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Analytical writing assessment, quick links, identify the strengths and weaknesses of an argument.

The Analytical Writing Assessment  measures your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas. During the Analytical Writing Assessment, you will analyze the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument. 

The Analytical Writing Assessment section consists of one 30-minute writing task—Analysis of an Argument. The arguments on the test include topics of general interest related to business, or a variety of other subjects. Specific knowledge of the essay topic is not necessary; only your capacity to write analytically is assessed.

Before you begin writing your response, take a few minutes to evaluate the argument and plan your response. You will then have 30 minutes to organize your ideas and develop them fully in your essay. Pacing is key. You want to leave time to re-read your response and make any revisions.

writing assessment gmat

  • What counterexamples might be raised?
  • What additional evidence could help strengthen or refute the argument?
  • Does my response read like a discussion with full sentences and coherent organization?
  • Make your response read like a discussion. Your finished response should not be an outline. It should read like a discussion with full sentences, a coherent organizational scheme, logical transitions between points, and appropriately introduced and developed examples.
  • Use well-developed illustrations and examples . When you discuss alternative explanations or counterexamples, introduce illustrations and examples drawn from your observations, experiences, or reading. Do not simply list examples; develop them.

GMAT Official AWA Practice

Gain confidence in your writing ability for test day with our essay writing practice tool.

writing assessment gmat

Homepage > GMAT IR and AWA > GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment tips – How to score a perfect 6 on GMAT AWA

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment tips – How to score a perfect 6 on GMAT AWA

Posted by Suheb Hussain | Aug 6, 2020 | GMAT IR and AWA , Know the GMAT , Prepare for GMAT

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment tips – How to score a perfect 6 on GMAT AWA

The GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section measures your ability to analyze an argument and communicate your thoughts or ideas. What you simply need to do is to critically analyze the reasoning given behind a given argument. To complete the AWA section of the GMAT you are allotted 30 minutes.

GMAT Analytical writing Assessment

Here is the outline of the article:

How to create a well rounded Analytical Writing Assessment essay?

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

GMAT AWA tips – GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment Template

  • Sample GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment essay

Let’s discuss now how you can score a perfect 6 on the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment section. Here are a few tips to prepare you for the GMAT AWA section.

Step 1 –  Understand the process of creating a well-rounded analysis of an argument. You can do that in two ways or rather with the help of two tools.

  • AWA template by Chineseburned from gmatclub

Step 2 – Practice! Practice! Practice! the AWA questions. Here is a list of practice questions for you.

GMAT Write – An AWA practice tool by GMAC

GMAT Write is a writing tool provided by GMAC. It gives you access to 2 unique essay prompts and a chance to write 4 essays. The good thing about this tool is that it scores your essay based on the scoring algorithm used by the official GMAT exam. But, it costs $29.99 to subscribe to this tool.

Take a look at this article to know the importance of AWA and IR sections for business school admissions.

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

Once you submit an essay, it scores you on 4 categories:

  • Analysis of the issue
  • Supports ideas
  • Organizes coherent idea
  • Language control

Based on these 4 categories it gives you an overall score for the essay.

Even if you don’t buy this tool, you still get to know what GMAT considers an ideal essay to be from it. An ideal essay should:

  • Identify and analyze significant flaws in the argument
  • Support the critique using relevant supporting reasons and/or examples
  • Be a clearly organized and coherent response
  • Demonstrate control of language, including diction, syntax, and conventions of standard written English

Source: https://www.mba.com/exam-prep/gmat-write

Once you know what factors make a perfect essay, the next thing you should do is creating a template. The most popular template for AWA is the one provided by ‘Chineseburned’ user on the gmatclub forum.

If you are planning to take the GMAT, we can help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. Write to us at  [email protected] . We are the  most reviewed GMAT prep company on gmatclub with more than 1950 reviews. Why don’t you take a free trial and judge for yourself?

