GMAT AWA: Comprehensive Overview

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    The GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment section checks the aspirants’ ability to analyze an argument and how effectively they can communicate their thoughts or ideas are also checked. The candidates appearing for the GMAT AWA section need to critically analyze the reasoning given behind a given argument.

    The Analytical Writing section of the GMAT syllabus is one of the sections with wider dynamic opinions, and each section of the GMAT exam including the GMAT AWA is prepared carefully aimed at examining the candidates’ readiness for an MBA program. One of the skills that are needed to pursue an MBA is the graduates’ ability to analyze an argument impartially and convey their thoughts, perspectives clearly. To excel in the GMAT AWA section, the GMAT aspirants must apply structured thinking and need to have a good understanding of the English language along with thoroughly following the preparation tips. Many aspirants try breaking the multiple-choice format and try to present their thoughts on paper, while other aspirants look for other better ways to get a good score in the exam.

    The essay response of GMAT aspirants should be coherent, with full sentences, have logical transitions, and are properly structured with developed examples.

    What is the argument in GMAT AWA?

    The test takers are allotted 30 minutes to type an analytical essay, critiquing and evaluating a flawed argument. Also, the test takers must understand the AWA score is not divided into the general GMAT score out of 800, rather this section holds a separate score, wherein the test-taker will score on a scale of 0 to 6. Your AWA section will be evaluated by both a computer and human and they will grade your essay, and the scores are granted based on the candidates’ performance in the test.

    Why is it important to get a good GMAT AWA score?

    Though more emphasis is laid on the GMAT general score, the GMAT aspirants must not take the AWA section lightly. Many business schools have their specific cut-offs related to the GMAT general score (out of 800), in addition to the specific cut-off for the AWA scores (out of 6). The average cut-offs range varies from 4 to 4.5; therefore it is important to score at least 4.5 or higher to be on the safer side. To score really high in this section, the candidate must practice sample questions too.

    What does the AWA specifically want?

    There are three main categories on which the AWA task will be scored:

    Organization and Presentation

    While assessing the candidates’ writing, the examiner will look at the way you are presenting your thoughts. The writing skills will be considered and in case you have logical transitions between ideas and there is a clear introduction, body, and conclusion, then there are higher chances that you will score higher in your marks. However, the candidates with unorganized and unstructured thoughts will lower their overall scores.

    Logical Analysis

    While considering the quality of your logical analysis, the readers want to understand the candidates’ way of presenting the ideas and thoughts and how they can get more points. Further, the examples and supporting details that you have presented will be considered and the readers will look for its relevance to the argument candidates make.

    Linguistic Skills

    Linguistic skills include a couple of areas; some examiners evaluate the candidates’ technical grasp on elements of standard written English. The candidates’ writing styles play an important factor in making a persuasive argument or a flawed one; therefore it is important to use well-structured illustrations and examples rather than just mentioning a few examples.

    How does ‘GMAT Write’ analyze your GMAT AWA essay?

    Once the GMAT aspirants have submitted an essay, they will get scores based on 4 categories:

    • Analysis of the issue
    • Supports ideas
    • Organizes coherent idea
    • Language control
    • Based on these 4 categories it

    Ways of attacking the mentioned assumptions?

    The GMAT aspirants must remember that an assumption can be wrong due to so many reasons. Some of the types of incorrect assumptions include–

    • The Sampling Assumption – The sampling argument assumes that a smaller group is representative of a larger group to which it belongs.
    • The illogical analogy assumption –As per the illogical analogy assumptions, if something applies to X it would be the same in case of Y as well and will be applied to Y also.
    • Causal Assumption – The Causal Assumption brings confusion between correlation and causation. In this kind of assumption, just because ‘X’ usually occurs after ‘Y’ occurs, does not always mean that Y B happens because of the presence of X only.
    • The Data Bias – This kind of assumption occurs when the data for statistical inference is obtained from a sample that is not representative of the population under consideration. This is a case of faulty data which results in faulty assumptions.
    • The Non-Sequitur – in this kind of assumption, you need to find a connection where there is none. Non Sequitur means “does not follow,” which is short for: the conclusion is not obtained from the premise.

    Proof Reading is also important 

    Proof-reading is also important so that what all you have written is grammatically correct. Though the AWA section is all about checking the candidates’ ability to analyze an argument and discuss it in an articulate manner, so minor errors in spelling and grammar can get avoided. However, content with so many grammatical errors will result in lowering the average score, you must understand that a human reader will review your work, and the examiner will have an unconscious bias against incorrect grammar and spellings. Hence, you must keep your essay error-free as much as possible, so that no loopholes are left in your essays. You must devote at least three minutes to quickly glance through the document and make sure you have not made any major errors.

    GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment Template

    The beneath details will help in getting detailed information of the GMAT AWA template:

    Structure of the essay

    • Introduction: Restate the argument and look for the flaws. Now, state your views which will be discussed in the next paragraphs.
    • First paragraph: Present your first critique of the argument and support your view by quoting a suitable example.
    • Second paragraph: State your first critique of the argument and similarly to the first paragraph, support your view using suitable examples.
    • Third paragraph: Present a few questions for the argument. The absence of information in the argument to answer will weaken your attempt.
    • Fourth argument: Present that information which you strongly believe would help in strengthening the argument but is absent.
    • Conclusion: Mention that the argument is flawed due to the above reasons and point out the reasons that can strengthen the argument.

    Useful tips to improve your GMAT AWA score

    There is no doubt to the fact that top business schools look for high Verbal and Quantitative scores. The most desirable applicants need to demonstrate real-world abilities while communicating effectively with others within an organization. The way you have performed in analytical writing will help you in staying ahead of your competitors, the beneath tips will help in improving your writing skills that are needed to take GMAT essays to the next level.

    Pick a side and stick with it

    Readers don’t want to read a piece in which the GMAT aspirants jump between the opinions as GMAT AWA test the candidates’ ability to argue one side of an issue effectively. In case you are finding it difficult to identify a side you agree with, you must pick one and focus on that side exclusively. The GMAT exam is not about checking the individuals’ ability to pick the correct side of an issue rather it’s about how effectively they can support the argument successfully.

    Use very specific examples

    In case the supporting examples are general, then you might not get a high score in your essays. Look for the specific examples that are relevant and support the argument that you have made. You must be more interactive while supporting the argument, just make sure that whatever examples you are quoting they are relevant. Failing to use relevant examples that can support your argument, your essay will come off as a bit silly.

    Negate the other side of the argument

    Due to the limited time constraints, the GMAT aspirants sometimes find it more challenging to wrap up an AWA essay with the time. However, you must consider this as an opportunity to contradict the opposing argument even further. By using this strategy, the candidates will not only be able to wrap up their essay neatly, but it will offer a better opportunity to them to establish an argument and further contradict the other side with more accuracy.

    To get a perfect 6 score on the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment section, it is important that you must understand the AWA pattern and practice more. It is a good practice to invest at least 10-20% of your entire preparation time in the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment section so that you can sharpen your skills.

    Your best performance on the Analytical Writing Assessment section starts with getting a more detailed understanding of the style and pattern of the essays. Do more practice to improve your performance on the Analytical Writing Assessment section so that you can get a good GMAT score needed to get admission in a prestigious B-School.

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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