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Intern
Joined: 03 Jan 2019
Posts: 2

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15 Jan 2019, 17:23
Topic: The following appeared in the editorial section of a West Cambria newspaper:

"A recent review of the West Cambria volunteer ambulance service revealed a longer average response time to accidents than was reported by a commercial ambulance squad located in East Cambria. In order to provide better patient care for accident victims and to raise revenue for our town by collecting service fees for ambulance use, we should disband our volunteer service and hire a commercial ambulance service"

AWA Essay:

The argument states that to provide better patient care and raise revenue, West Cambria must hire a commercial ambulance service. However, the conclusion is flawed as it relies on faulty assumptions and fails to provide convincing support for the claims.
First, the argument references a review performed comparing West Cambria’s volunteer service to East Cambria’s commercial service. The towns could be drastically different. In order to reference this review, evidence should be provided to show how the two are comparable. It could be argued that West Cambria and East Cambria have difference niche markets. Undoubtedly, there are different demographics within two sides of a city. In addition, it is important to note how the two services compare. How many daily calls does each get? Where are the ambulances located? The commercial ambulance squad could be located closer to the general population, drastically reducing the response time. Additionally, the review was only looking into reported response times. The commercial ambulance squad may have an additional incentive to report low response times which could skew the review findings. The argument would be strengthened by detailing the similarities between the two areas as well as providing additional details around how the review was performed. If the demographics are similar and both ambulance services are required to report all uses, this could help the reader determine whether the review is a credible source.
Secondly, the argument is based on the assumption that a lower response time will ensure better patient care and raise revenue for the town. However, no support is included to show how lowering the response time will impact these additional areas. Could the longer response time mean the volunteers are ensuring each patient is taken care of prior to moving to the next patient? The writer should include additional detail surrounding the volunteer environment. How hard is it to find volunteers? Once this information is known, the reader can determine whether lowering response time will help.
Lastly, the writer uses broad language when arguing that hiring a commercial ambulance service will raise revenue by collecting service fees. There are no concrete numbers listed in the argument. Without this, the reader cannot determine whether the fees collected from ambulance use will outweigh the cost to hire the ambulance service. By providing estimations on the amounts, the argument would be able to determine the economic cost of hiring a company.
The argument uses unconvincing support, faulty assumptions, and broad language to reach a conclusion. By providing additional details around the claims, the reader could determine whether a commercial ambulance service is, in fact, needed for the town.
General GMAT Forum Moderator
Joined: 15 Jan 2018
Posts: 612
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V37

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17 Jan 2019, 09:07
I strongly believe your AWA attempt is very good; you've substantiated your points well, and there're only a few grammar errors. Overall, it's a great essay and you'd easily get an AWA score of 5.5 - 6.

However, it's always a good idea to offer strengtheners in your concluding paragraph. Rather than finding three weak areas, you can elaborate on 2 weakeners and provide a strengthener, a way in which the argument can be made better.

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Intern
Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 16

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17 Jan 2019, 13:20
rr, can't quibble with disciplined prep's assessment, above. You might have mentioned topography - is W. Cambria more spread out, suburban, rural even, with bad roads and traffic congestion, or too many stoplights? Are there river, maybe drawbridge or railroad crossings involved? I.e. is it older than E. Cambria?
What about the actual number of ambulances operated by the two crews?
Time period covered by the review?
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