May 6, 2009
109
0
0
Status
I just wrote AAMC practice test 10 and I was wondering if someone could read my essays and tell me what scores I would get roughly? Also, can you critique my essays and tell me what are my weak points? I did not edit the essays at the end so there might be few grammatical errors..

ESSAY 1:An understanding of the past is necessary for solving the problems of the present.

Most of the lessons that we learn in our everyday lives come from previous experiences. Our past plays an important role in our decision making process because it provides with a wealth of knowledge that we can draw upon. This allows us to critically analyze our options and make a more informed decision on how to proceed with the problems that we are presently facing. Understanding of our past successes and failures is important because we do not want to repeat the same mistakes that we made in the past.
Our economy is vital to the functioning of our society because it provides jobs, it results in the production of major good and services. Problems with the economy can have deary consequences for the society because during economic hardship, people lose their jobs and the quality of living goes down. The role of governments has been to keep our economy running well. Any problems with the economy and each and everyone of us feels it from not being able to pay tuition to no being able to feed ourselves. Understanding problems and issues that we had with the economy plays and important role in solving current economic problems. During the major depression in the United States there were maor problems with the economy because one sector of the economy failed and the government did not take swift action to correct the problem. Recently, our economy has suffered a steep recession and the governments started taking swift actions to make sure that the economy is running at full force by stimulating the economy. The government learned from the past about what happens when you don't take action during an economic recession and it was able to draw upon that past knowledge, it took action so the same mistakes would not be made and the current economic problems would be resolved.
There are some fields in which understanding of the past is not possible in order to solve the problems of the present. One such field is medicine. There are millions of people living with AIDS around the world. AIDS is a debilitating disease because it has killed so many people around the world. It has been decades since the discovery of the virus that causes AIDS and scientists still cannot discover a treatment for AIDS. It's not possible to understand the past in order to solve the problem with AIDS because humanity has never faced such a problem in the past. Therefore, it's not possible to draw knowledge from the past in order to help us solve the problem of the present dealing with AIDS. Humanity has never had to deal with such a deadly disease in the past, thus it's not possible to draw information about past experiences with such problems.
There are many other diseases that people around the world live with because there are no prior experiences with these diseases which makes it difficult to discover treatments. Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease are debilitating diseases because they rob people of their memory while the other causes people to lose control of their bodies. Similarly, we had no prior experience with these diseases. Therefore, it's not possible for us to draw information from our past in order to come up with new treatments for these diseases.
Whether understanding of the past is necessary for solving problems of the present depends on whether we had encounters in the past with the problems that we are currently facing. If we had previous encounters with the problems that we are facing, then it's much easier for use to solve our current problems because we can draw upon our previous knowledge about our current problems. If we had no previous experience with the problems that we are presently facing then it's not useful to have an understanding of the past because the current problem that we are facing is novel and there is no information or knowledge that we can draw from our past tha would help us to solve the problems that we are presently facing.


ESSAY 2:politicians too often base their decisions on what will please the voters, not on what is best for the country.

Politicians are elected representatives whose ideas and priorities agree with those citizens that elected them. In order for politicians to stay in office they must serve the needs of those citizens that elected them and if they don't they usually lose their position as elected representatives of their riding. Therefore, it's in the best interest of the politicians that in order to keep their jobs they meet the needs of their voters and thus please their voters. This may mean that some politicians might have to go against their believes and values in order to please their voters. If the majority of the voters want something done but the representative politician does not agree, they might have to agree with the voters in order to keep their position in the political arena.

Politicians make their decisions on the fact that they want to please the majority of voters that elected them in office. An example of this is a Kitchener Liberal mayor who was elected on the promise that he was going to give a grant to build a new cricket stadium for the city if he was elected as a mayor. The citizens applied for $200,000 grant to build a new cricket stadium but the mayor approved $1,000,000 to be spend in the cricket stadium because the mayor wanted to build state of the art cricket stadium that would better please the majority of voters that voted for him. It would have been a wiser decision to invest part of that money in lowering tuition fees for students than spend four times the initial amount requested by the citizens to build a cricket stadium that is only functional in the summer. The mayor did not critically analyze the situation and make his decision on what is the best for the city as a whole bu the mayor wanted to stay in office for as long as possible and one way to do so is to please his voters by building a cricket stadium that will only be used in one season of the year. In the next mayoral election, the mayor would appear as an honest politician by keeping his last promise to build a cricket stadium and thus the chances of him being elected in office are increased.

