Analytical Writing Assessment Section

В Analytical Writing Assessment («Аналитическое письмо»), первом разделе GMAT, нужно написать небольшое эссе по одному заданному аргументу. На выполнение работы дается 30 минут. 

При написании эссе следует помнить о том, что свое мнение выражать не нужно. Вместо этого требуется представить критическую оценку заданного утверждения.

Рекомендации для составления эссе:

  1. Оцените аргумент и спланируйте свой ответ перед тем, как начать писать.
  2. Стремитесь к логически верному расположению идей и наиболее полному их раскрытию.
  3. Позаботьтесь о том, чтобы привести убедительные аргументы и примеры.

Что касается проверки вашего эссе, то оно оценивается экспертной группой преподавателей из колледжей и университетов из различных тематических областей. Они оценивают общее качество ваших рассуждений и письменной речи. 

Важно также знать, что сочинение оценивается два раза, а итоговая оценка представляет собой среднее арифметическое двух рейтингов. В том случае, если вашему эссе были поставлены совершенно разные баллы, то тогда его проверяет третий эксперт, который и выносит решающее суждение. Максимальный результат за сочинение – 6 баллов, возможны половинные интервалы.

Образец вопроса и ответа

Вопрос

The following appeared in the editorial section of a monthly business news magazine: 

«Most companies would agree that as the risk of physical injury occurring on the job increases, the wages paid to employees should also increase. Hence it makes financial sense for employers to make the workplace safer: they could thus reduce their payroll expenses and save money».

Нужно проанализировать, насколько хорошо обосновано это утверждение. В своем тексте следует обязательно рассмотреть цепочку рассуждений в заданном аргументе и их убедительность. Так, вам может показаться, что в основе утверждения лежат сомнительные предположения, и в своем эссе вы предложите альтернативную точку зрения, основанную на контраргументах.

Вы также можете предложить аргументы, которые усиливают или ослабляют заданное утверждение, а также какие-то логические правки в его структуру для большей убедительности как данного, так и вашего утверждения.

Ответ

Ниже – эссе, которое набрало большое число баллов:

This argument states that it makes financial sense for employers to make the workplace safer because by making the workplace safer then lower wages could be paid to employees. This conclusion is based on the premise that as the list of physical injury increases, the wages paid to employees should also increase.

However, there are several assumptions that may not necessarily apply to this argument. For example, the costs associated with making the workplace safe must outweigh the increased payroll expenses due to hazardous conditions. Also, one must look at the plausibility of improving the work environment. And finally, because most companies agree that as the risk of injury increases so will wages doesn't necessarily mean that all companies which have hazardous work environments agree. 

The first issue to be addressed is whether increased labor costs justify large capital expenditures to improve the work environment. Clearly one could argue that if making the workplace safe would cost an exorbitant amount of money in comparison to leaving the workplace as is and paying slightly increased wages than it would not make sense to improve the work environment. For example, if making the workplace safe would cost $100 million versus additional payroll expenses of only $5,000 per year, it would make financial sense to simply pay the increased wages. No business or business owner with any sense would pay all that extra money just to save a couple dollars and improve employee health and relations. To consider this, a cost benefit analysis must be made. I also feel that although a cost benefit analysis should be the determining factor with regard to these decisions making financial sense, it may not be the determining factor with regard to making social, moral and ethical sense. 

This argument also relies on the idea that companies solely use financial sense in analyzing improving the work environment. This is not the case. Companies look at other considerations such as the negative social ramifications of high on-job injuries. For example, Toyota spends large amounts of money improving its environment because while its goal is to be profitable, it also prides itself on high employee morale and an almost perfectly safe work environment. However, Toyota finds that it can do both, as by improving employee health and employee relations they are guaranteed a more motivated staff, and hence a more efficient staff; this guarantees more money for the business as well as more safety for the employees.