Here are the details of his template:

Structure of the essay

  • Introduction: Restate the argument and point out the flaws. Now, state your views which you’ll discuss in the next paragraphs.
  • First paragraph: State your first critique of the argument and support your view with an example.
  • Second paragraph: State your first critique of the argument and support your view with an example.
  • Third paragraph: Pose a few questions for the argument. The absence of information in the argument to answer your questions weaken it further.
  • Fourth argument: State information that you feel would have strengthened the argument but is absent. (This is an extra paragraph which is not in Chineseburned template)
  • Conclusion: State that the argument is flawed because of the above reasons and which reasons could have strengthened the argument.
Learn how the IR section is scored.

Sample GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment AWA essay

Here is a sample AWA essay question for practice. We have also provided the answer to this question based on the template.

The following appeared in an Excelsior Company memorandum. “The Excelsior Company plans to introduce its own brand of coffee. Since coffee is an expensive food item, and since there are already many established brands of coffee, the best way to gain customers for the Excelsior brand is to do what Superior, the leading coffee company, did when it introduced the newest brand in its line of coffees: conduct a temporary sales promotion that offers free samples, price reductions, and discount coupons for the new brand.” Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion, be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.

GMAT AWA essay

The Excelsior company wants to introduce its own brand of coffee since coffee is an expensive food item and might have good profit margins. However, as there are several established brands of coffee already, it needs to work out a way to gain a foothold in the market. For this purpose, the company plans to pursue the same marketing strategy that the leading coffee company Superior had used. However, I think there are several flaws in that line of reasoning. And hence this argument seems a little weak.

First, Superior is already an established brand and the market leader. No data is given as to how long back it entered the coffee market. Without this information, it is difficult to ascertain the utility of the marketing strategy for Excelsior. A brand might take decades to establish, and what worked a decade back, need not work today. For example, when Google was initially set up, it depended on word of mouth, rather than any communication media, for its marketing. As it was initially just an internal product for the University, this approach worked for them. However, it might not work for any company now. We see these days that most new web companies do advertise heavily when they initially launch a product for the masses.

Second, no information has been provided about the target market for the coffee or the pricing strategy. It might be that the coffee produced by Superior is one of the cheaper products in the market. And that they earn their profits from volume sales rather than having a niche market. Whereas, Excelsior might be aiming at the niche market of expensive and luxury coffee. If that were the case, then the same marketing strategies might not be relevant for Excelsior. Can Hyundai apply the same approach towards the market as does a luxury brand like Ferrari?

Without some of the relevant and contextual details, it is difficult to judge the efficacy of using the same marketing strategy that a competitor applied some unknown years back. If we were to get some more details in this regard, we could have judged the situation better.

Although all the factors being the same, it might not be a bad idea to follow the same approach as that of a leading brand in the market. Sometimes there is nothing wrong with sticking to the tried and the tested. In the absence of any other better idea, Excelsior might not have much to lose if it pursues the same methods as did Superior. It’s better to have some plan rather than no plan.

Conducting a temporary sales promotion that offers free samples, price reductions and discount coupons might not be such a bad idea. It could be a good ploy to get users to try out the product. And discounts and other monetary incentives are usually very effective in this regard. If the quality of the product is good enough and the pricing is appropriate, introducing enough customers to the product through such offers might give a significant push to consumer interest in the product. While customer satisfaction might leverage word of mouth marketing.

Therefore, depending on the context the approach might or might not be a beneficial one. This essay question has been taken from gmatclub and the answer has been judged as a perfect 6 by the GMAT Write tool. The answer was written by the user ‘rish2jain’ from gmatclub forum.

To score a perfect 6 on the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment section, it is important that you learn the AWA template and practice as much as you can. Just don’t overdo it. It is a good practice to devote 10% of your preparation time to GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment section.

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GMAT Analytical Writing – AWA

Introduction to the gmat awa task.

The Analytical Writing section on the GMAT (often referred to simply as the AWA) is possibly the one with most diametric opinions.

Some people actually look forward to the opportunity to break out of the multiple-choice format and to present their thoughts on paper, while others are terrified by the prospect. Whichever side you land on in this debate, to master the AWA task, all one needs is structured thinking and a good grasp of the English language.

What is the argument essay?

Essentially, the test taker is given 30 minutes to type an analytical essay, critiquing and evaluating a flawed argument (along the lines of a CR Weaken argument).

