GMAT tests you on your writing skills and logical ability skills with its Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) part where you are given an argument that needs your expert analysis. The idea here is to test your understanding of a given argument, your analysis skills and your logical arguments as to why and how valid or invalid the given argument is. Real scenario arguments are given to test your abilities. The test duration is 30 minutes. The score is measured on a scale from 0-6 point. Additionally, GMAT offers rescoring services in this section, upon student’s rescoring request by an independent reader for US$45. Remember, the service is applicable for six months after appearing the test. AWA essay is an essential parameter, used by B-schools to outline student’s attributes.
What AWA examines?
The AWA is not a test of your vocabulary. The examiners are more interested in knowing how you use logic, reasoning, and language to critique an argument. Furthermore, AWA score is an indicator of your verbal skills. Let’s say you get 3.5/6 in your AWA, but your application essays to the universities and B-schools read like a page out of JK Rowling’s engaging, intelligent and well-articulated works. That means that there’s foul play. The University understands that you have (not very cleverly) outsourced your application essay to someone who writes loads better than you can. The AWA score is a tool that can aid the university test your integrity. So, do reasonably well in your AWA essays AND write your application essays yourself!
Each of us has our distinct writing styles. Some of us can write. Others do not try enough. And for those others, here is how you deal with AWA. Dedicate a paragraph to make the reader understand that you have read the argument and that you have understood it in its entirety. You can state the premise of the argument in your words. Come up with rational reasons as to why and how well reasoned or badly reasoned, the argument is. More often than not, you get a flawed argument. So, you might be better off missing the argument and invalidating reasons given by the author. That does not mean that you cannot praise a well-reasoned part of the argument. Remember that different people find various points to dissect and investigate. So, there is no right or wrong answer to an AWA question.
Strategy To Ace AWA
While writing your AWA essay, try not to go out of scope and bring in information from outside the context of the given argument. That’s not what the examiner is looking for. Conclude lucidly. In a couple of lines, tell the reader what you think of the given argument. Remember that the examiner gives you a score right after reading the conclusion.
Download the pdf syllabus of GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment.
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