Finally one must understand that not all work environments can be made safer. For example, in the case of coal mining, a company only has limited ways of making the work environment safe. While companies may be able to ensure some safety precautions, they may not be able to provide all the safety measures necessary. In other words, a mining company has limited ability to control the air quality within a coal mine and therefore it cannot control the risk of employees getting blacklung. In other words, regardless of the intent of the company, some jobs are simply dangerous in nature. 

In conclusion, while at first it may seem to make financial sense to improve the safety of the work environment sometimes it truly does not make financial sense. Furthermore, financial sense may not be the only issue a company faces. Other types of analyses must be made such as the social ramifications of an unsafe work environment and the overall ability of a company to improve that environment (i.e., coal mine). Before any decision is made, all these things must be considered, not simply the reduction of payroll expenses.

Примерные задания

Несколько примерных заданий из раздела Analytical Writing Assessment:

  1. The following appeared as part of a campaign to sell advertising time on a local radio station to local businesses: 
    «The Cumquat Café began advertising on our local radio station this year and was delighted to see its business increase by 10 percent over last year’s totals. Their success shows you how you can use radio advertising to make your business more profitable».
    Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
  2. The following is an excerpt from a memo written by the head of a governmental department: 
    «Neither stronger ethics regulations nor stronger enforcement mechanisms are necessary to ensure ethical behavior by companies doing business with this department. We already have a code of ethics that companies doing business with this department are urged to abide by, and virtually all of these companies have agreed to follow it. We also know that the code is relevant to the current business environment because it was approved within the last year, and in direct response to specific violations committed by companies with which we were then working – not in abstract anticipation of potential violations, as so many such codes are». 
    Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
  3. The following appeared in an article in a health-and-fitness magazine: 
    «Laboratory studies show that Saluda Natural Spring Water contains several of the minerals necessary for good health and that it is completely free of bacteria. Residents of Saluda, the small town where the water is bottled, are hospitalized less frequently than the national average. Even though Saluda Natural Spring Water may seem expensive, drinking it instead of tap water is a wise investment in good health». 
    Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
  4. The following appeared as part of an article in a magazine on lifestyles: 
    «Two years ago, City L was listed 14th in an annual survey that ranks cities according to the quality of life that can be enjoyed by those living in them. This information will enable people who are moving to the state in which City L is located to confidently identify one place, at least, where schools are good, housing is affordable, people are friendly, the environment is safe, and the arts flourish». 
    Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
  5. The following is part of a business plan being discussed at a board meeting of the Perks Company: 
    «It is no longer cost-effective for the Perks Company to continue offering its employees a generous package of benefits and incentives year after year. In periods when national unemployment rates are low, Perks may need to offer such a package in order to attract and keep good employees, but since national unemployment rates are now high, Perks does not need to offer the same benefits and incentives. The money thus saved could be better used to replace the existing plant machinery with more technologically sophisticated equipment, or even to build an additional plant». 
    Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc
  6. The following appeared in the editorial section of a campus newspaper: 
    «Because occupancy rates for campus housing fell during the last academic year, so did housing revenues. To solve the problem, campus housing officials should reduce the number of available housing units, thereby increasing the occupancy rates. Also, to keep students from choosing to live off-campus, housing officials should lower the rents, thereby increasing demand». 
    Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
  7. The following appeared as part of an article in a trade publication: 
    «Stronger laws are needed to protect new kinds of home-security systems from being copied and sold by imitators. With such protection, manufacturers will naturally invest in the development of new home-security products and production technologies. Without stronger laws, therefore, manufacturers will cut back on investment. From this will follow a corresponding decline not only in product quality and marketability, but also in production efficiency, and thus ultimately a loss of manufacturing jobs in the industry».
    Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
  8. The following appeared in the opinion section of a national newsmagazine: 
    «To reverse the deterioration of the postal service, the government should raise the price of postage stamps. This solution will no doubt prove effective, since the price increase will generate larger revenues and will also reduce the volume of mail, thereby eliminating the strain on the existing system and contributing to improved morale». 
    Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.

Дополнительно

В Интернете можно найти огромное количество материалов для подготовки к GMAT. Ниже – несколько видео, посвященных разделу Analytical Writing Assessment:


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