Note that the AWA score is not factored into the general GMAT score out of 800. Instead, it is a separate score, wherein the test-taker earns points on a scale of 0 to 6, moving in half-point increments (that is, 0-0.5, 0.5-1, 1-1.5, etc). Both a computer and a human will evaluate and grade your essay, and you'll receive your AWA score along with your official scores from GMAC, any time within 15 days of taking the exam. In some cases, there is a score disparity of more than one point between the computer score and the human score. If this happens, a second human scorer is asked to evaluate the writing.

How important are the AWA scores?

While it is true that there is often more emphasis on the GMAT general score, one should not take the AWA lightly. Almost all business schools have their specific cut-offs not just for the GMAT general score (out of 800), but also for the AWA score (out of 6). The cut-offs range from 4 to 4.5; therefore, you should aim for 4.5 or above to be safe.

What does the AWA specifically want?

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

  • Organization and Presentation While assessing your writing, the readers will look at how you present your thoughts. Your writing will be considered coherent if you have logical transitions between ideas and there is a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. If your thoughts are unorganized and haphazard, this will lower your score.
  • Logical Analysis When considering the quality of your logical analysis, the readers will consider the caliber of the ideas you present and points you make. Further, they will evaluate whether your examples and supporting details are relevant to the argument you are making.
  • Linguistic Skills Linguistic skills encompases a couple of areas. For one, the reader evalutes your technical grasp on elements of standard written English. The readers are trained to be conscious of and sensitive to non-native English speakers, but if this applies to you, you will want to at least be comfortable with the basics to avoid losing points. The reader will also consider how your writing style contributes to making a persuasive argument or a flawed one.


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How to get 6.0 AWA on GMAT ....my guide

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  • List of all AWA topics from GMAC
  • Sample replies to all Essays or simply search - we have thousands of sample AWA essays
  • Want to get your essay evaluated? Post it in the AWA subforum
  • Overview of GMAT Write, the official essay grading tool
  • How to memorize this template using text to voice feature by plaverbach

1. General Structure

2. Structural Word (should be all over the essays)

  • Additional support - furthermore, in addition, similarly, just as, also, as a result, moreover
  • Importance - surely, truly, undoubtedly, clearly, in fact, most importantly
  • Contrast - on the contrary, yet, despite, rather, instead, however, although, while
  • Decide against - one cannot deny that, it could be argued that, granted, admittedly
  • Ying-yang - on the one hand/on the other hand
  • Concluding - therefore, in summary, consequently, hence, in conclusion, ultimately, in closing

3. Templates

4. Going from the templates to full-fledged essays

5. Final tips

  • During the tutorial type in a few sentences in the mock essay window to get used to the keyboard.
  • Again during the tutorial, jot down on your notebook the basic structure of your essays or the opening sentences in case you get too nervous and forget them when the clock starts ticking.
  • Write as much as you can. Try to write at least 500 words per essay.
  • Always have the e-rater in mind as your potential reviewer. Remember that the human rater will make every effort to grade just like the e-rater. In that sense, keep your structure and volume in mind over actual quality/content.
  • Be careful of spelling mistakes. Double check words that you normally know you misspell (e.g. exercise). Try to finish 2-3 minutes before time is up so you can slowly re-read your essay for the purposes of spell checking. Do not reorganize/delete sentences/paragraphs with less than 2 min left.
  • No matter how great you thought your essays went, try to stay humble and focused - remember this was just a warm-up and the real stuff hasn't started yet!

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GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment

Also called the GMAT Essay, the Analytical Writing Assessment(AWA) overall is a single task, which is to evaluate an argument. You will have a total of 30 minutes to consider the argument, write your essay, and finally proofread your essay. It can either be the first or final sections in your variable exam order; that is, you can either begin with the AWA, followed by the integrated section, then go to the quantitative and verbal reasoning sections, or you can start with the quantitative and verbal reasoning sections first, then follow it with the integrated reasoning section and finish with the AWA. 

The essay is scored independently on a 0 – 6 scale of ½ point increments. You will have two independent graders, one of which may or may not be a computer program, but they will never deviate by more than one point. That means that if one of them gives you a 4 and the other gives you a 5, then you will have a 4½.  

How does the AWA compare with the other GMAT sections?

