Sample Response to GMAT AWA Argument Questions
The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper.
“This past winter, 200 students from Waymarsh State College traveled to
the state capitol building to protest against proposed cuts in funding
for various state college programs. The other 12,000 Waymarsh students
evidently weren’t so concerned about their education: they either stayed
on campus or left for winter break. Since the group who did not protest
is far more numerous, it is more representative of the state’s college
students than are the protesters. Therefore the state legislature need
not heed the appeals of the protesting students.” Discuss how well
reasoned . . . Etc.
The article concludes that the state legislature does not need to
consider the positions of protesting students. To support this argument,
the author cited that only 200 of the 12,000 students traveled to the
state capitol to claim their concerns on the proposed cuts in college
programs. The remaining students do not participate in this protest and
therefore are not interested in this issue. The argument is not
convincing for the following two reasons.
First, the author assumes that because less than one-tenth of the
students participated in the protest, only less than one-tenth of the
students proposed against the funding cut programs. This assumption is
questionable since if the protesting students were selected randomly
from the entire student body, their views would correctly reflect the
views of the entire college. Without further information regarding the
way by which the protesting students were selected, it is questionable
to conclude that their opinions fail to reflect the opinions of their
Second, the author points out that the other 12,000 students stayed on
campus or left for winter break and concludes that they are not
concerned on fund-cutting program. The line of reasoning is not solid
because there may be other reasons that they did not participate. For
example, they probably think their opinions will be expressed by the
protesting students. Without addressing why the remaining 12,000
students did not attend the campaign, the argument that the remaining
12,000 students are not concerned about their education is unacceptable.
In conclusion, the argument is neither sound nor convincing. To make it
logically acceptable, the author should point out what is the point of
view of the remaining 12,000 students.