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GRE Issue Critique - Help Please!


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If anyone could help me critique my GRE Issue essay I'd greatly appreciate it! I'm planning to apply Physical Therapy school this year and I'm taking the GRE end of January 2016. I wrote this in 30 minutes with no spell check, as I'll need to do during the test. Thanks in advance! I appreciate any help I can get. 


Issue: People should undertake risky action only after they have carefully considered its consequences.

Prompt: Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.


            The advice that people should undertake risky action only after they have carefully considered its consequences should be taken with a grain of salt. Carefully considering consequences in a risky situation can be advantageous in situations that do not require immediate action, or in risky social situations, but can be disadvantageous when situations require a split-second decision, or when pragmatic consideration of consequences undermine inner passions.  

            Carefully considering consequences can be helpful when you can afford take the time to think about the potential consequences of your action. For example, if you’re making a very important decision that will affect you for years in the future, it may be helpful to consider everything that can result from your decision. If you’re deciding if you want to quit your job and find a new career path, or maybe even just another job, you can afford to take some time and think about your decision. The potential new career path or job will still be there as you take the time to weigh out the pros and cons of your new job versus your old job. These large, life altering decisions will affect your future in a major way. It can affect how happy you are and how much money you make, so major decisions like what you do with your life is a decision that should be carefully considered.

            It can also be helpful to think about the consequences if you are in a risky social situation, where anger, retaliation, or privacy is involved. More often than not, it is helpful to think about the consequences of acting on your impulse in a social situation when one is angry, or when one is trying to hold onto a secret. One’s impulse when angry may be to act with violence, or to retaliate immediately, which can lead to regrets later. Also, another impulse in a social situation would be to spill secrets about somebody that you swore to keep safe. It would be helpful to think about the consequences in these situations to prevent doing something that you might regret later on.

            However, taking the time to carefully consider consequences of an action can be harmful when the situation requires split-second action. For example, if an elderly woman falls in front of you, or if a child is drowning in a pool, or if someone is about to get hit by a car, you don’t have time to consider the consequences of your actions. The situation is a fleeting moment, and taking the time to consider your actions will result in no action at all, and it will be too late. It would be more advantageous to act with instinct to catch the woman before she falls, to jump into the pool to save a child, or to push the person away from the car. Thinking too much in these situations will cause inaction.

            It can also be disadvantageous for someone who is considering taking on a new hobby that they’ve always had passion for, but is paralyzed by thinking too much about the advantages or disadvantages of doing so. For example, if someone has always wanted to try a dance class, but thinks too much about the consequences of taking dance class, such as possible injury or that they don’t want to spend extra money, then they would be giving up something that could potentially make them much happier than the money could. Thus, carefully considering the pragmatic consequences of taking on something that could bring intrinsic happiness could lead to somebody forgoing a passion that could make them very happy.

            In conclusion, carefully considering the consequences of risky actions can be advantageous or disadvantageous, depending on the situation. One should take this advice with a grain of salt. The question is not whether one should always consider consequences before acting, rather the challenge lies in when it’s appropriate to go with your first instinct versus when to consider the consequences before acting. I believe that one should think carefully about one’s decision when the situation calls for it, and go with one’s instinct when one finds it appropriate.  


Here is the scoring guide for your reference: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/argument/scoring_guide

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