Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Alas !

I gave my GMAT this week and I am going to take it again.Probably after a month from now. All I can say is that my potential and skills were not reflected in the test and I sincerely believe that I can do better than what I did this week.

It's all retrospection and plan execution for another one month.

Till then!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

AWA - Argument 4

Date - 9 June 09
Sample essay taken from 800 score dot com test

Group #1: Analysis of Argument
A recent study with a researcher pretending to have a broken down car on the side of the road showed that when the researcher was a man, 60% of the time, a man pulled over to help them, and 0% of the time a woman stopped to help. When the researcher was a woman, 70% of the time a man stopped to help, and 20% of the time a woman stopped to help. This study shows how all men are more naturally altruistic than women. It also shows that women care more about helping women than men.

Describe how well reasoned you find this argument. In the discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the argument's conclusion. You may also address possible changes in the argument that would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.
The argument under consideration is marred by a weak line of reasoning, the assumptions invloved with the evidence presented and the absence of experiment details. Also there are loop hools in the argument which might lead to counter arguments that could weaken the conclusion.

The line of reasoning takes only one example and it results. With this example alone it hastily arrives at a very generic conclusion. A single experiment regarding the behaviour of men and women on the road cannot be used to conclude that in general men are more helpful than women and that women help women more than they help men.

The experimental circumstances are hardly mentioned. For ex, which time of was the day was the experiment conducted, whether both the male and female researcher used the same stretch of road etc. Also the reasoning presented with the use of the evidence encompasses some assumptions like men stop for women only for helping and women don't stop because they don't want to help. In reality men might stop for socialising and the women might not stop because they were in a rush or they were scared of the strange man standing on the roadside.

Also the figures presented in the exapmle are misleading, for instance 60% of men in the experiment of the male researcher might number to 60 people in 100 subjects whereas the 70% in latter case might lead to 7 people out of 10 subjects which is in fact less than the the former. Also if there were no women subjects in the first experiment then obviosly the percentage of women stopping would be 0 and this doesnot prove any facts about women's lesser altruistic nature.If these facts actually come into light then they will weaken the argument as a whole.

As for any evidence that might strengthen the argument, inlcusion of any details proving that the experimental conditions were unifrom for both the experiements and that the same people were the subjects of the two experiments and that any theory that behaviour on road is representative of the human nature in general might add some value to the argument.

AWA - Issue 4

Date 9 June 09

Sample essay subject taken from 800 score dot com from the 5 CAT tests I bought

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.
There are a number of factors that an employer looks for in a potential employee when hiring him. This said, the most important of them is formal education. How often do we see a job requirement ad saying "we don't need your educational information, all we need is that you be able to do the job"? Very less, with the exception of waitressing probably. There is a sound reasoning behind this need for formal education in future employees.

First, formal education provides the minimal knowledge required to do a job. Can we think of getting operated by a doctor who never went to Medical school?Of course not.Similarly we would not send our kids to a school where the teachers themselves have never received formal education. Performing any job,be it in medical field or educational field, requires the person to be acquiscient with the basic rules involved and processes invloved etc. Without this things will turn out bad for everyone involved.

Secondly,formal education enables us to look at the right place for the causes of problems and their solutions. It also enables to find any wrong things happening. For ex. a lawyer who went to law school will be able to object to the inclusion of an irrelevant evidence that might mislead a jury.But a lawyer who didnot receive any formal educaton in law and who doesnot know the rules of the law might simply sit helplessly not knowing the right section under which he can object to it.

Lastly, formal education puts a stamp on a persons head saying that he or she is qualified enough and possesses the minimum skills required to perform a certain kind of job. And this helps employers to employ the right people in the right place and avoid the losses that might have occured if the opposite might have happened.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Progress with practice tests

Two continuus days of testing can be tiring! And encouraging , if you see progressing scores :)
As mentioned in my last post, I took the Manhanttan GMAT and got bugged to see a 620. I went back read some notes on Quant , made myself a neatly jolted study schedule for the last 14 days before the big G Date and took a Kaplan test. Unfortunatley the results of the Kaplan test were not encouraging either. I scored a 640.

Scoring in the low 600s scared me off. But I did remember few of my B-School friends mentioning that Kanplan and MGMAT tests are not to be taken too seriously, this is because their relative difficulty range is much higher than the actual GMAT....and I beleive it owing my own GRE experience with Kaplan prep material. So following my friend's suggestion (she recently graduated from Kenan Flagler , her GMAT was 740 - so obvisously she is a trust worthy soucre of advice :))I purchased the 800score.com tests. They cost pretty reasonable actually (5 tests for < 25 $ = <1300 INR). So I gave myself a little rest after a browse through of SC notes on testmagic.com and took the test today afternoon....and Voila...to my delight :D I scored a 720(Q46,V42). I'm hoping to improve this mark though, especially the score on Quant section. I hope I can keep up the prep pace and stay in this 700 region...

