Analytical writing assessment

Last updated: 13 Oct 2008

The GMAT starts with the analytical writing assessment (AWA) which consists of writing two 30 minute essays.

One essay will be analysis of an issue, and the other analysis of an argument.

In the analysis of an issue essay, you are given a particular issue, and must analyze it carefully, supporting your arguments with relevant examples and/or reasons.

For the analysis of an argument essay, you need to analyze and critique the logic of a given argument, again supporting your critique with examples and reasons.

How are the essays marked?

GMAC wants to see that you can, at the very least, string a few sentences together, form proper paragraphs and structure an essay satisfactorily.

Their requirements are not very profound given that the essays are marked by a computer and a university faculty member or graduate student (who has just a few minutes to grade your essay).

Thus the structure of the essay is far more important than the content.

Nevertheless, do not take this section too lightly, especially if you are not a native speaker of English. If your mother tongue is not English, business schools can use these essays as another way of evaluating your proficiency in English.

You will receive a grade on each essay that will range from a possible 0 to a perfect 6. Your score will increase or decrease in increments of 0.5, so you could have, for example, a score of 4.0, 4.5, or 5.0.

Important: The scores for the essay are NOT included in the final GMAT score, which is calculated from 200-800. The AWA score is scored separately, and is sent with your GMAT scores to the universities you have selected on the test day to receive them.

For more information see our AWA tutorials.

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Comments (1):

  1. Possible 0? freaky... used to get in Surprise slip tests by Social Studies teacher...
    Hope the Indian Schools will not consider AWA (fingers crossed)

    sai999 on 28 Sep 2010 (permalink)

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