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Please help rate my first GRE Essay


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I restricted myself in a 30 minutes time frame for each issue and argument essays, feel free to only look at one of them, but if you are willing to do that for both, that would be really helpful! Thanks :D


Claim: Knowing about the past cannot help people to make important decisions today.

Reason: The world today is significantly more complex than it was even in the relatively recent past.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
Knowing past events is irrelevant to crucial decisions people in this era make.  Although through the development of technology and other significant changes makes the world issues more convoluted than in the past, it does not mean that the same problem in the past will not happen today. Problems nowadays come in various topics, be it political, technological, environmental, or even in the most trivial things such as in the social setting. They are manifested in different forms compared to the past due to the advancement of technology and cultural changes. While they may seem different, the essence of the problem is usually identical. Thus, knowing the events from the past will prevent the same problem to repeat itself.
Let us compare international competitions such as the World War and the World Olympics. These events are triggered by countries from the same motive: to make them more prosper. The World War certainly benefits the country who dominates, but it causes great loss to the majority of its colonies, and it damages the world globally through the use of destructive weapons. The war finally stops with the terror of nuclear explosion as its climax, finally opening the eyes of the people that what they were doing is a mistake. Yet countries still need resources to develop. By knowing the risks and the loss caused by using a martial method, they finally arrived in a solution that would bring the minimum risk for all parties, which is through the world olympics.
Another example would be a universal case for finance. Generally, businessmen would look at the exchange rate graphs to help them plan product exportations. It is also important for them to check past occurrences to anticipate and avoid risks that exists inside several options that they have, which would guide them to a solution with the least risk. 
In the view of above, it should be convincing that past events adds into a factor of consideration to make crucial decisions today. By being oblivious about it, people will tend to repeat the same mistake as in the past. Also, knowing the past would also help people to extrapolate future events, thus aiding them in current decision-making. That is also the reason why history still persists as one of the most important subjects in education.

The following appeared in a health newsletter.

"A ten-year nationwide study of the effectiveness of wearing a helmet while bicycling indicates that ten years ago, approximately 35 percent of all bicyclists reported wearing helmets, whereas today that number is nearly 80 percent. Another study, however, suggests that during the same ten-year period, the number of accidents caused by bicycling has increased 200 percent. These results demonstrate that bicyclists feel safer because they are wearing helmets, and they take more risks as a result. Thus, there is clearly a call for the government to strive to reduce the number of serious injuries from bicycle accidents by launching an education program that concentrates on the factors other than helmet use that are necessary for bicycle safety."

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
A study showed a seemingly contradictory result saying that 80 percent of bicyclists nationwide wear helmet, but the number of accident by cyclists increase by 200 percent during the ten-year period. Thus, a conclusion was made that wearing a helmet increases the sense of safety of the bicyclists, tempting them to take more risks when they cycle. This caused the government to call for a program that introduces other safety precautions that would help reduce accidents. This claim, however, is still not clear regarding the result and the relationship between the helmet and the number of accidents occurring. Several questions need to be answered to fortify the claim.
Does the 200 increase actually contributed by mainly the increase of rash behaviour of cyclists from increased sense of safety?
The claim that a helmet makes cyclists feel safer does sound convincing, but there is yet no evidence that supports the claim that taking more risks directly result in the increase of accidents. This question can be answered to support the claim by mentioning a detailed case. One example is pedalling at maximum speed while crossing an intersection in a big road. This particular area is relatively prone to accidents if cyclists or drivers are not being careful with their surroundings. If the cyclists are willing to take more risks by not reducing their speed here, the probability of colliding with other moving objects would unavoidably increase as compared to reducing their speed.
Will introducing factors other than helmet actually reduce the number of accidents? 
Doing this might in reverse cause more accidents, because the bicyclist might feel even safer with more safety measures. This question needs to be answered with a concrete example of what factors they would propose. In case of introducing more protective gears, such as knee or elbow protectors, it is feared that theses gears would induce more sense of safety to the bicyclists. If for instance, an infrastructure change is proposed, such as establishing a specialised road for bicyclists, the number of accidents might be able to be mitigated, because cyclists would only need to be alert to their fellows , which travel at relatively the same speed.
The questions proposed above showed that the relation between the helmet and the increase in accidents is still opaque, and that the solution proposed by the government might not give a desired result. 
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hi Richard,

I'm giving your issue essay a 2. It's not clear that you understand the topic, because your response doesn't really answer the question asked. Be very careful when reading the topic and remind yourself of it as you go to make sure you're answering the question.

Best, Vince

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