The GMAT Essay, better known as GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), is an essential part of the GMAT exam. In the default section order, the AWA is the first thing you’ll see on your test. In the other order selections, AWA is the last section. Ever since GMAC has come up with the option that allows you to select your section order, most of the students don’t choose the default order.
The AWA has a score ranging from 0 to 6 and has a time limit of 30 minutes. There is no word limit, but given the time restriction, we recommend you to wrap up your essay within 350 to 500 words. This can be done efficiently if you give your essay a clear structure.
For the AWA task, you are provided with an argument (often called the argument prompt) and the task is to evaluate it. In the thirty minutes provided, a test-taker needs to break down the argument, identify the flaws in it, and suggest ways to improve it by filling the gaps in the argument prompt.
The task remains to be the same irrespective of the argument prompt.
The introduction, for many reasons, is a significant part of your essay. If you manage to write an effective and articulate introduction, you can ace the rest of the essay smoothly. An introduction should be such that it clearly spells out the conclusion and premise in the argument. The last sentence of your introductory paragraph should give the reader an idea that this argument is flawed and you’re going to discuss these flaws in the subsequent body paragraphs.
No doubt, the introduction is an important part of the essay, but the introduction alone cannot fetch you a good score (meaning 4.5 or more). In order to get a good score on the AWA, in your body paragraphs you must point out the most damaging flaws in the argument. Also, the essay must have an effective ending reiterating your thesis.