Easy Preparation Tips for GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)


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Updated on Aug 25, 2023 17:36 IST

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (GMAT AWA): The Graduate Management Aptitude Test or GMAT's Analytical Writing Assessment helps business schools analyse a candidate's writing skills. It is scored separately from your 200-800 point score, on a scale from 0-6. Essays are scored by a human-grade and a computer grading system, and the two scores are averaged for your final score. Even though, GMAT AWA score is not included in your main GMAT score, GMAT AWA can act as a tiebreaker in case if the B-School needs to decide between two candidates. Some top B-Schools also have a cut-off for GMAT AWA. It is always good to score at least 4.5 on it. In this article, we will discuss all the aspects of the GMAT AWA section including tips and a sample GMAT AWA essay.

Duration: 30 minutes

Format: 1 essay

Tests: Ability to analyse an argument

The GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment gives clear instructions on how to plan and write the essay. Due to the time limit, it is difficult to go through the complete instructions. So, it is best to learn these instructions before the test day which will help in saving your time in the GMAT Analytical Writing test. GMAT AWA measures the candidate's ability to analyse the argument and communicate their thoughts and ideas.

Note: GMAT AWA is not a part of the GMAT Focus Edition.


Apart from the GMAT AWA sample papers, you also need to follow these tips to have a great Analytical Writing Assessment.

  • Keep it organized: Your essay must be organized. There should be a clear introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Each paragraph must seamlessly integrate itself with the next paragraph so that there is a smooth transition between ideas. Your thoughts and written work must have coherence and logic.
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of an argument: The Analytical Writing Assessment measures the ability of a candidate to think critically and communicate his/her ideas. Analyse the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument within the given time frame.
  • Become familiar with the possible essay prompts: More and more practice will help you in preparing for the AWA GMAT. You can go for the GMAT Official AWA Practice essay writing practice tool and improve your score
  • Prepare Analytical Writing Assessment Strategies: Before starting with your response evaluate the argument and plan your response first. Once you organize your ideas, you can utilize your time in such a manner that you have the time to revise your response.

While organizing the response ask these questions:

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  • Can other counter-examples be raised?
  • What questionable assumptions underlie the thinking?
  • Which further evidence could strengthen the argument?
  • Does the response read like a discussion having coherent organization and full sentences?

Use well-developed illustrations and examples. Do not just list examples. Develop your thoughts. Make your response in such a way that it reads like a discussion. Your essay response should be coherent with logical transitions, full sentences, and appropriately introduced and developed examples.

AWA Scores and Percentile Rankings

The table given below provides details of GMAT Analytical Writing Scores and their respective percentiles:


AWA Score





















Analysis of an Argument

This question type presents a brief argument similar to a statement you would find in a critical reasoning question. Your task is to write an essay that critiques the structure of the argument and explains how persuasive or unpersuasive you find it. Consider the following questions:

  • What's the conclusion?
  • What assumptions does the writer make in moving from evidence to conclusion?
  • What evidence is used to support the conclusion?
  • What alternative explanations might weaken the conclusion?
  • What sort of evidence could help strengthen the argument?
  • Is the argument persuasive?
  • What would make it stronger? Weaker?

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment: 5 Tricks

The first section of the AWA GMAT requires you to type an original analytical writing sample. To make the most of your essay, follow these recommendations:

  • Choose your stance immediately. There is no right answer to the question prompts, so do not waste time trying to find it.
  • Spend 2-5 minutes constructing a rough sketch of your ideas. Make sure you have a general thesis for the essay and a topic statement for each paragraph.
  • Include an introductory paragraph and a conclusion.
  • Be specific with your supporting evidence. Draw from your own knowledge.
  • Leave a couple of minutes near the end to proofread your essay and correct any errors.

GMAT AWA: Scoring Parameters

The GMAT AWA essay is scored on these 4 parameters:

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

You can go through some AWA GMAT examples to prepare for writing an essay. A well-written essay should:

  • Identify and analyze important flaws in the argument
  • Support the critique using significant supporting examples
  • Be organized and should be a comprehensive response
  • Showcase good command over the language and grammar including syntax, diction, and rules of standard written English

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment Template

Once you are aware of the factors to make a perfect essay, create a template.

  • Intro - Point out the flaws and write your views that you will discuss further
  • First Para - Write the first critique of the argument and support your view with an example
  • Second Para - Continue from the first para and give your view with an example
  • Third Para - Give a few questions for the argument
  • Conclude - Mention that the argument is flawed and give reasons that support your argument. Also, mention briefly how this argument could have been strengthened


The following appeared in a memorandum from the business department of the Apogee Company:

“When the Apogee Company had all its operations in one location, it was more profitable than it is today. Therefore, the Apogee Company should close down its field offices and conduct all its operations from a single location. Such centralization would improve profitability by cutting costs and helping the company maintain better supervision of all employees.”

Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.

