Consider the following comments and develop a piece of writing in response to one or more of them. Your writing will be judged on the quality of your response to the theme, how well you organise and present your point of view, and how effectively you express yourself.
- ‘The almighty dollar is the only object of worship.’ – Anonymous
- ‘Money is like muck, not good except it be spread.’ – Francis Bacon
- ‘We could have saved sixpence. We could have saved fivepence. But at what cost?’ – Samuel Beckett
- ‘Money speaks sense in a language all nations understand.’ – Aphra Behn
- ‘The love of money is the root of all evil.’ – Bible
Suggested Theme: Money (Section A)
Time limit in the actual exam: 30 mins
Chosen Quote: ‘We could have saved sixpence. We could have saved fivepence. But at what cost?’ – Samuel Beckett
How to become a millionaire
Being under constant pressure, entrepreneurs have to decide between being frugal and manage the budget wisely, or being a cheapskate and refuse to spend money. Samuel Beckett’s statement, ‘we could have saved sixpence. We could have saved fivepence. But at what cost?’, suggests the jargon of being penny-wise and pound-foolish – presage to failure in business in the long run. The following dialectic explores the characteristics of millionaires and how they obtain their wealth.
Some ways of saving money are healthy and helpful, and being thrifty is an essential skill to possess both in one’s livelihood and business. According to Sarah Stanley Fallaw, director of research for the Affluent Market Institute, many millionaires and billionaires have something in common, aside from having high net worth; they are frugal. One clear difference between being frugal and cheapskate is the ethical standards. Frugal people want to manage their money wisely so that it does not hurt others or compromise their performances. Cheapskates, in contrast, believe that the only way to achieve value is to pay less without considering the quality or its consequences, and thus, it is highly unlikely that they get hold of what they desire with the meagre mindset.
Millionaires typically spend more time studying and planning for investments and focusing on personal growth. Their literacy in financial matters means that they are more tolerant of taking investment-related risks. As Robert Kiyosaki, the author of ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’, stated,’ The main reason that over 90 per cent of the American public struggles financially is because they play not to lose. They don’t play to win.’, supporting the proponents of Beckett’s perspective. Additionally successful individuals are keenly aware of how they spend their emotional and cognitive resources because they are aware that building the capacity to sustain one’s wealth starts with self-investment. The knowledge and skills will remain within oneself regardless of the economy, and one’s personality reflects one’s attitude towards risk and investment objectives. It is no secret that business magnate like Bill Gates reads books extensively as a tool of self-investment, and so as many successful individuals – ‘the leaders are readers’.
Wealth does not only refer to the figures shown in the bank account but also includes business, real estates, paper assets, gold and silver and other commodities. Nevertheless, those physical wealth can vanish at any point and time during financial crises. Self-investment is the key to building sustainable wealth because the gained knowledge and strengths accumulate within oneself and will never be lost – that is the secret every millionaire shares!
Feedback from METC Institute
Engagement with the chosen topic:
There is an understanding of the quote and themes but there is no thesis statement and your argument tends to drift without purpose. Initially there is an analysis of spending habits but this drifted to the habits of the rich, a questionable path.
Knowledge and thought:
You have presented some relevant evidence but you tend to stray into narrative rather than analysis. As a result what sources you do use lack a strong impact.
Structure of the Essay:
The essay tends to drift without a strong aim. There is little to no connection between the paragraph and the argumentation is unfocused and unorganised.
There are errors but these do no generally obstruct meaning, and the tone is mostly appropriate. What errors are present are predominantly with syntax and sentence structure as well as grammar.
Overall the essay lack clarity, the argumentation is unfocused and strays from the quotes themes.
Proofread for language errors before submission. Ensure you have a thesis statement, and analyse your evidence rather than describe it. Try and stick to a plan that is based around the TAS structure.
Feedback from AceGAMSAT
This essay is quite a success. I think your ideas are well thought out. I think your language could be more fluent. There are small grammatical errors like the one in the first sentence. Obviously when time is a factor it can be hard to keep track of small errors, but it is really important to make sure they don’t slip through.
Also there are some issue surrounding statement which are over-generalised and might be misconstrued by the marker. Your discussion of the attributes of millionaires might be seen as overly judgemental. Perhaps you could instead focus on how millionaires can have varied motivations. I think that more balanced statement of that kind will go over well with markers.
I have also noticed your logic transitions are often very rapid and may not be easy to follow for markers. Try reading what you have written back to yourself and ask how well it integrates with the statements before and after it. If it seems information is missing between statements then you effectively have flaws in your logic. But on the whole, this is a very good effort.
Feedback from the Gold Standard GAMSAT
There are some very trenchant observations about financial literacy here, which suits the theme of the quotes well. The structure is a strength of this essay.
Thought and Content:
We enjoyed reading this essay and, as noted, found your observation to be quite wise. We especially appreciated the quote about ‘playing not to lose’ rather than ‘playing to win’ (although it explains why we will probably never be rich). We wonder though, whether this caution arises because the person cannot afford to lose, even though the possible rewards of winning could be substantial.
One thing that was unclear though is what kind of self-investment you are talking about. Do you mean ‘becoming a better person’ or do you mean ‘learning how to invest money more wisely’? The two are quite different, although both could involve reading as a pathway.
Language and Structure:
As noted, the structure is a strength of this essay. You are very adept at the dialectic structure, right from the opening paragraph with the nice clear thesis statement, through the seamless arguments and analysis, and to the synthesis of ideals and the conclusion. There is little to find fault with here.
You are an exceptional writer when it comes to Task A essays. Keep in mind our previous comments though, that you do not need to have full citations and careful research to write these essays – it is more about how you structure the arguments themselves.