Although there is no set number of words that a grader looks for, a good essay that addresses all the pivotal points of the argument will generally be 400-500 words long.
Here is my evaluation of your response:
First, the argument readily assumes that the increase in unit sales of energy drinks can only be attributed to the promotional price reductions. However, the writer fails to provide evidence to suggest that the increase in sales was solely due to decreased prices. It is quite possible that there were other, more significant reasons for this. For instance, energy drinks are generally consumed by those who play sport.
Therefore, it could be true that there was an increased demand for energy drinks as a result of more people getting involved in one kind of sport or the other which, in turn, could have been a result of them becoming more fitness conscious. In this case the price reductions might have been an added incentive for people to consume more energy drinks.
Moreover, the season in which the price reductions were introduced could also have played an important role in determining the real reason for increased sales. For instance, people are generally more likely to need energy drinks in peak summer when energy levels are more likely to fall. Though the points you raise are valid- you need to structure your points better and express them with more clarity.
Second, it is also possible that the increased consumption of energy drinks was a direct result of the perceived health benefits offered by energy drinks. Isn’t this the same point as before? An alternate causation?
What if a scientific study had recently published the advantages of such drinks? What if the promotion was favourably received because people are now aware of how these drinks can benefit their health? As the argument does not consider and analyze such questions, it gives one the impression that it is not based on real facts but rather the result of a hasty generalization.
Finally, the writer states that similar price reductions on all the drinks produced by the company could lead to enhanced profit levels for the company. In doing so he ignores the fact that a strategy that works for one type of beverage may not work for another kind. To illustrate let's take the example of alcoholic beverages such as wines or champagnes. Certain wines fetch a high price only due to their uniqueness and their real or in some cases perceived value which is often measured by how highly priced they are. In such a case a reduction in price may not lead to more sales but rather a decline. A bit vague!
Not considering and evaluating this factor is a major flaw in this argument.
To summarize, the author's argument is not convincing and persuasive as it stands. Had the author included the aforementioned points, he would have been able to not only strengthen and bolster his argument but also made it more balanced. Following the suggestion of the memorandum without evaluating and re-thinking their strategy could lead to reduced profits for the company.
Again, this response would fetch you a 4-4.5.
Here's is some strategic advice to you:
1. know what you're going to write before you start writing.
2. Save some time towards the end (5-7mins) to proof read and correct vague sentences.
The key is to not stress out.
Work by creating templates:
As soon as you read the task and understand the argument, fill in details in your scratch-pad that address the pivotal ideas.
For this argument your template should have looked something like this:
(conc + prem)
Assumption 1: Price reduction only cause
Weakness: Other causes could be in play; want for energy drinks, advertising, perhaps a competitor became insolvent!?
(Pick the biggest points and explain how - if these were proved true- could destroy the conclusion)
Assumption 2: Promotion is reflective of actual market sentiments
Weakness: Maybe it's not - sample set may be too small.
Assumption 3: Energy drinks = all products
Weakness: What works for energy drinks may not work for all others. (even if price reduction was the actual cause for increased sale in energy drinks, this may not make sense for other products)
Once you've got this down on your scratchpad, the next step is to expand this into your response (type).
You've actually reasoned out all these points, BUT you seem to get a little distracted while typing down the essay itself.
Doing the initial phase of brainstorming and template creation on your Scratch pad helps you keep focus and ensures that your response is concise and cogent!
Do give this method a try,
this might look like it takes more time, but actually it helps you complete the task much faster.
remember : ALWAYS proof read before you submit your response!
Verbal Trainer - CrackVerbal