When it comes to matters that affect the principles on which he country is build upon, polticians have to make decisions that may not please their voters. An example of this is the Nazis march in a United States city that was predominately Jewish. Although the majority of the people living in the city opposed to the Nazis march, the politicians had to permit the march because it's a constitutional right to express oneself and it's clearly stated in the 1st amendment of the constitution. Therefore, if the politicians did not allow the march to continue they would be violating the principles of free speech on which the country was build on. They decided to allow the Nazis march becasue they believed it would make the country stronger.

Whether politicians based their decision on what will please the voters depends on the importance of the issue. If the decision will challenge he founding principles of the country then politicians should make their decisions based on what is best for the country and not what will please their voters. If the decision has not high importance in terms of the stability of the country, then the politicians may make their decision based on what will please their voters. The primary goal of the politicians is to stay in office as long as possible. Therefore, pleasing their voters should be one of the main concerns.



What kind of mark would I receive with these two essays?

Thanks!
 

rem6775

7+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2010
205
3
141
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I read the first one and part of the second. It's been a while since I took the MCAT (although I did get a T on the writing section for it), but I assume the requirements are the same. If I remember they were to explain the statement, give an example of when the statement is true/false, and then make some sort of argument based on the statement. (Correct?) I didn't feel your first paragraphs were very strong in either case. If the format is still the same, then you need to explain the statement, and I don't think you did this well. It felt like you were too busy dancing around.

In the first one, the majority of the second paragraph is completely unnecessary. You did not even bring up the point of the entire essay (about the past) until the very end of the discussion about the economy, and the example was confusing and not well linked to the point. You need to be more direct at the beginning of your paragraph here to make it clear how your example relates to the point (the statement) and how it confirms or challenges it. You clearly did not do this. Now, although I vehemently disagree with your second point about medicine (and AIDS has a lot of treatments, by the way, even if they are not cures), it seemed like you were rambling about things that were not always related (robbing people of their minds, etc.).

The other problem was the grammatical errors and the awkwardness of some of the sentences. You kept using the same word over and over twice in a sentence or the following one and it's distracting. (There are many other diseases that people around the world live with because there are no prior experiences with these diseases which makes it difficult to discover treatments. Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease are debilitating diseases because they rob people of their memory while the other causes people to lose control of their bodies.)

Let me give you some advice. Maybe one of the reasons I scored a T way back when was I had spent time in college grading standardized exams (for tenth graders) and had an idea of the way it works.

1. Stay within your grammatical means. Short and sweet sentences that are grammatically correct are better than long run-on sentences that are not. They will be looking for those mistakes and they will cost you.

2. Get to the point. Don't ramble about things that are not important or related. Restate whatever they give you and make it short and sweet. Then give either a very good single example (on one of mine I had a single example that was quite intricate; on the other, I had two examples) or two shorter ones. Explain, directly, how they relate to the point. That's it. No excess information that does not relate. No needless, esoteric statements that do not really serve a purpose.

3. Make your sentences more on point. (The citizens applied for $200,000 grant to build a new cricket stadium but the mayor approved $1,000,000 to be spend in the cricket stadium because the mayor wanted to build state of the art cricket stadium that would better please the majority of voters that voted for him.) That sentence is awkward and could be written more cleanly. Don't be showy; be succinct and grammatically correct.

4. Decide what your message is going to be and try to only write things that directly build on that goal. Too much fluff here.

These are not terrible by any means, but you need to clean up the spelling, grammar and awkward structures. Stay on point.
 
Sep 9, 2010
2
0
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Statement: Scientific inquiry is rooted in the desire to discover, but there is no discovery so important that in its pursuit a threat to human life can be tolerated.

The eternal battle between means to an end, what must be done versus what is at stake. Sacrificing human life no matter the amount in the pursuit of a greater benefit for more human beings is never justified. One life is equally important as the next one. Who is to decide who lives and who dies, the day we give that power to someone or something were are doomed, because we are all human, we are all equal.
It is true that a lot of scientific data that we use today came from nazi experimental inquiry, that information however useful came to the cost of human life, this is exactly what we must not let happen ever again.

