Exams Know-how

How to Write AWA in GMAT: Best Tips for GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment

Yocket Editorial Team

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer-based test designed to gauge your analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English. The exam is taken by students interested in management courses.

The GRE essay section is also referred to as the AWA or the GRE Analytical Writing Assessment which experts believe is one of the most neglected sections of the GRE test. Most test-takers believe that they can master the section in a few days at the most. The AWA section of the GMAT is designed to gauge the student's command of the language and writing skills in English.

We have brought to you the best tips and tricks suggested by GMAT experts to write a great analytical writing assessment in GMAT, along with AWA GMAT essay samples!

Table of Contents

  1. What is the GMAT AWA Section?
  2. Sample AWA Essay Examples
  3. Tips to Write AWA in GMAT

What is the GMAT AWA Section?

The Analytical Writing Assessment Section of the GMAT exam requires that you analyse the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument. Your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas through an essay in English is measured.

The GMAT 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.

What is the Difference between the GRE and GMAT Exam?

Sample AWA Essay Examples

Sample GMAT AWA essay topics will help you set benchmarks and improve your writing along the same lines. We strongly suggest that you read sample essays regularly during your preparation phase for the GMAT. You can read sample essays from the following resources:

  • Sample Issue Essays from ETS
  • Sample Argument Essays from ETS

The essays on the ETS website have been written by students.

You can use these essays as benchmarks to assess your own levels of writing.

Know Everything about the GMAT AWA Template!

Tips to Write AWA in GMAT

The GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) provides clear instructions on how to plan and write your essay. Students must learn these instructions long before Test Day and do not waste precious testing time reading them while the clock ticks.

Given below are the tips for writing a great GMAT AWA:

1.  Confine to Objectivity in Analytical Writing

The AWA instruction reads “In this section, you will be asked to write a critique of the argument presented. You are NOT being asked to present your own views on the subject.” A critique is an objective criticism of the argument in the prompt. Including your opinion would be providing a subjective analysis, which is not the point of analytical writing.

2.  Analyse the Argument's Assumptions and Supporting Evidence

Every GMAT AWA argument comprises a conclusion and pieces of evidence, just like GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR) questions. For both AWA and CR, the gaps between those pieces of evidence and the conclusion must be bridged by an assumption. Your critique of the argument will discuss the flaws you identify in its reasoning. A common mistake is to equate assumptions with flaws. That consistent pattern provides you with your thesis statement; “The author’s argument is flawed because it is based on assumptions for which she does not provide sufficient supporting evidence.”

Suggestd: All about GMAT Reading Comprehension!

3.  Draw a Conclusion from your Thesis Statement

This thesis statement also serves as an appropriate conclusion. By definition, a thesis statement provides a summary of the main point of the essay. Remember that the conclusion of any passage, argument, claim, or essay can be found by asking, “What’s the point?” So once you’ve crafted that thesis statement, shuffle the language a bit and you have a conclusion.

4.  Avoid Hesitation in the AWA- It's About Confidence

Your AWA essay should have a formal, confident tone. You have dissected the argument and are now presenting your objective findings. Third-person pronouns (he, she, one) are appropriate in a GMAT essay. First- (I, we, us) and second-person (you) are inappropriate; in fact, unnecessary self-reference (I believe) is part of what makes the first example above less effective than the second.

The phrases “somewhat vague” and “rather wordy” have a softer impact than simply saying “vague” or “wordy.” Avoid these qualifiers in your GMAT essay:

  • somewhat
  • rather
  • pretty (as in pretty much)
  • might be (as opposed to is/are)
  • may be (as opposed to is/are)
  • probably

This is not an absolute list, and these words are not totally off-limits. But be sure to use purposeful words and avoid unnecessary qualification.

5.  Be Concise

Using active verbs and avoiding qualifiers automatically makes your writing concise. Say what you mean in as few words as possible. Remember that graders read hundreds and hundreds of essays, and they spend just a minute or so reading each one. You want the grader to see your points right away, so don’t crowd your essay with unnecessary descriptors.

6.  Try to be Polished, not Perfect

Graders can tell whether you had a plan before you started typing, so spend time planning before you write. If you break down the argument, decide on your points, and arrange your ideas into paragraphs when the clock starts, then you will have written a polished AWA essay before 30 minutes have elapsed. Remember that formal writing is much more structured than texts and speech.

All about GMAT Vocabulary

7.  Use Language you are Comfortable With

Now that I’ve given you a checklist of style tips to use on the Analytical Writing Assessment, the final point is that you must remember to be yourself. Use language you are comfortable with and trust your own voice. Do not try to write as if you were someone else.

How to Prepare for the GMAT AWA?

We hope you got a clear idea about how to proceed with preparing and writing the AWA in GMAT. Make sure to follow the guidelines highlighted in the blog above and prepare accordingly. You can further seek assistance through our free GMAT prep resources to ace your GMAT prep!


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