The AWA is always going to be the least important section of the GMAT for admissions considerations. You should consider the GMAT essay exam as a de facto truffle exam, which is an English as a foreign language requirement exam, and basically, it is there to guarantee proficiency in the written English language. In theory, if someone without English language proficiency was to write an essay in their native language, for example, and have someone translate it, then the admissions office cannot be aware of that. But for the GMAT essay, whoever is writing the exam has to prove their identity and write the essay in 30 minutes without any assistance.

How does the AWA affect your GMAT score?

Your goal here is to hit a 5-point minimum. 5 or higher, which is just about the 55th percentile is a safe target score, sometimes even a 4½ could be safe, but a 4 is going to put you at about the 20th percentile because of the scoring system. So, to be safe, you really must do your best to guarantee a five-point score or higher in your essay. If you execute the tactics and processes discussed in this article, you should be able to produce a relatively well-written level 5 essay.

As a GMAT test taker, you must decide beforehand whether it suits you to treat the essay and integrated sections as warmups and therefore do them first, or you prefer to do the quantitative and verbal reasoning sections first before you handle the IR and AWA as a cooldown.

Static Essay Task

Discuss how well-reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion, be sure to analyze your line of reasoning and use the evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.

Now that you have read the essay task, it may never change, and you may never have to read it again. All you have to do is get familiar with this essay task as part of your GMAT exam preparation, and on test day, you will know exactly what to do.

How should I address the essay task?

Think of it as a long-form critical reasoning evaluation task. Evaluate the reasoning, do not attack the reasoning or offer alternative reasoning. Basically, stay on task. 

The first thing you always have to do is identify the main claim conclusion, recommendation, or opinion requiring evaluation.

Read the paragraph or two carefully and understand what the main claim or specific conclusion is. You must be careful not to “attack” the argument, so avoid pejorative hyperbole. For instance, don’t say how terrible the argument is, how completely unfounded it is, or that kind of extreme judgment. There certainly are some flaws, but you need to be measured in your response. 

Investigate ways in which additional information pertaining to possible assumptions could both damage or improve the claim. That is, you don’t only want to point out the problem with the argument as it is presented but also give possible solutions. Suggesting solutions illustrates a true understanding of the circumstances in the argument and different pieces of augmentation and generally show an overall understanding of what is happening in the prompt. This is basically what the examiners are looking for to attain the roughly ten percentile score of 6.

Avoid using outside information or personal biases in your evaluation.

Stick to the prompt, and don’t go outside of it. One of the major ways you can deviate from the task and get yourself into the danger zone of below 5 is by going off on a tangent and talking about things that you are assuming everybody knows. If you get a topic that you are particularly familiar with, make sure that you are not using information that is not available to your grader. Your grader is probably someone who is going to read the paragraph in two to five minutes and probably has a checklist to ensure that you accomplish all the goals. If it is a computer program, it is probably going to be even more streamlined. So stay on topic, don’t deviate, and don’t include possibilities, personal biases, or outside information. Use only the information that you have been provided.

Can I finish the Analytical Writing Assessment section in 30 minutes?

Start with 3 – 5 minutes of brainstorming. In the brainstorming, you need to identify the main conclusion in need of evaluation. You also need to identify major issues within the argument that would affect the viability of that conclusion. For example, is the sample size too small? Identify as many different issues as you can find that need to be further evaluated as per the task to determine the viability of the conclusion.

Spend the next 22 – 25 minutes writing your essay. Assume a standard four-paragraph structure: An introduction, a first support paragraph, a second support paragraph, and a conclusion. It is not necessary to have a fifth paragraph; in fact, it is best that you don’t have a fifth paragraph here so that you have enough time to Proofread your essay.

Spend 2 – 3 minutes proofreading your essay. It is important that you catch any major errors in logic. It is very possible in these 30 minutes of essay writing to entirely leave out a sentence that was in your mind and is integral to what is happening in your essay. You also have to include things like what is your actual conclusion, don’t just refer to it obliquely as “the conclusion” over and over. Your essay grader can’t just assume that you know what the conclusion was. 

Fix convoluted phrasing. If English is not your first language, you can probably just streamline and cut out extra words. This exam does not give any extra points for the length of the essay, so streamline, use an active voice, and be direct, concise, and clear. 

