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Thread: Requesting feedback on GRE AWA issue essay

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    Lightbulb Requesting feedback on GRE AWA issue essay

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    Hi everyone,

    Could someone rate and provide feedback on my issue essay? The topic is from the ETS issue pool.

    Educational institutions have a responsibility to dissuade students from pursuing fields of study in which they are unlikely to succeed.
    Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.

    In the world of globalisation and amalgam of eclectic cultures, there are a lot of courses available in universities for the students to study. Needless to say, with freedom of choice to pursue these courses comes the limitation of whether one will be able to succeed to study and make a living out of it. Educational institutions should deter students from opting for courses in which they’re unlikely to succeed, because of factors pertaining to efforts and opportunity cost.

    A student’s diligence and efforts more or less determine the grades, and in a way how he’ll be succeeding in that field. Moreover, if the student decides to switch fields, or wishes to delve into a new unorthodox and challenging path, the chance of failure is relatively less as compared to someone who is frivolous and remiss. For instance, Chetan Bhagat, a renowned novelist, comes from an engineering and a management background, graduating from the top schools of India with stellar grades. His persistence in whatever field he wanted to get into led him to his pedestal of success. Though top Indian universities only focus on a major theme: IITs and IIMs emphasising on engineering and management respectively, if he had an opportunity to shift to a major apart from engineering, he would have a good chance at succeeding. Therefore, someone having bad grades would be a clear indication that it wouldn’t be prudent to allow him to change his field of study, since he won’t be able to put in the required efforts to make a difference.

    Even if the person has a good academic record, this shouldn’t be a reason for him to be allowed to change majors. The future is full of uncertainty, and establishing a good financial background at the earliest would help the person live a life without stress. The opportunity cost in the future associated with changing majors should be considered, since it could happen that the chances of succeeding in it are negligible. A good example would be the art of filming. For someone to major in Computer Science would be a wise call currently because of the abundance of job opportunities. However, if someone makes a decision to shift to filming, just because of the “coolness” factor, or maybe in an attempt to mimic his favourite director, it’s not going to be a good decision. The ratio of people succeeding in computer science and getting a good paying job to the total graduates far exceeds the ratio for filming. Thus, with a foresight of the future, if universities allow students to change into unorthodox majors, then it wouldn’t a solid economic foundation of the nation, since a lot of people living stressful lives would hamper the development of the country.

    Someone could say that one should always study things according to their call, because happiness and emotional stability is the most important thing. However, the importance of having a good financial stability far exceeds the requirements of satisfying emotions, since even if someone is unhappy, he or she can use the ability to spend money on things so that you can improve your life in different ways possible. Thus, this concludes that educational institutions shouldn’t allow students to take up fields of study in which they’re unlikely to succeed.

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    Re: Requesting feedback on GRE AWA issue essay

    I am not an expert, only a fellow test-taker. What I provide is simply my opinion.

    Overall, your introduction is strong. I would hesitate to use too many GRE vocabulary because you need a mastery level understanding of said words and using too many would not allow for a proper flow, For example, in you opening sentence, the use of globalization, amalgam, and eclectic sounds awkward. Personally, I would try to spread these words throughout the essay and not write them back-to-back.

    The second paragraph seems strong. There is a clear argument, with examples, however, the example of Chetan Bhagat's success does not directly connect to your concluding statement. You conclude the second paragraph with someone having bad grades. I believe it would be better to provide an example of how someone with bad grades will perform poorly in other fields of study.

    The third paragraph seems to be contradicting your argument in the second paragraph. You clearly stated that if a person performs well in one field, it is likely the person would perform well in another field due to diligence and persistence. Yet, you argue in the third paragraph that these characteristics are not enough. Although each of the two body paragraphs work well on their own, they don't work well together in this essay because it seems like you're arguing with yourself. I hope my perspective is clear.

    The conclusion is weak because you're introducing other factors and new examples to your argument. Rather, try to summarize what you have already written. In this case, I would personally have split that last paragraph and perhaps added a sentence or two to my conclusion.

    Although I'm not an expert, I hope you my ideas will help in some way.

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