Rest follows..

P.S - Post originally written on June 6 , '09

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Manhattan practice test experience

My husband was sweet to get me all these free practice tests - Kaplan , Manhattan , Veritas Prep etc.
With less than 2 weeks to go , I've started taking CBT practice GMATs last night.
The first test I took was Manhattan GMAT. They have a pretty nice setup of mock-GMATs out there. The questions were not to easy. I would say they meet Kaplan tests when it comes to difficulty. I have not had any personal feedback abt the Manhattan tests.
My experience - Finished the 2 essays quite comfortaly , before the clock struck 0:00. Quant went bad ! Half way through it , I realise I'm left with less time per question than my normal comfort level. That gave me jitters. To add to that suddenly the test website wentdown.Luckily when I logged back in the night my session was saved (Kudos to Manhattan site!). But I wouldn't blame for thus technical glitch for my porr performance , as my review disclosed that I went wrong right in the first 7 questions :( - this was the last thing I expected to happen with my Quant.
Same thing happened with Verbal. Got a few wrong questions in the first 10. I feel that my mind was not set into the whole test - my bad!
Overall performance - 620 (Shocking !!!)

My plan is to review all the wrong answers and see my weak links , get them geared up and take the next test - the Kaplan free test on their website.
Also I've registered to the free practice Kaplan test near my place of residence. I'm gonna take this 2 days before my actual exam.....So I hope it will give my some confidence or who knows !! Alls well that ends well and time will tell :)


P.S. Post written on June 3rd but will be published after my GMAT

Monday, June 1, 2009

AWA - Argument 3

"Your vacation resort can ill afford not to publicize its offerings on Travelshack.com.Our readership has more than doubled in the past year alone and is dominated by savvy consumers with large disposable incomes.Witness the experience of Snowbert Ski Lodge. Since it began advertising itself on our webiste a year ago, it is regularly booked to capacity and its annual profits have increased more than threefold from the previous year."
The argument in discussion might lead one to believe that advertising on travelshack.com will result in good profits.But a careful observation of the reasoning used and a look at the assumptions involved convinces us that the argument is weak. These weaknesses can be removed by providing more convincing evidence. A look at each of these factors will make our understanding clear.

The line of reasoning is misleading since it says that the consumer base of the online magazine/catalogue has doubled, but doesn't exactly quote the number of consumers. Though it might be a good thing for the company it doesn't show that a large percentage of the vacationing population actully reads this particular magazine. For example the readership might have increased from say 10,000 to 20,000 people.For a total vacationing population of 200,000 this accounts to just 10%.

Also the argument points out that the readers are mostly affluent people. It assumes that as soon as they see an advertisemt they will go and vacation at the particular advertised resort. But in reality the rich might only vacation at the high-end resorts. In such a case economy resorts cannot benefit from advertising their services on travelshack.com.

When we look at the evidence the argumnet uses to support itself, we can see that the underlying assumption involved is that the only reason the Ski Lodge's profit increased was due to advertising. This disregards any other reasons applicable for ex. reduction in the room rent at the resort, addition of new attractions near the Ski Lodge etc.

Inspite of the above weak links the argument can be made more convincing if it can provide further evidence linking the improved profits at Ski Lode to it's advertising on travelshack.com.For instance the results of a survey of the customers at the resort indicating that maximum customers heard about the resort through travelshack.com.Another convincing evidence can involve the comparision of Ski Lodge to it's neighbouring resorts and a deduction that only Ski Lodge's profits have improved.

AWA - Issue 3

"Some people argue that those who do not send their children to public schools should not have to fund these schools through taxes, since neither parents nor chidren benefit from these schools. They ignore the fact that everyone benefits from the strong economy that a well-educated populace generates."


In a community where people co-exist it is important for everyone to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the resources within their locality. Hence it is wrong for someone to refuse the payment of taxes for maintenance of schools of that county.

The argument of the people that they doen't have to pay for the education given in public schools since they are not using these schools is very selfish in nature. It shows least interest in community and places oneself above all others, which is definitely not the right thing to do. Hence for the well-being of the community as a whole,one must place importance on public well being and act upon it by contributing to the maintenance of the community. For instance , people living in a community all pay the same maintenance charges periodically even though they might not use the pool as much as others do or they might not have a car to park in the parking place.

The people against the public schools might argue that they or their family do not take any benefit from the public schools. They might be right in their view. But in the long run ,they do use the products, the graduates, of these public schools in the form of employees or leaders etc. A good schooling for thes future employees and leaders will hence lead to the benefit of our very own public-school opposers.Refusing to fund their tax money to public schools is same as refusing to pay taxes for roads in the state. One might not use all the roads of the state, but he or she does use the various imports brought into the state through that very road.

As for the perspective of the supporters of public schools, their stand-point is perfectly right.They are right when they say that everyone who is a part of a community holds a responsibility to the resources there and hence should take care of the well-being of these commonly utilised resources.