All You Need to Know About GMAT Analytical Writing


In GMAT Analytical Writing , the test will present an argument, generally in the form of a newspaper editorial or a company statement. The structure of this argument allows you to argue for either side, and your choice has no bearing on your final score. You’ll have 30 minutes to read over the prompt and write your essay. Later, your essay will be scored on a scale of 0 to 6 by both a computer and a person; your AWA test score will be the average of these two scores.

Remember that the goal of this work is to assess your GMAT analytical writing abilities.


How GMAT Analytical Writing is Scored?

How GMAT Analytical Writing is Scored?

The AWA test score has no bearing on your GMAT score. Instead, it appears on your score report as a separate category. Although you won’t get a detailed analysis of your marks for each section, the GMAT analytical writing exam looks at your talents in four categories:

  • Ideas of Good Quality
  • Organization
  • Style of Writing
  • Usage and Grammar

You’ll be given a score ranging from 0 to 6 in half-point increments based on your overall performance.

The essay will next be scored by a trained assessor based on the overall development of your ideas and written representation. The GMAT then adds these scores together to give you an overall GMAT AWA score. Don’t panic if there are large differences in scores between the human and computer graders: if the scores differ by more than one point, another human grader is brought in to help set the final score.


How to Approach the GMAT AWA Exam?

How to Approach the GMAT AWA Exam?

Once you understand what to expect on the GMAT analytical writing exam, you may begin implementing methods that will help you maximise your score. Keep returning to these during your GMAT prep to ensure that you stay on track and improve your GMAT analytical writing assessment!

Here are some GMAT AWA tips to help you succeed:

1. Unstated Assumptions

Recognizing assumptions is important for Critical Reasoning questions, and it will also help you counter the prompt argument in your AWA GMAT.

2. Understand the Directions

It’s not only a matter of understanding what they’re saying; it’s also a matter of understanding the many options you have for examining the argument. This list of analytical strategies is always offered after the prompt argument. It’s critical to become familiar with this “analytical toolkit” so that you can use it on test day.

3. Recognize the Six Sorts of Defects in GMAT AWA Prompt Arguments

GMAT AWA prompt arguments frequently contain one of six types of flaws. Learn to recognise these patterns so that you’ll be prepared on test day.

4. Before you Start Writing, Make a Plan

Some exam takers are aware of this. The first step is to identify counter-arguments and defects in the prompt argument. Make a list of all the flaws you can think of. Then choose the 2-4 that are most relevant, as they will be the most convincing talking points. You’re ready to write once you’ve compiled your list of illuminating defects.

5. Use a GMAT Writing Template

Many test-takers find it helpful to follow a basic GMAT AWA template structure and rehearse it ahead of time so that all they have to do on test day is put in the specific details.

6. Write in a Variety of Styles

First and foremost, change up your sentence structures. Make an effort to use a range of words. Of course, you’ll want to repeat the phrases from the prompt argument. However, in your own analysis, use a variety of descriptive adjectives, never repeating the same one.

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All of the above AWA test strategies are crucial to remember for your GMAT analytical writing. But what should you do on test day when you really sit down at the computer? Here’s how to utilize your 30 minutes with the GMAT AWA, with a more thorough GMAT writing template!

1. Brainstorm

You should have read the AWA directions by the time you sit down on test day, so you won’t have to waste time reading them again. Instead, get right to work on AWA brainstorming. List the defects in the argument as you brainstorm, then evaluate those flaws to see which objections are the most powerful.

2. Write an Introduction

You don’t have to start from scratch with each GMAT AWA introduction. Begin by stating the source of the passage. After that, concentrate on two main tasks: summarising the argument and explaining why it is flawed. Keep it short and sweet; three sentences should suffice to establish your main points.

3. Construct Your Body Paragraphs

  • The first step in writing your paragraph is to decide whatever portion of the argument you want to examine. The simplest approach to do this is to just summarise the argument’s premise. This is a fantastic method to build the framework for your analysis by summarising and using synonyms to present the premise—don’t copy word for word.
  • Now that you’ve summarised and presented the premise to the reader, it’s time to label and describe the flaw. You are not necessary to know the names of logical fallacies and may not always be able to identify the weakness in the argument, but if you can, do so. This is a wonderful method to show the reader that you understand the arguments, and it will concentrate your thoughts on how to uncover the fault.
  • Now that the flaw has been revealed, it’s time to explain to the reader why it’s a flaw. You’ll need to use an example to accomplish this. This can include hypothetical yet real-world instances derived from the argument or real-world ones you are familiar with.
  • In student essays, this is a regular phase that gets skipped. Students believe that once the defect is revealed, everything would make sense, but this is way too rash. We can’t just assume that our reader will “understand it.” We need to be clear and transparent about how the error weakens the argument, and more particularly, how the flaw weakens the argument.
  • Now that you’ve analysed the argument, broken out a fault, and explained how that flaw led to the conclusion, it’s time to put it back together. Approach the article as though you were a concerned and interested party, sympathetically reacting to the argument. Don’t just cause havoc. Make improvements suggestions.

4. Conclude the Essay

To begin, keep in mind that you should not spend too much time on the conclusion. The body paragraphs are the heart of your essay, and they are what determine your grade. These should be lengthy and comprehensive, but the conclusion should be succinct and to the point. Wrap things up as soon as possible so you can get back to editing and revising your essay.

Don’t go into too much information to make things manageable and concise. You simply need to summarise the argument’s fundamental flaws. It’s sometimes enough to just state that the argument has severe flaws. Ignore the need to restate all of the important points from the body paragraphs. This will merely take up additional space and time.

Finally, suggest a method for achieving the article’s purpose. It is critical to approach the argument analysis as an interested party. You don’t want to be completely pessimistic. For one thing, imagining yourself as a part of the argument will help you create a better analysis, and two, the assignment encourages you to improve the argument. Find some general evidence that will strengthen or irrefutably support your claim. Make a suggestion for a tweak that will put the logic on a firmer basis.

When you first meet the GMAT analytical writing section, it can feel like a slog: it needs intense concentration and analysis, and it’s not something most students have focused on throughout their preparation. However, with a little planning, your GMAT essays can considerably improve your AWA test score, lifting your admissions file to the next level!

By including AWA GMAT writing in your overall GMAT prep plan, you’ll guarantee that this section of the exam doesn’t become a stumbling block for your application—and instead enhances, rather than hinders, your chances of getting into your dream school. Best of luck!


Frequently Asked Questions


Q1. Is AWA still a part of GMAT?

The AWA section of the GMAT exam is regarded by GMAC as a significant component of the exam since it provides business schools with valuable information and candidates with the opportunity to display critical thinking and the ability to articulate ideas. According to GMAC, the AWA part was added to the online test because business schools expressed interest.

Q2. How is analytical writing score on GMAT?

One Analysis of an Argument essay is used to determine the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) score. The AWA scores range from 0 to 6 in half-point increments. If you believe your AWA score is incorrect, you can use the Essay Rescore Request Form to have your essay rescored.

Q3. Can I skip AWA in GMAT?

You can still obtain a score if you omit the AWA portion. While we encourage that you complete all sections of the Practice Exams, the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section is not assessed, therefore you can skip it on the practice tests but you CANNOT skip this section on the real test.


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