How to Score on the GMAT AWA Section

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section is used by the business schools to evaluate your writing skills. This section consists of 2 essays that must be answered in 30 minutes each. The two essays have separate topics, method of answering and strategies needed to write them. The two types of essays are:
1. Present Your Perspective on an Issue (30 minutes)
Here you have to detail your opinion about a controversial issue
2. Analysis of an Argument (30 minutes)
Here you have to analyze the reasoning in an argument and find flaws in its logic.
The essay written by you will be graded twice. One, by a human rater and the second by a computer program. If both the graders give your essay the same score, then that will be your score. If the two scores differ more than 1 point, then another human grader will grade the essay to resolve the differences. The computerized grading system increases the standards of the essays. The computer grading is stricter and demands adherence to all essay writing rules. Human graders also follow the computer scanning standards as they know that the stricter grader is verifying their score.
Tips for the Perfect Essay
1. Keep in mind the structure of the essay
Clearly divide your essay into the following parts: Introduction, content and conclusion. One paragraph of introduction should be present, with three or four sentences. Two to three content paragraphs must be there in your essay, with ten to fifteen sentences and one conclusion paragraph is mandatory, with three to four sentences. Work on the organization and write the essay in that pattern.
2. Keep your opinions crisp and clear
Write your Issue task formally and crisply. There is no need to rant about your opinions or go too deep into the discussion. Do not give too many personal examples or irrelevant explanations to the topic.

3. Use of Transitional phrases is a plus
Use phrases like “first”, “last”, “however”, “because” etc. to help the computer in identifying your paragraphs. This will show perfect organizational skills and prompt the computer to give you a better grade.

4. Be a conformist
The computer is not programmed to recognize emotions or humor. Only the style of writing and the structure of the essays are graded. Also remember to keep your spellings correct. One or two spelling mistakes will be ignored but too many will not be entertained.
5. Know all the Essays that Appear Frequently
Certain topics are frequently repeated in the exam, with only a slight change in their titles. You must be prepared to answer them. Buy a book that contains the 275 actual GMAT essay topics that have sample responses. But do not learn the samples by heart, just read them a couple of times till you are familiar with the topic and a rough idea of the response.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice
You must practice writing the essays because it is challenging to brainstorm, organize, write and check your essay, all in just 30 minutes. In 30 minutes, you not only need to deliver a complete essay, but also a perfect one.


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