29 August 2008

Test Preparation

Yesterday, I took my first GRE practice test. I did horribly. Absolutely, fantastically, repulsively atrocious--even though I thought I did well. That has been my problem with test taking my whole life. I feel confident about my work and then I get graded and I wonder why I felt confident. I guess I can at least see now what I need to work on (ahem, everything).

Going over the answers, however, I don't agree with some of them! They are inconsistent. How are you supposed to pick the answer that the test writers chose if it differs from one question to the next. For example:

"Estrange" and "Flagrant" are set as having "endear" and "barely perceptible" as the correct antonyms, as opposed to "familiarize" and "modest." After reading through these examples, I said to myself, "Okay, each of these has a spectrum. The GRE People want the complete opposite, not the moderate opposite." Can you see what I mean? Estrange-familiarize-endear, flagrant-modest-barely perceptible. "I should pick the word on the end, not in the middle." But then during the practice test, I came to this:


So I say to myself, "To rail is to really yell at or criticize someone. 'Tout,' 'compromise,' and 'conspire' can be eliminated straight away. The middle word would be acquiesce, and the word on the end of the spectrum would be 'esteem.' Yeah, instead of to criticize, to praise." Well, I was wrong, though it's not a problem with my vocabulary! "Acquiesce" was considered right. But doesn't that seem inconsistent to you as well? I know I can't explain my logic to the test or fight with the ETS people. So how can I tell when to go moderate and when not to? Lame-o!

Anyway, here's my analytical writing issue task essay:

“Government should play no role in subsidizing or otherwise supporting the arts; it should be left entirely up to individuals and private entities to do so.”

The above quotation is an opinion that would be best left behind. Whoever said it must not have realized that the government subsidizing the arts can help the government itself.

Governments that have restricted (rather than supported the arts) have failed miserably. The communists of East Germany burned artwork, banned many artists, and basically made it hard for any new ideas to flourish. But this is not to say the arts did not continue behind closed doors. However, the people were dissatisfied. They wanted to be a part of the arts; they wanted to let their human creativity blossom, and this restriction of their freedom caused them to reject the communist form of government. A successful government sees the need to be creative, to freely express one’s self through the arts. And what’s more, they help fund it in order to see a happy people.

One thing that is overlooked is that government, by educating its people, is already supporting the arts. As students learn about history and cultures, they learn about the arts. They take dance classes and they see movies. They read great literature and behold famous paintings. All of these things contribute to the great thing we call “the arts.” Many students who learn about these ideas embrace them as their main subjects. They, in turn, create their own forms of arts, and the cycle continues. Unless the government were to become completely unsupportive of education, it must be said that the government is already paying for some form of support of the arts.

As for further support besides that of normal education, extra funding is a good idea. Countries that have flourishing arts have flourishing economies and happy people. People invest in the arts and entertain themselves by attending performances, visiting museums, and buying artwork. Artists thrive in their work, use their earned money in the economy, and continue to use their creative talents. If the government helps the arts become all that they can be through subsidy, the people will in turn be happy with their creative outlets, the economy, and the government.

The economy is not only boosted from within when the government supports the arts. When people from other countries look interestedly at visiting the US, they do not think about visiting suburbs or looking at business buildings. They want to see the manifestation of the culture in the arts, so they find out about famous musical and visual artists. They go to the ballet and to the theater; they visit museum after museum. In short, they pour foreign money into our economy. A government that supports the arts does so in its own and its people’s interests.

Some might say that private entities would be enough to make the arts an exquisite part of America. But would that not stop short of making the arts really succeed if they had more funding? Citizens who see their government using their tax money to support the arts will only want to take advantage of the arts themselves. To really acknowledge the arts as part of a country’s culture, the government should be involved. It shows the government is well-balanced and aware of its people’s needs. Private entities might be able to financially support the arts themselves. But less Americans would be involved and the arts would struggle to maintain the rich part of culture they inhabit.

If the U.S. government were to completely stop supporting the arts outside of public education, what would happen? The arts of America would have lesser outlets. Museums would fall into disrepair and their appearance and ratings would discourage visitors with their foreign money. Theaters would struggle. Public buildings would not have fresh new artists’ paintings on their walls. And the U.S. of A would not look like a great place to visit anymore. Discouraged artists would stop feeding their creativity, and more people would be out of jobs—jobs they liked. The people would no longer have the arts to entertain them, so their money would stay locked away in drawers and banks. Soon the entire economy would feel the results of a lack of artistry.

It cannot be said enough: a government that supports the arts does its job: it supports its people.


  1. http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article2419.html

  2. I know GRE is hard, but if you think you can crack it, its very easy...

    Here are few details that will help you..on GRE visit Happy Schools Blog

    You can also find information about U.S. University selection, student visa, sample sop ..