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This topic has 2 member replies
rahsharma79 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
24 Apr 2008
Posted:
3 messages

Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:58 am
Please rate my essays below. Many thanks!

Analyze Argument:

"Each generation of Americans has lived longer that the ones preceding it, as the national life expectancy has approached 80 years old in recent years. The progress of medical technology shows no sign of abating. Therefore, we can confidently predict that most children born in America in the next decade will live past the age of ninety."

My Response:

The author argues that since each generation of Americans has lived longer than the ones preceding it, this trend will continue. He further goes on to predict that because the progress of medical technology shows no sign of abating, most children born in America would live past the age on ninety as the national life expectancy has approached 80 years old in recent years.

The author's argument is flawed because he generalizes his prediction solely on the basis of an average number. It may be the case that average is based on heavily skewed data and life expectancy for half of the people in America is actually less than 50 while the other half greater than 100. In such a situation one can not claim that the life expectancy of most people is greater than 80. Thus, a prediction based on an average number is inaccurate if such pattern continues for future generations.

Further the author needs to clarify whether the medical advances made have a direct co-relation with increasing life. It might not be necessary that all medical advances contribute to life saving techniques. It is possible that most of the new advances in medical technology reduce the time it takes a person to recover from a certain illness while actually doing nothing to increase life. Without substantial data on these advances it is wrong on the author's part of to generalize.

Another flaw in the author's prediction is his confident tone on an area where he refuses to consider the variables. Consider the possibility of world wide climate change, leading to new illnesses, or a large scale war which leads to millions of deaths reducing the life expectancy. If we go back in history, we can see that after the world wars there was a dramatic increase in the life expectancy worldwide,which can not be attributed to advances in the medical field or high life expectancy of previous generations.

Without considering these variables it is impossible to confidently predict what the age of an average American would be in the next generation. To drive home his point more convincingly, the author, along with the above points, should consider the data as a whole giving importance to demographics and the standard deviation of his data.

Analyze Issue

"Individuals living in capitalist economies suffer a higher degree of personal risk than in other types of economies. Creating regulations that protect a society can't help but interfere with free market forces, a basic tenet of capitalism."

My Response:

The issue raised is that individuals living in capitalist economies suffer a higher degree of personal risk than in other types of economies. Furthermore, this risk can not be lessened by creating regulations that protect a society as they would interfere with free market forces, which is against the basic tenet of capitalism.

The analysis is logically flawed as it depends on the premise that there is a higher personal risk in capitalist economies. Capitalist economies have a higher degree of personal involvement by individuals whose interests and assets are at stake. Because of this personal involvement these individuals try to ensure that their risks are minimized. When compared to a communist or a socialist economy, where there is lesser personal involvement of individuals who do not take the same kind of personal interest to alleviate the risks, capitalist economy seems better interested in lowering this risk.

Consider the recent sale of a number of russian public companies to the private individuals. Since the sale has been completed many of these companies have prospered, becoming one of the biggest in the world, and made record profits. This has led to an increase in wealth for the individual owners and in tax income for the government. Without keeping the risk in control it would not have been possible for these individuals to create this kind of wealth in such a short period of time, which had not been possible when the same companies were regulated by the government.

Another example which springs to mind is that of China. China took over Hong Kong in 1997 from the British but did not convert the territory to a communist economy rather letting it remain a capitalist economy. We can see clearly the per capita income and standard of living in Hong Kong is higher than that of China. This would not have been possible if individual risks were not kept in control.

Another point which the author makes is that regulations can not help protect a capitalist society from risks as it is against the principle of capitalist society. There needs to be a line drawn on how much regulation is too much. America and Britain, the two torch bearers of capitalism, also have regulations to control risks. They also have bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commision, having stringent norms, to regulate the financial markets. Yet both remain completely capitalist economies.

It is unfair to say that any regulation would be counter productive by interfering with free markets. It is also inaccurate on the author's part to claim that there is higher personal risk of individuals when he does not consider that because of their higher involvement, these risks are alleviated.

VP_Jim GMAT Instructor
Joined
01 May 2008
Posted:
1223 messages
Followed by:
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:12 am
Hi rahsharma79,

First, for your Analysis of an Argument essay, good job on the format, and pointing out the assumptions the author has made in his argument.

However, try to make time to proofread for grammatical and spelling mistakes before you submit the essay - the author is talking about "life expectancy," not just "life." Also, try to come up with examples as to how the author could strengthen his argument; for example, citing studies or surveys that prove his point. Finally, for your conclusion, I'd recommend summarizing your entire essay, instead of just the last body paragraph.

I'd rate this essay a 4 or 5. You're definitely on the right track, though! Good luck!

_________________
Jim S. | GMAT Instructor | Veritas Prep

Last edited by VP_Jim on Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:19 am; edited 1 time in total

VP_Jim GMAT Instructor
Joined
01 May 2008
Posted:
1223 messages
Followed by:
13 members
185
Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:16 am
For your Analysis of an Issue essay, the question asks you to state your opinion, and NOT to state why you think the argument is flawed.

I do, however, commend your use of real-world, specific examples, which is what they are looking for in this type of essay. Again, try to make the time to proofread your essay carefully at the end, and try to summarize the entire essay in your conclusion (even though it may seem like you're just reiterating your essay, and may become tedious after awhile). Try also not to use first person prounouns in your essay ("we," "I," or "me," etc.).

I'd give this a 3 or 4.

_________________
Jim S. | GMAT Instructor | Veritas Prep

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