Hi, I've started studying for the GRE, and need some help with reviewing my essays. I did read sample essays and recommendations, tips/tricks, etc. I tend to follow a certain style with my essays, and I just need feedback on whether it is acceptable, and possibly, an estimated score on what my essays will fetch, just to get an idea. I won't hold anyone to their opinions, or get upset if their estimation is off. Thanks in advance.
Here are 2 sample responses that I've written for the issues essay.
What most human beings really want to attain is not knowledge but certainty. Gaining real knowledge requires taking risks and keeping the mind open-but most people prefer to be reassured rather than to learn the complex and often unsettling truth about anything.
-- 407 wordsThe Earth was initially thought to be flat, and the first person who proposed that it might be round was widely ridiculed. Human beings in general takes a long time to warm up to changes, which enforces the idea that we seek certainty rather than knowledge. Several scenarios can be stated as evidence, from job trends to the more recent health care reform proposed changes.
Even though most of us are comfortable trying new things in some areas, such as culinary experiences, travel destination, reading materials, or fashion choices, but we still seek routine and certainty in most areas of our lives. How many times have you passed on trying a new dish and going instead for a burger? Or looked at a job in a new field, and then settling for one closest to your previous experience? Usually a willing job change has to come with a guaranteed pay raise or a promotion. While we do try new things once in a while, we have to realize that that is the exception rather than the norm, and these changes take a long time to come to fruition.
Using more recent news as an example, the uproar over the new proposed health care changes shows that people prefer the status quo, despite its flaws. There are pros and cons for both the old health care system and the newly proposed one, and even though people have issues with the current system, they are afraid that the reform will increase medical costs and increase treatment time. People are afraid of change mostly because they are not sure it will be for the better.
Another example of change resistance of the individual is the issue of environmentalism and global warming. Even though we know that most of Europe are driving smaller, fuel-economic cars and recycling aggressively, but the US is still slow to adopt these proposed environmental-friendly habits. Even with government-proposed compost-recycling in San Francisco, most residents of San Francisco still do not have the habit of recycling their compost. Although change is in progress, and it helps if their neighbors and friends are also doing it, but it will be a while before recycling and full environmental-behavior becomes the norm.
In order for people to accept change, they have to be sufficiently prepared. Changes also have to be for the better, and it helps if the change occurs for the masses rather than for a singled out individual.
The way students and scholars interpret the materials they work with in their academic fields is more a matter of personality than of training. Different interpretations come about when people with different personalities look at exactly the same objects, facts, data, or events and see different things
-- 433 wordsThe definition of materials and interpretation can be infinite. When we think of academic materials, it could range from the hard sciences to the performance arts, and all of these fields enforces application of training and self-interpretation of varying degrees. However, on the individual level, the difference between applying a trained technique verses a unique interpretation is a personal choice.
We do have to accommodate the fact that training does still play a part in a student's interpretation of materials. if a teacher chooses to omit a certain technique from the subject curriculum, it will inadvertently affect a student's interpretation of the subject material. However, it seems like a student's interpretation occurs in spite of training, and not because of it. Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs never completed their college coursework for graduation, and despite that, were able to achieve much more than their peers by interpreting the same materials and deriving products that were embraced by the masses.
When we think about math, most of our academic studies revolve around a problem with a definitive solution. With engineering, we are usually presented with an assignment with a clear goal. And with science, we have a what, and we have to derive the how and the why. Even though all of the above hard sciences have a fixed target, the routes for resolution is many. Even with a math problem such as x = y + z, there is usually more than one way to solve it. And I believe that whether one chooses to solve it the shortest way, or to take the long-winded route, or using the textbook proposed route, boils down to our individual personalities.
Veering away from the sciences and looking at the arts, our teachers always say that we should master the techniques before we are free to invoke our artistic license. Even with artistic training, we are always taught more than one technique to accomplish the same thing. And which technique we choose to use, or whether we choose to master all techniques, or derive our own in the process, is a personality choice. Take for example, the figure skating segment of the winter Olympics. Every skater is given the same set of rules and moves to complete, but each skater is able to come up with different programs with vastly different styles, all reflective of their individual personalities.
In conclusion, even though I acknowledge that training plays a part in a student's initial knowledge of a subject matter, but ultimately, it is the student's personality that determines the application and the interpretation of the materials.
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