. The situation might be different if the young man finished high school. A diploma would open more doors than no diploma. The young man might be eligible for a construction job or a city job. Getting a job would allow him to earn money and not feel so desperate about his situation in life. Going to work and having responsibilities leaves no room for illegal actions.

Second of all, raising the age means that the United States will have a more educated workforce. Americans learned recently that India and Japan have a more educated workforce. This means that they are able to put their citizens into jobs that help them move ahead in the world. If our society were to continue with our high school dropout rate, we would soon find that we didn’t have enough educated workers to take some of the crucial jobs we offer. As a service oriented nation, we need educated people to interact with clients. It is important, even in blue collar jobs, to be able to communicate with clients and bosses. America must have an educated workforce in order to compete with other post-industrial countries. We do not want to fall behind economically as that will have us dependent on other countries for our general welfare.

Third of all, educated people tend to be more aware of what it takes to be a compassionate citizen. When a student takes a course in history, he learns that many countries have had to fight for their freedoms. This usually took sacrifice and courage. A student of history learns to have an admiration and compassion for those who have been downtrodden. When a student takes a political science class, he learns that systems have been built to try and fight injustice. He learns why these systems don’t always work. Through science a student learns about the miracle of life. Through writing he learns how to express himself. Through reading he learns about other worlds. It is through this process that compassion may enter his psyche.

Education, then, is a win-win situation. The individual wins, our citizens win, and our country wins. Mandating that students stay in high school until they are 18 is a good, if not great, idea!

WSAT ESSAY (Note: A thesis statement sums up the essay’s argument, while topic sentences sum up the main idea of each body paragraph.)

Government surveillance is a big issue in the news nowdays. Should we install cameras on street corners? Should the government track what we do? Some people think so, and I can see their point, but other people think it’s a bad idea. I am understand to that side as well.

Stopping Crime

Most of the people that think that it’s a good idea think that it’s a good because of how it will affect the crimes. For instance, if there are cameras everywhere on the street corners, then criminals will think twice before they do a crime. If people do a crime; the cameras will make it easier for the police to track them down and arrested them. Finally, the innocent people on the streets will certainly have greater safeties as they conduct their business.

Privacy

In the other hand, the people who think it’s a bad idea mostly are thinking about privacy. These people worry that the government will be abusive or violate the constitution, they are concerned that the government will start collecting images of innocent people and invade our privacy. The government could start spying on our activities and threateneing people who are protests.

Which side is right?

In conclusion, I think it’s a good idea to put up these cameras; since I think the people who are concerned about prevent crime make a better point. Crimes like mugging, murder, and dangerous driving happen every day. By my house a little boy was hit by the speeding driver. Open the newspaper and see the stories of unsolved murders and shootings. I know many people who were victims of muggings, stopping these crime is more important than worrying about privacy.

Anyways, we can trust the government not to violate our privacy. We never see in the news the government violating our privacy. Thus, the people who want privacy have paranoia. But we cannot trust criminals on the street to care about us.

That’s why we need these cameras: to stop crime.

Sample Questions

Directions

Write an essay on ONE of the topics listed below. PLEASE USE A PEN.

You will have 75 minutes to complete the essay. Within the 75 minutes allowed you must:

  • use some of this time to plan before you begin to write your essay.
  • allow time at the end to proofread and revise your essay.

You may write an outline or notes on the sheet provided in your booklet, and you may use a dictionary and thesaurus.

Remember that a good essay usually has the following:
  • several paragraphs
  • good organization
  • well-supported opinions
Essay Topics
  1. A recent study indicated that 95 percent of criminals in Illinois jails are high school dropouts. Partly as a result of this study, a bill is being proposed in the Illinois legislature to raise the required high school attendance age from 16 to 18. Write an essay in which you try to convince high school students that raising the legal dropout age is or is not a good idea.
  1. Some people believe that kissing and hugging are not acceptable behavior in public. Others feel that kissing and hugging are a natural expression of human emotion. Write an essay in which you convince your fellow students that public displays of affection should or should not be allowed at Oakton.

See a successful student response at the top of the page.

Directions

Write an essay on ONE of the topics listed below. PLEASE USE A PEN.

You will have 75 minutes to complete the essay. Within the 75 minutes allowed you must:

  • use some of this time to plan before you begin to write your essay.
  • allow time at the end to proofread and revise your essay.

You may write an outline or notes on the sheet provided in your booklet, and you may use a dictionary and thesaurus.

Remember that a good essay usually has the following:
  • several paragraphs
  • good organization
  • well-supported opinions
Essay Topics
  1. At this time, the U.S. has no official language. Many people feel that a law should be passed making English the official language of this country. Others disagree. What do you think? Write an essay in which you try to convince your representative in Congress to agree with your position on this topic.
  2. Some people think that installing cameras on street corners is a good idea while others disagree. What do you think? Write an essay in which you try to convince other students to agree with your position on this topic.

See a successful student response to this prompt at the top of the page.