GMAT Questions #2

Posted: August 5, 2010 by kdawgz in GMAT

The GMAT also consists of a verbal section which includes two timed essays, 30-minutes each, one on the analysis of an argument, and one on the analysis of an issue. Since I was slacking a bit at work today, I was able to compose two essays on the latter topic. This is only the second time I’ve attempted writing these, so they are most likely far from being anything but poor essays. I managed to finish them both under the time constraints. I also cheated a bit and applied the template suggested by Peterson’s GMAT Answers to the Real Essay Questions, 3rd Edition in terms of their transition words and style. Feel free to rip them apart…especially if the arguments are not sound (hopefully my writing skills, or lack thereof, will make up for my previous embarrassment in math). Thanks in advance.

Essay #1:

Topic: “In any large business organization, teamwork is the ultimate key to the organization’s success.”

Directive: In your view, how accurate is the foregoing statement? Use reasons and/or examples from your experience, observation, and/or reading to explain your viewpoint.

Whether teamwork is the ultimate key to an organization’s success is entirely dependent on what is defined as success. If success equates to streamlined decision making, completing tasks initiated by a bureaucratic organizational culture, and simply obeying orders, then teamwork can possibly be deemed as unnecessary towards an organization’s success. In my view, however, success equates to both the human and material aspect of an organization which entails satisfied employees in an encouraging organizational culture, and being successful in generating profits at the same time.

The main reason for my view is that many of the current organizations deem success based on what is recorded on a business’s or corporation’s financial statements – the bottom line. Although the end result is that companies have been able to generate profits, the end should not justify the means. To achieve the end result, employees may have been laid-off, restructuring may have occurred, there may only be one authoritative dictator dictating actions required by disgruntled employees, and other maltreatment of employees may have been evident. As per my view stated above, success is a combination of material gains and intangible gains from employee satisfaction; as such, teamwork is paramount.

Another reason for my view is that teamwork is more efficient in generating creative ideas and simply completing job tasks. This is greater exemplified in organizations that adopt a flat structure. For example, if employees regularly require assistance from managers, and due to the facilitation of teamwork in a flat structure, fellow employees will be more able to interact with their colleagues on a regular basis on not only how to complete tasks, but working together to generate new ideas and innovations to further the organization’s growth. Admittedly, some employees may prefer receiving tasks from an authority figure, a flat structure, however, as alluded to earlier, will also foster increasing morale and rapport between employees for even further success for the organization.

In sum, I agree that teamwork is the ultimate key to an organization’s success. It must be noted, however, that in some organizations, teamwork is not required based on the goals of the organization. For such organizations, however, this may lead to disgruntled employees and high employee turnover. Therefore, on balance, the facilitation of teamwork between employees is vital to an organization’s success.

Essay #2

Topic: “Financial gain should be the most important factor in choosing a career.”

Directive: Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

Whether financial gain is the most important factor in choosing a career is questionable. In my view, career choice is completely dependent on the individual and the circumstances that the individual faces while that decision process is taking place.

The main reason for my view is due to the very idea of career choice in most developed nations. It must also be noted that these developed nations tend to be democratic in nature; and in general, each individual in these countries including, but are not limited to, Canada, the United States, India, China, Australia, and Japan, have ample access to the education required for an infinite number of careers and professions. In this case, financial gain may not be the most important factor because it is generally accepted that one should choose a career path in which they enjoy. Finally, the reasons for career choices in such cases may include the enjoyment of art, music, counselling others, and the endless number of different personality preferences that individuals possess.

Another reason for my view is that if an individual chooses a career simply due to financial gain, studies have shown that such careers have become unfulfilling for the individual. Individuals become depressed, unsociable, and may succumb to the vicious cycle that most individuals face: Eat, sleep, work; eat, sleep work. Admittedly, this is simply a trend and does not occur in all cases; however, it occurs often enough that it must be mentioned.

Some may argue financial gain is the first, and foremost, factor in developing a career choice. Such arguments may further cite that those individuals who do not have the opportunities to a proper education, and therefore, professional careers, search – relentlessly at that – for any means in which they can obtain money. Such individuals are those who require the money simply to survive – not for luxuries. In the end, however, it is not financial gain that is the most important factor for the career choice; it is the necessity to meet basic needs that drives an individual to select a career – any career – legal or illegal.

In sum, I agree that financial gain may be the most important factor in career choice for those individuals who do not have many career choices. However, for the well educated and those with access to endless job opportunities, on balance, place enjoyment over financial gain when determining their future career paths.

  1. gwopdn says:

    I laughed when I saw FINANCIAL STATEMENTS and BUT NOT LIMITED TO lol
    You are a very skilled writer =) But here are my two cents. Mainly criticism, mostly regarding logic, just smth to think about. Both essays are good, but there is plenty of room for improvement.

    The first one (I’ll write one for the second one later):
    What’s your main view? I think the ending of the first paragraph should be stating your opinion on THE PROBLEM…Instead, you stated your view on SUCCESS, which would be fine if you had added another sentence saying: the teamwork is very important BECAUSE it increases employee’s satisfaction and profits (the two factors you defined for success). And then you can go ahead to argue WHY it increases the two things. (btw. if you want to talk about profit first, you should mention profit first when you state your thesis.)
    In the second paragraph, you talked about BOTH profit and satisfaction, and in the third, you talked about creativity and efficiency, etc…
    In my view, this is a terrible breakdown because you should group the arguments differently, for example:
    Profit is important – Teamwork brings efficiency(specialization) and initiatives, which helps increase productivity
    Satisfaction is important – Helping each other creates harmonious relationships/positive learning environment, personal fulfillment/achievement, creativity (enjoy the job better) etc

    My point is, even though a lot of factors are contributing both to profit and satisfaction, it is better to break them down to present a better structure, so readers clearly know what you are arguing about. When stating thesis for each paragraph, you should make sure that it is linked to your main thesis (first of all, you should have one!), and the arguments DIRECTLY support the paragraph thesis. If they are not directly supporting the thesis, say why they can indirectly do it. Well, every argument should be explicitly linked to your main thesis, which directly answers the question.

  2. kdawgz says:

    Thanks again for the feedback. Let’s see if these new ones are up to par.

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