This is from the first edition of the Official SAT Study Guide, correct?
Here's your essay. I may decide to make some changes or edits as I go along, so please compare your version with the one here.
People may change if they encounter an inspiring individual or if a significant event happens to them. Such encounters or events may cause people to change their views on certain issues, or even their philosophy of life.
I used to be inattentive to detail when I was young. I would glance through a passage and not spot the error, or miss out important details on a maths question. It was my foolish view that such errors did not matter, and I could get through life without having to correct these errors. The time came when I had to apply for university, for which I had to complete an application form, including a statement describing myself. Thinking that it was an easy piece of writing, I spent relatively little time on it. It was only when my teacher pointed out glaring grammatical and spelling errors that I realized the potential repercussions. “Is this really what you’d like to sound like to an admissions tutor? An inattentive student who doesn't know the difference between “you’re” and “your”?” my teacher pointed out harshly. I knew from then on that I could not continue to be slovenly in detail, whether it be writing or everyday life. In my case, receiving harsh, but honest and necessary, criticism motivated me to change.
People may change if a tragic event happens to them. The book XYZ tells the story of a long-term alcoholic has been ignoring the pleas of his family members for years; he had tried to stay off drinking for a brief period of time, then he would fail to resist the great temptation of a cool drink, and descend into drunkenness and violence. One day he found out that his wife had terminal cancer. He would dutifully visit her every day, albeit always drunk and untidy. His wife said nothing about this, until he last day, when she said, “I want you to live a good life after me.” He had finally realized that his drinking had been causing much misery and sorrow in his dysfunctional family. It dawned on him that he could never see her again, having wasted so many years in insobriety and unconsciousness.
The morals of the two stories are that people can, and do change, no matter how unoptimistic the outlook may be. We are all equipped with the ability to change; indeed, change must come from within, but it must also be catalyzed by a powerful external force. Only then will the change last. People may change if they encounter an inspiring individual, or a significant event happens to them. Such encounters or events may cause a person to change his or views on certain issues, or even his or her philosophy of life.
First, how much time did you spend writing it? At 796 words, it's quite long (many people score a 5/6 or 6/6 with 400 to 500 words, give or take).Never mind. I see that some writing was duplicated. I edited it quickly, making a guess about how you intended to write it.
This is a pretty good start. I'd score it a 4 or a 5 out of 6. Your second body paragraph is better than the first because it has a "topic" sentence ("People may change if a tragic event happens to them"), which is important for the SAT essay, if only to make sure that your point is crystal clear.
And the story of the alcoholic--I've heard that before, I think. Just can't remember from where. Reddit.com maybe?
Not sure whether you're still around, but if you have any questions on the SAT essay, please let me know. I'll try to help.