Furthermore experimental treatment can be viable only when a patient is willingly subjected to it and there is a higher percentage to gain a benefit than to make it worse. It is a very thin line between discovery and abuse, in most cases one leads to the other that is why regulations and restrictions must be enforced in other to keep the necessary scientific research from being obtained from the wrong sources. Scientific inquiry is meant only for saving lives not for taking them.

Although scientific experimentation has been involved with tragical and despicable events it is wrongful to incorporate a negative connotation towards it, we have all been benefited by this stigmatized activity in one way or another. From vaccines to medical treatment we’ve all experienced what wonderful results are achieved by scientific research.

Statement: An understanding of the past in necessary for solving the problems of the future.

The past is like a blueprint it gives you a sense of were you stand. With this kind of information it is possible to correct mishaps and be able to carry out plans with out making the same mistakes. Take for example a fire drill, you practice so in the event of an emergency in this case of a fire, you know have a previous memory of what to do. Also take for instance an exam, you practice answering questions and exercises so you can master the skills and the information you are required to know. Having a past experience about something enables you to have a reference and discriminate based on the decision that needs to be taken.

However this does not always apply, you see in life you cannot always predict or practice before an event. Even when you think you have the tools things can change. For instance we know a lot about disease both viral and bacterial, but both of this pathogens change, they mutate. Scientist and doctor do use the information the have at hand to get a sense of what they are dealing with but also they will encounter questions and decisions that are new to deal with.

Furthermore we have all heard: “history always repeats itself”, occasionally this do happens because it is possible that they pick the wrong mistake or made a new one, trial and error. The past is there to serve as a guide, a very useful one that is but not every body cares to look back and to assess themselves properly. The Past also takes you so far because as mentioned before it all depends if there is previous knowledge of what you are dealing with. When a good assessment of the past is combined with person willing to apply that knowledge in the new way that is when discovery and progress happens.
 

pyzhou

Pokemon Master
5+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2010
54
1
91
Toronto, ON
Status
Pre-Medical
The eternal battle between means to an end, what must be done versus what is at stake. (battle between means to an end? awkward sentence) Sacrificing human life no matter the amount in the pursuit of a greater benefit for more human beings is never justified. One life is equally important as the next one. Who is to decide who lives and who dies, the day we give that power to someone or something we're are(all) doomed, because we are all human, and we are all equal.
It is true that a lot of scientific data that we use today came from nazi experimental inquiry, that information however useful came to the cost of human life, this is exactly what we must not let happen ever again. (no proof for claim, I don't think "a lot" of modern science came from Nazi data, I could be wrong, anyway more detailed examples are needed)

Furthermore, experimental treatment can be viable only when a patient is willingly subjected to it and there is a higher percentage to gain a benefit than to make it worse. (again, claim, no proof) It is a very thin line between discovery and abuse, in most cases one leads to the other that is why regulations and restrictions must be enforced in other to keep the necessary scientific research from being obtained from the wrong sources. (I don't think "obtain" applies to research, awkward wording) Scientific inquiry is meant only for saving lives not for taking them.

Although scientific experimentation has been involved with tragical and despicable events it is wrongful to incorporate a negative connotation towards it, we have all been benefited by this stigmatized activity in one way or another. From vaccines to medical treatment we’ve all experienced what wonderful results are achieved by scientific research. (there is no criteria...)



Sorry if I sound condescending at times in the edit, this needs a lot of work beyond just fixing style. First task: you did give your interpretation, but I felt that it was very redundant: "one life is equal to..." same as "we're all human we're all equal". could be much shorter and to the point. as for examples, they were unsatisfactory, as there were some rather bold claims that I don't think are completely true. Do some research and make a database before your next essay.

Second task: I assume this was the 3rd paragraph? In which case that means that if we've been benefited by research involving questionable ethics, then we shouldn't criticize it? This undermines everything you wrote beforehand. More on that later.

Third task: non existent, there was no "criteria" to determine when scientific research at the cost of human life is okay or not. I know it is difficult to come up with a criteria for some topics, but you must do it, any criteria will do as long as your internal logic within the essay is consistent. Without a criteria, trying to write something for the second task = self contradiction. Something off the top of my head for this topic might be consent of the participants involved, as in if a terminally ill patient agrees to donate himself for untested cancer medication that may kill him, then it might be allowed.

Overall, you need to work on just completing the tasks, else you cannot get higher than 3, we can work on sentence structure and grammar later. As of now, this essay is a 2. Please feel free to PM me for further questions.