Vary your word choice slightly.

Samples Essay Prompt

The following appeared as part of the annual report sent to stockholders by Olympic Foods, a processor of frozen foods: “Over time, the costs of processing go down because as organizations learn how to do things better, they become more efficient. In color film processing, for example, the cost of a 3-by-5-inch film fell from 50 cents for a five-day service in 1970 to 20 cents for a one-day service in 1984. The same principle applies to the processing of food. And since Olympic Foods will soon celebrate its 25th birthday, we can expect that our long experience will enable us to minimize costs and thus maximize profits.”

Sample Brainstorming

The first thing you have to do is identify the main conclusion. You can paraphrase slightly but not much because, basically, we are just short-handing.

Main conclusion : Since OF(Olympic Foods) will soon turn 25, it can be expected that the experience will minimize costs and maximize profits!

You can put this directly into the word processor interface because you can write around it as you are brainstorming. Focus on the conclusion and try not to pick any of the evidence. Being disinterested and unbiased with the evidence will help us identify possible issues or assumptions. For example: 

  • Is the analogy to color processing apt? Is there anything similar between Olympic Foods and color film processing? Don’t make a value judgment and say, “absolutely not.” You just ask the question, and the task is to seek out the answer.
  • Another inherent assumption that you may have to investigate is, does minimizing cost means that we will maximize profits? If the cost drops, does that mean that revenue does not go down as well?
  • Do 25 years qualify as long experience? The color processing analogy cites the period between 1970 and 1984, a duration of 14 years. So, according to this prompt, is 25 years adequate to be considered long experience?
  • Is the annual report possibly a biased source? It is from a report to stockholders by Olympic Foods and has a very positive outlook of Olympic Foods; might it be biased? Should we consider another source? 
  • Because the principle applies in theory, does it necessarily work in practicality? Do we need more information to say if it can work in practicality or not?

All this you need to do in under 5 minutes.

Take notes in the word processor interface for maximum efficiency. 

Choose the top three topics or issues to evaluate in your essay. There is not enough time to go through everything, so just streamline into the big three.

Here we’ll go with:

  • Is the analogy to color processing apt?
  • Do 25 years qualify as long experience?
  • Is the annual report possibly a biased source?

This is a personal decision, but you have to make it proactively so that you are extremely consciously writing your essay.

Essay structure

1. introduction (paragraph 1).

Start by identifying your main conclusion. Don’t skirt it, don’t overly paraphrase it, or refer back to it as “the conclusion, the claim, or the recommendation”. Sometimes the conclusion is a bit convoluted and complex, and your essay grader checks to see if you specifically understood the conclusion. It is also here that you will be previewing your top three issues you need to evaluate and transition into the primary issue you are going to evaluate, say; for instance, let’s say the main issue here is the aptness of the color processing analogy.

2. Primary Issue (paragraph 2 )

Briefly summarize your primary issue and how it affects the viability. Be straightforward and do not include too many details. It should be self-explanatory since you are not using external information that needs further exposition. Recommend some additional information sources and how the results of that information might improve or decrease the viability of the claim. For instance, it is possible that we find out that there are a lot of ways that color processing is similar to food processing, which will strengthen the claim. Make sure to address the pro side as well and not only the cons. 

Finally, transition into the second most pertinent issue that you are going to evaluate. 

3. Second Issue (paragraph 3 )

Briefly summarize the issue and how it affects the viability. Recommend some additional information sources and how the results of that information might improve or decrease the viability of the claim. You can consider some vague hypotheticals that could improve or decrease the viability of the claim. If, for example, you are considering age, that is, is 25 years long enough to be considered experienced? You could ask, “What if there are primary competitors with more than 100 years of experience?” And what if the competitors have significantly fewer years of experience?

In this case, you are not really bringing in outside information, you are just considering hypotheticals. This is a better way to go about it than driving yourself into a rabid hole of too many specifics which you may not be able to determine within the context of the prompt. Keep it simple while trying to achieve a breadth of coverage on several different topics. Transition into the third most pertinent issue in need of evaluation.

