The essay below was written by SAT Varsity students in an interactive session with their verbal trainers. It can be used as a sample SAT essay:
By definition, success means the achievement of a goal set by a person in his or her mind. However, sometimes the same success can be disastrous as it may cause people to do certain things they wouldn’t have done before achieving success. This is evident in the examples of the Olympic overachiever Michael Phelps and Noble laureate John Nash.
Michael Phelps is a name not unknown to almost the entire world. He is a remarkable athlete who won 22 medals and set 8 world records in the Olympic games over the course of his career. However, despite his unparalleled success, or maybe even due to it, he started using performance-enhancing drugs. His achievements made him yearn for even more success, which prompted him to engage in such substance abuse. In this way, his success led to his own ultimate downfall.
Similar to the story of Michael Phelps is the story of John Nash. John Nash was a codebreaker for the American government. He devoted all his time and energy to his work and achieved great success in his field. As a result of long working hours and stress associated with his profession, he started having hallucinations. He imagined that he was assigned a very crucial task by a man of the government. These hallucinations were a direct result of his great efforts to achieve success in breaking codes for his government. His mental state drove him to the point of even contemplating suicide. Thereby, it can be said that his own success was the biggest cause of his distress.
In the final analysis, I would like to restate my opinion, that is, success can very well have disastrous effects. Both of the aforementioned examples support this idea. It is all a matter of not letting your success overpower you, as the biggest success is in controlling your success and not letting it control you.