(Source: mba.com)

GMAT AWA Sample Solution:

The argument in the memorandum from the business department of the Apogee Company claims that conducting all operations from a single location will improve the profitability of the company. The argument is flawed and inconclusive for multiple reasons as there is insufficient data to support its hypothesis. In addition, the argument presents a distorted view of reality and is a leap of faith reasoning without clear outcomes. The argument could have been stronger, had it been supported by relevant data and facts.

First, the argument assumes that historical performance can be replicated in the current economic scenario. The current economic scenario might not be favourable for any company that operates in the same segment as that of Apogee. In addition, there could have been several market indicators based on which Apogee Company had expanded its market presence by opening its offices at new locations. In such a scenario, centralization will not result in improved profitability. The argument could have been more convincing if it had provided revenue, profit, loss, and other operational data.

Second, the argument claims that centralizing the workforce by closing down the field offices will improve profitability. This is an unsupported claim as there is no evidence that demonstrates that an increase in cost or having more employees has reduced the profitability of the company. For instance, opening a new field office requires investment; however, as the period rolls on, the field office starts generating revenue thus leading to profits. Moreover, the closure of all the field offices might lead to a loss in talent and human resources that might move to competitors. The argument could have been stronger if the individual data of each of its field offices had been provided, and it should have indicated how expansion had an impact on profitability.

Finally, the argument should answer questions such as; What is the current economic scenario for the segment in which Apogee Company operates? Why did the profitability reduce? How have the field offices performed so far? What revenue could be lost if all the field offices were closed? Without precise answers to these questions, the claim seems to be more of a leap of faith than a well-reasoned inference based on data and logic.

In summary, the argument is flawed for the above-mentioned reasons and the fact that the assumptions have been made without concrete evidence and data. The argument would have been more convincing if the author had defined profitability, mentioned the financial impact of the field offices on profitability, and investigated why the profitability was reduced. In order to assess the merits or demerits of any decision, it is necessary to have a holistic picture and full knowledge of the deciding factors. Without this information, the argument remains open to debate.

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Q. What is the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment section?

A. The GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) is a portion of the exam that rates how well you can analyse a claim and express yourself in writing. It is intended to evaluate your capacity for critical thought as well as your capacity for coherently and clearly articulating complicated concepts. You will be given an argument in this task, and you will be required to critically assess its logical plausibility and offer a well-reasoned analysis. You must point out the argument's advantages and disadvantages, any false premises, and back up your analysis with facts and examples. The AWA portion is 30 minutes long, and your essay will be graded on a scale of 0 to 6 in half-point increments.

Q. What are some GMAT AWA writing tips?

A. Here are some GMAT AWA tips:

  • Understand the Task: Learn how to complete the AWA task's format and instructions. Understand what is required of you in terms of analysing a claim and offering a well-thought-out response.
  • Plan Your Essay: Before you begin writing, take a few minutes to create an essay outline. Clearly define your essay's introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion as you organise your ideas.
  • Analysis: Analyse the argument that is being made to you with care. Identify its advantages and disadvantages, false premises, and any missing data. Analyse the argument in a logical and cogent manner.
  • Be Clear: Be concise and straightforward when you write. Repetition, wordiness, and superfluous language should be avoided. For efficient communication, use language that is clear and concise.

Q. How do I prepare for the GMAT AWA section?

A. Start by becoming familiar with the assignment and structure to get ready for the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) part. Recognise the steps involved in producing a thorough examination of an argument. Before you begin writing your essay, practise your brainstorming and outlining skills. Examine the argument presented, pointing out its advantages, disadvantages, and false premises. Provide pertinent instances and facts to back up your analysis. To effectively communicate your thoughts, choose language that is clear and simple. During the exam, use your time effectively, and try to finish your essay in the allotted 30 minutes. You can perform better on the GMAT AWA part by using these techniques and studying sample essays.

Q. Is it necessary to use tough English on the GMAT AWA essay?

A. It is not required to employ extremely intricate or challenging English in the GMAT AWA essay. Your thoughts should be communicated clearly, coherently, and effectively. While it's crucial to demonstrate your writing abilities, utilising overly complex terminology could make it more difficult for the reader to understand your analysis. To effectively communicate your ideas and points of contention, it is advised to utilise clear and simple language. Instead of depending on intricate language or sentence patterns, give priority on clearly and concisely communicating your views. The idea is to present a convincing analysis of the argument in language that the reader can understand.

Q. Is it difficult to score more than 5.0 on the GMAT AWA?

A. It can be difficult, but not impossible, to achieve a GMAT AWA score above 5.0. A thorough comprehension of the assignment, the ability to think critically, and good writing abilities are necessary for a high score. While a score of 5.0 is regarded as adequate, obtaining a higher grade often necessitates exhibiting great writing ability, sophisticated analytical capabilities, and well-supported arguments. It is crucial to thoroughly examine the provided argument, spot its shortcomings, and present a convincing case. Additionally, you can improve your grade by supporting your analysis with pertinent examples and proof. On the GMAT AWA, a score above 5.0 is achievable with careful planning, practice, and focus on the details.

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6 years ago

how long this essay should be?

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