4. Conclusion (paragraph 3)

Briefly mentioned any additional issues that may need to be evaluated. The possible bias would be a good one to drop in here. You could, for example, just point out that the source for this is the Olympic Foods stockholder report. Is this a disinterested unbiased source? Is there somebody else that would agree with this report?

You can then close by restating the main claim of the argument as uncertain pending results of seeking additional information regarding the issues identified in the essay. That is to say, without answers to the issues raised, we don’t really know the truth of the claim. 

Do not shy away from writing in the first person. Just pick a person and stay consistent with it. You can write as “I” or “We”, you can write in the third person; it is completely okay either way, so long as you remain consistent.

Analytical Writing Assessment Process

Brainstorm. (3.5 minutes).

  • Read the paragraph to identify the main conclusion to address the static task. 
  • Identify the three top issues or assumptions affecting the conclusion’s viability

Write Essay. (22 – 25 minutes)

Make it a basic four-paragraph structure: An introduction, two paragraphs of support, and a conclusion. Try to allocate new information for the conclusion. Having a more robust organization and cohesion in your essay are some of the things that will edge you closer to 5.5 or 6 in your AWA.

Make sure to leave enough time to catch major errors and vary word choices slightly. The downside to not proofreading is much bigger than the upside of using the final two or three minutes to write another two or three sentences. 

Try applying this approach to your GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment. Pull up some prompts and do some practice in preparation for your GMAT exam. 

Additional prompts are available at:

https://www.mba.com/ ~/media/Files/mba2/the-gmat-exam/files/gmat-exam-format-and timing/analytical-writing-assessment/analysisofanargument_gmat-exam.pdf.

Remember, it takes practice to excel in any exam. Therefore, as you prepare to sit for your GMAT exams, don’t forget to practice with real questions. You can take advantage of our GMAT study resources available at a small premium. Find out what we have to offer and boost your confidence by practicing adequately.

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GMAT AWA: Effective Ways to Tailor Your GMAT Analytical Writing Essay


GMAT’s Analytical Writing test can be a challenging task. Amidst the ongoing exam pressure, the simple activity of analysing a given argument could be clouded by chaotic thoughts. In order to successfully compose a mind boggling critical essay within 30mins you need to master argumentative essay writing. A simple method to do so is, READ, WRITE and PRACTISE! 

News Alert! Analytical Writing Assessment has now been included as an integral part of the GMAT Online .

Analytical Writing Assessment section of GMAT:

The writing task in hand for the GMAT essay expects you to, (i) break down the presented argument and (ii) assess the reasoning of the given argument. Think about the setting of the argument, examine the possibility of execution of the given argument, will help you strengthen your analysis.

Decoding the GMAT AWA section:

Essential nuances of the Analytical Writing task are:  

  • No. of questions?  

Ans: One argumentative piece

  • What needs to be done?

Ans: Tailor a critique essay assessing the given arguments

  • How much time to work?

Ans: 30 mins to complete the essay

  • How is GMAT AWA scored?

Ans: Scored on a 0-6 score scale with a half point interval

The AWA topics for the given passage could be from any subject, be it Business, Politics, Science or World Affairs. But, you don’t need to possess complete knowledge on topics to write the essay. So, No Stress!  All you need to know is to write a well-rounded English essay. Along with the ability to critically analyse the presented argument.

An effective structure to ace GMAT essay writing

A good quality essay has structure, crisp to-the-point phrases, maintains a vivid vocabulary and ensures grammatical correctness. As an individual, you might be well-versed in writing. But, to write the AWA essay in the stipulated time can put you in a tough spot. To avoid such lingual mishaps, prepare yourself well in advance. Refer to an effective essay structure and attempt to practice it thoroughly. 

writing assessment gmat

Introduction: Introduce the essay, mention the factors, observations, assumptions and flaws stated in the argument . Pose your views which will be discussed further. 

First Paragraph: State your first critique of the argument and support your views with an example. Ensure to write your inferences with evidence and reasoning. 

Second Paragraph: Progress to your next critical inference of the argument. Agree or disagree with the arguments made and justify. 

Third Paragraph: Address the missing content or the essential factors that would have been ignored in the arguments. You can either pose questions or point out the deficiency to indicate the incompleteness. 

