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Author Message
Intern
Joined: 19 Oct 2017
Posts: 3

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19 Sep 2018, 09:39
Hello!

Another AWA essay that I'd greatly appreciate any input on. A few questions I have:
1. Should the intro paragraph summarize the three points of the essay?
2. Should I include a conclusion sentence in my intro paragraph?
3. Should the concluding paragraph summarize the three points of the essay?

A few of the templates I've come across pretty generic opening and closing paragraphs so I wasn't sure if tailoring these paragraphs by including the points from the body of your essay would be necessary or just redundant.

Also appreciate any words of wisdom from GMATNinja, MagooshExpert, egmat, mikemcgarry

Essay Question:
The following appeared in the personal finance section of a popular magazine:

“The average price of an acre of land in the United States is now 50 times what it was in 1970, and nearly 200 times what it was in 1920. The nation’s population is projected to keep increasing, even as the amount of land remains constant. Therefore, people who are approaching retirement should invest heavily in real estate in order to ensure their financial security.”

My response:

The argument claims that people who are approaching retirement should invest in real estate in order to ensure their financial security. The premise to this conclusion is that the average price of an acre of land in the US has been increasing due to a limited supply of land and an increasing demand for it as population rises. Stated this way, the author misleads the reader by providing several faulty assumptions. For example, the correlation between population increase and appreciating land does not guarantee a causal relationship. Moreover, there are various factors that attribute to land appreciating that the author fails to mention. Lastly, the author does not consider the financial profile of a retiree.

First, the argument assumes a causal relationship between population and appreciating land. While this relationship could exist, the author provides no evidence to justify his or her claim. Furthermore, even if there was a causal relationship in the past, this does not guarantee that it will exist in the future. The author implies that land will continue to appreciate, which is why people should invest in it. However, land values can fluctuate and if a bubble existed, this would negate the author’s advice. For example, if the market is extremely hot but unstable, such as the housing market was prior to 2008, then a wise investor should consider other factors beyond the stated relationship that the author claims.

Secondly, the author equates the price of an acre of land to real estate, when in fact, there are many different types of real estate investments. The author makes no indication on what type of real estate to invest; instead, he or she is implying that all real estate would be a good investment. However, this is not the case. Firstly, investing in land is not the same as investing in property. Secondly, there are many different types of property to invest in. Taking into consideration these differences, only then can an investor make an educated decision on where he or she should allocate capital.

Finally, the passage claims that retirees should invest heavily in real estate to ensure their financial security. The author does not explain why he or she makes this statement, but it can be implied that retirees will be able to benefit from this land appreciation during their retirement. This is a faulty assumption because according to investment management theories, retirees should be making investments with lower duration. A retiree that invests in real estate will have to wait a long time before the land appreciates. Additionally, the retiree will most likely only be able to benefit from the land appreciation upon the sale of the land (unless he or she rents). Instead, real estate is usually a better investment for investors with a longer duration profile, such as working adults in their 30s-40s. Furthermore, if a retiree is already heavily invested in real estate, he or she should not invest more in the same asset as this exposes him or her to undiversified risk. Therefore, the author fails to consider an investor’s profile weakens the conclusion.

To conclude, the argument is flawed for the abovementioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. While at first, it may seem to make financial sense to invest in real estate, the reader needs to assess the merits of the argument and have full knowledge of all contributing factors to the claim. Without more data on the investor, the economy, and the type of real estate, the conclusion is not substantiated. Before any investment is made, it is imperative to consider factors beyond the historical appreciation of the land.
Director
Joined: 14 Dec 2017
Posts: 524
Location: India

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20 Sep 2018, 02:05
Hey Karen,

This one looks very good just as the earlier one, nicely done!!

I think you summarized the points quite well. However the conclusion sentence in the intro, is a little off for my liking, but i don't know whether having that in the intro is good or bad. The conclusion is solid, i don't think you need to rephrase the points again, since its a conclusion, you need provide only your inference.

An interesting fact, so yesterday i received my AWA score & i scored a 5, with a half-hearted essay, using verbatim the Chineseburned's template for upto 75% of my essay (the rest 25% was mindless noodling with words). I was disheartened as my test was marred with Technical issues & i was pretty sad by the time i got on with AWA.
Consequently i just wrote down the Chineseburned template that i had memorized & gave very little thought to fill in the gaps. The essay had very weak reasoning, as far as i can remember & it was i guess less than 450 words.

So even after writing an essay with a sub par logic, i could manage a 5, just goes on to show the strength of the Chineseburned Template.

Now saying that, i don't mean to imply that you don't need to put in effort & that scoring a 6 is easy. However from my experience, i can figure out that combined with a good logic & chineseburned's template, a 6 is quite achievable.

Alternatively, i suggest you to go through this thread https://gmatclub.com/forum/sample-awa-prompt-and-6-6-essay-232484.html, & before you read the thread, write an essay for the topic that is mentioned. Then compare your essay with the essay that is discussed in the thread, you should get a fair idea for your AWA level.

As far as i can judge, i would rate your above essay as a 6.

Cheers,
GyM
_________________
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 30 Oct 2017
Posts: 201

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22 Sep 2018, 15:22
Hi karen101!

The introduction and conclusion do not need to state your three main points -- in fact, it's better if they don't, to save space and time. It's fine if they are very short -- just a few sentences. The intro paragraph does not need an official concluding sentence, just something like 'Because of these issues, the argument is flawed'. Otherwise, great job with this essay!

-Carolyn
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