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MCAT Sample Questions : Writing Sample

An MCAT writing sample is given below. It covers all the three aspects of interpreting the statement and then discussing the positives as well as negative points of the statement. But writing sample is different from writing answers for MCAT Verbal Reasoning Sample Questions and MCAT Physical Sciences Sample Questions.

Topic 4

The problems that we face today can be solved if we understand our History.

Human behavior is recurring. We learn many things which are derived from the past. Right from how we talk and walk to how we grow up to become certain type of people is all experienced based. It is a long chain that has come to us from our forefathers. That is why the characteristic of a North American, a European or an Asian differs from each other. In solving a problem too we use our experiences. The Greeks call it Heuristic. In situations where meticulous research is not possible then heuristic is the only option to get solutions quickly. The important thing is that the data is easily accessible, but may not be practically applicable every time. But History can be useful in solving Human as well as Mechanical problems.

In situations such as war, history is the best way forward to formulate strategies and plans to tackle the enemy. Almost all the countries approach war by drawing instances from the past. In fact, when two nations are engaged in a war, there is history behind it as to why and on which points they disagree. This history can also be used to bring out peaceful negotiations as well. Another example of people using past experiences to solve problems are in the areas of Civil Rights. Nelson Mandela drew examples from the Non-Violent Movement of Mahatma Gandhi to fight for the rights of the people of his country and like Gandhi, he too was successful. Another area, where history was used was to solve the problems is natural calamities. In parts of the world, which are prone to earthquakes or volcanoes have used the experiences to develop methods of construction in such a way, that when a similar situation arises in future, the damage can be minimum. A big business house may indulge in history and learn from the mistakes, work on them to find solutions. For example, if there is a workers strike in one of its factories, it may try to resolve it by using similar situations in the past. Or it may simply make a new plan of action to change a bad result in the past. There are many examples that state that understanding of the past can be useful in solving problems we face today.

But history fails to solve new problems. When the South Asia was hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, no one had the faintest of ideas about it. There is some literary evidence of tsunami in the Eastern Mediterranean, in the year 365 AD.; but the evidence in inconclusive. Japan has a long history of Tsunami, but the magnitude of the Indian Ocean Tsunami was unknown of, as it was the third largest earthquake that was registered on the seismograph. No records in history were of any help. Similar is the case with diseases. When Cancer was first discovered, we had no history about it. Therefore, no medication could be useful by referring to history. Scientists and Doctors had to carry on research after research to find out any type of cure. Diseases like Aids or Swine Flu etc., have no past records, so times gone by are of no use in finding cure to these diseases.

The question is, how important are the understandings of the yester years important to get solutions to problems we face today, or may face in the future? Well if it is a behavioral pattern, a similar situation then of course, history can be useful. It is evident that there are some common threads that tie the past with the present, so a Heuristic approach to solve problems can be useful, especially, when in-depth analysis and research is not possible. But interpretation of history will differ from person to person and depending on what individual interpretation is will be the course of action. Innovative people can argue that too much dependency on the past event may kill creativity. And sometimes, rather than allowing history to repeat itself, it is better to be courageous and create history. In addition, it is a proven fact that the past experiences are not useful when you face a problem that is completely unknown. Sometimes it is history that leads to problems. Itís true that war can be handled better by referring to history, but in the first place; war itself is a problem because two nations have history of disagreement. Racial problems arise for the very reason that in the past one race was suppressed by the other, here again olden times are the cause of conflict. In such cases it is necessary that history is reformed which may stop future conflicts. In case of new diseases like HIV Aids there is no set pattern. The only option is research and analysis to find possible cure. So history is important as experience is the best teacher, but only in repetitive situations which follow a set pattern.

Above is an example for the Writing Sample Question for MCAT covering all the aspects of answering it. Keep checking back for more MCAT biological sciences sample questions in our other segments.

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