Fourth Paragraph: Include additional pointers that you think might help strengthen the argument. 

Conclusion: State your observations, infer the flaws of the argument and conclude by stating arguments that would have strengthened the piece . Ensure that your conclusion is complete and doesn’t miss out on important observations made through your essay.

You can write a well structured essay by applying the above structure. You could also tailor your own style of essay by adding or subtracting sections you wish to. Practise writing essays for as many GMAT AWA sample topics available online. This will help you polish your writing, organise your thoughts and curate a reader friendly essay.

How to make your Essay standout?

In order to make your GMAT AWA essay standout, you need to be different! Below are some of the effective ways to make your essay standout:

Use facts, stats in your essay. However, ensure that the information is accurate.

Using quotes might help you polish your inferences.

Style your essay writing with questions, exclamatory sentences and a rich vocabulary. 

Ensure that you have a readable flow to your essay. 

Improvise and play with your words. 

Write short quality paragraphs. 

Use headings and subheadings wherever necessary. 

You could also add literary references, references from fiction and so on. 

Make the essay an interesting read.

GMAT Analytical Writing Tips:

An effective way you could create an excellent essay is by following some of the basic rules of language. These rules might be the basics but are the most essential to form a magnificent essay: 

Start with reading and understanding thoroughly. 

Plan your essay.

Focus on the structure, flow and focus point of the essay. 

Do not deviate from the topic.

Invest time in writing a good introduction and a strong conclusion. 

Save some time to revise and edit your essay. 

Time your writing so you’re able to cover everything you want to write.

How is the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) evaluated?

The GMAT Analytical writing score ranges from a 0-6 score scale, with a 0.5 interval. For evaluation, a trained human evaluator and a machine algorithm scores the essay. In any case of disparity among the two scores, another human evaluator checks your AWA essay.

What does your GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) score mean?

Based on your AWA score, you can identify the quality rating of your essay. According to GMAC score guide, scoring a

6 means you’ve written an ‘outstanding’ essay,

5 is ‘strong’,

4 is ‘adequate’,

3 is ‘limited’,

2 is ‘seriously flawed’, and

1 is ‘fundamentally deficient’

writing assessment gmat

Sample GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) question:

The following appeared in the editorial section of a monthly business news magazine: 

"Most companies would agree that as the risk of physical injury occurring on the job increases, the wages paid to employees should also increase. Hence it makes financial sense for employers to make the workplace safer: they could thus reduce their payroll expenses and save money." 

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion.

You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.

The GMAT AWA essay scores are separately marked in the scorecard. This score reflects your ability to understand, interpret and articulate your thoughts and views. It is with this score, that universities judge your communicative capacity. Thus, critique and articulate! 

Writing this essay is a crucial and challenging task. While, it is easily assumed that a writing task might be generic and easy. It really isn’t! You need to be sensitive to detail to successfully understand the author. Understanding the pointers and later, assessing the reasoning compels you to tune your interrogative skills. Close questioning the essay will lead you to the necessary observations and inferences you need to whip up your critical essay.   

In the big picture, to be the crème de la crème, focusing all your efforts to prepare only for the Analytical Writing Assessment will be a dead loss. It is essential to focus on understanding the overall syllabus and pattern of the exam. It is also equally important for you to gauge the other GMAT sections, namely, Verbal Reasoning , Quantitative Reasoning and Integrated Reasoning . A tight study plan and preparation for GMAT  will lead you to be in the elite of the batch!

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  • The GMAT™ Exam & Other Assessments
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Analytical Writing Section

The analytical writing section consists of one writing task—analysis of an argument..

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section, consisting of one 30-minute essay, measures the test taker's ability to formulate an appropriate and constructive critique of a specific conclusion based on a specific line of thinking. 

The AWA score is an average of the two independent ratings. Scores average from zero to six, in half-point intervals for each task.

Writing scores are computed separately from the scores for the multiple-choice sections of the test and have no effect on the Verbal, Quantitative, or Total scores.

Watch the Video

Christopher Storer , Interim Executive Director of Graduate Programs and Admissions at George Washington University, explains how he uses the AWA section of the GMAT to evaluate a candidates writing proficiency. 

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