AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment) of the GRE is the first and the foremost section of the GRE test. It tests your ability to reason, thinking, logical analysis, and writing capacity using the Standard English language. AWA consists of two essays, one is the issue essay and the other one is the argument-based essay.
Both the essays are allocated half an hour each and there are no breaks in between. One has to write the essays continuously. There is no word limit and the scoring is from 0 to 6 with a one-point increment scale.
The issue essay is topic-based, the candidate has to give his/her opinion on a specific topic and give reasonable evidence to support his/her claim substantially. The candidate has to arrange their essay coherently and has to present cogent arguments.
The argument-based essay has an argument and the candidate is asked to give alternate explanations, provide any faults with the assumptions, or anything more of the sort. The candidate doesn’t have to give any new information and is not asked to take a stand or give an opinion. The candidate has to find assumptions and give solutions to the faulty assumptions to make the argument stronger.
AWA is evaluated by a human reader and an e-reader according to the standards set by the GRE. Your AWA score is not released along with the other scores at the end of the test, it is released along with the official scorecard roughly 2 weeks after the test.
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The GRE test consists of three sections:
The Analytical Writing section will always come first. It consists of two tasks and will take an hour to complete.
After the writing section, test-takers will face two verbal and two quant sections. Along with these four, there will be an experimental section(unscored) that is either a quant or a verbal section.
On the whole, these five sections will appear in a random order on the GRE test. To get a better hold of the format, test-takers are encouraged to take a GRE practice test.
There is no particular word limit for AWA, students can decide their comfortable word range.
There are no standard topics that repeat. But, the topics are very generalist in nature and they do not require any specialist knowledge of any particular field.
AWA judges you upon standard English Conventions, which is just one of the evaluating criteria. But, having a strong hold on vocabulary is always a good thing.
Yes, the arguments section in the GRE will help in writing your AWA essays. The patterns, the techniques to find claims, evidences and assumptions are helpful in deconstructing the issue and argument essay questions.
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