GMAT Sample Questions: Analytical Writing Section


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Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Oct 13, 2021 03:02 IST

Preparing for the GMAT exam is a tough nut to crack. However, we've got you covered. In this article, you can find the GMAT Analytical Writing Section practice questions, some tips and tricks to analyse the questions, and more. You can also look for GMAT analytical writing section mock test and GMAT analytical section practice tests, so, you can have a clear idea of what type of questions you are going to get in the GMAT test 2024.

GMAT Sample Questions: Analytical Writing Section

GMAT Analytical Writing Practice paper – The GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section focuses on measuring the candidates’ ability to think critically and to communicate their ideas. The Analytical Writing section would consist of a passage for which candidates would be required to analyze the reasoning behind the given argument and write a critique of that argument. Candidates would be given 30 minutes to write their essay.

In the Analytical Writing Assessment Section of the GMAT test, you are required to analyze the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument. GMAT AWA questions measure your ability to think critically and to communicate ideas through an essay in English.

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The arguments on the test include topics of general interest related to business, or a variety of other subjects. Candidates need not have knowledge specifically about the topic, their ability to write analytically is assessed. In this article, we have provided Analytical Writing GMAT examples. You can read them and get an idea about the type of questions you are going to get in the GMAT test 2021.

Analysis of an Argument in the GMAT AWA Section

In this section, you need to discuss how well reasoned you find a given argument. In order to do this, you will analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. Take some time before start writing your response. Your ideas need to be fully developed and organized. In 30 minutes, you need to write and review your response.

Directions for Sample Analysis of an Argument Problem

In this section, candidates will be asked to write a critique of the argument presented. You need not give your own views on the subject. You have to

  • Plan a response before you begin writing and evaluate the argument
  • Organize your ideas and develop them fully
  • Provide relevant supporting reasons and examples 

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The syllabus for this section is vast and varied as the topic of the passage could be any topic of interest. The main idea is to focus on the structure of the answer and not the arguments presented. Remember, it is not a test of your opinion but your writing style, so it is safer to stick to neutral opinion. Candidates are always advised to organize a thoughtful response, use well-developed illustrations and examples and above make their response read like a discussion. Try your hand at the following Analytical Writing Assessment Sample questions for your next GMAT Exam. For more similar GMAT practice papers kindly visit our page on GMAT Sample Papers.

Passage 1

The following appeared as part of an editorial in an industry newsletter:

"While trucking companies that deliver goods pay only a portion of highway maintenance costs and no property tax on the highways they use, railways spend billions per year maintaining and upgrading their facilities. The government should lower the railroad companies’ property taxes, since sending goods by rail is clearly a more appropriate mode of ground transportation than highway shipping. For one thing, trains consume only a third of the fuel a truck would use to carry the same load, making them a more cost-effective and environmentally sound mode of transport. Furthermore, since rail lines already exist, increases in rail traffic would not require building new lines at the expense of taxpaying citizens."


Passage 2

The following appeared in the editorial section of a newspaper:

“As public concern over drug abuse has increased, authorities have become more vigilant in their efforts to prevent illegal drugs from entering the country. Many drug traffickers have consequently switched from marijuana, which is bulky, or heroin, which has a market too small to justify the risk of severe punishment, to cocaine. Thus enforcement efforts have ironically resulted in an observed increase in the illegal use of cocaine.”


Passage 3

The following appeared in the editorial section of a West Cambria newspaper:

“A recent review of the West Cambria volunteer ambulance service revealed a longer average response time to accidents than was reported by a commercial ambulance squad located in East Cambria. In order to provide better patient care for accident victims and to raise revenue for our town by collecting service fees for ambulance use, we should disband our volunteer service and hire a commercial ambulance service.”


Passage 4

The following appeared as part of an article in a newsletter for farmers:

“Users of Solacium, a medicinal herb now grown mainly in Asia, report that it relieves tension and promotes deep sleep. A recent study indicates that a large number of college students who took pills containing one of the ingredients in Solacium suffered less anxiety. To satisfy the anticipated demands for this very promising therapeutic herb and to reap the financial benefits, farmers in this country should begin growing it.”



Passage 5

The following appeared in the opinion section of a national news magazine:

“To reverse the deterioration of the postal service, the government should raise the price of postage stamps. This solution will no doubt prove effective, since the price increase will generate larger revenues and will also reduce the volume of mail, thereby eliminating the strain on the existing system and contributing to improved morale.”


Passage 6

The following appeared as part of a business plan recommended by the new manager of a musical rock group called Zapped:

“To succeed financially, Zapped needs greater name recognition. It should therefore diversify its commercial enterprises. The rock group Zonked plays the same type of music that Zapped plays, but it is much better known than Zapped because, in addition to its concert tours and four albums, Zonked has a series of posters,  a line of clothing and accessories, and a contract with a major advertising agency to endorse a number of different products.”


Passage 7

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."


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Passage – 8

The following appeared as part of an 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 print fell from 50 cents for five-day service in 1970 to 20 cents for 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.”


Passage – 9

The best way for a society to prepare its young people for leadership in government, industry, or other fields is by instilling in them a sense of cooperation, not competition.


Passage – 10

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.”


Passage – 11

The following appeared in a memorandum issued by a large city’s council on the arts:

“In a recent citywide poll, 15 percent more residents said that they watch television programs about the visual arts than was the case in a poll conducted five years ago. During these past five years, the number of people visiting our city’s art museums has increased by a similar percentage. Since the corporate funding that supports public television, where most of the visual arts programs appear, is now being threatened with severe cuts, we can expect that attendance at our city’s art museums will also start to decrease. Thus some of the city’s funds for supporting the arts should be reallocated to public television.”


Passage – 12

The following appeared in a report presented for discussion at a meeting of the directors of a company that manufactures parts for heavy machinery:

“The falling revenues that the company is experiencing coincide with delays in manufacturing. These delays, in turn, are due in large part to poor planning in purchasing metals. Consider further that the manager of the department that handles purchasing of raw materials has an excellent background in general business, psychology, and sociology, but knows little about the properties of metals. The company should, therefore, move the purchasing manager to the sales department and bring in a scientist from the research division to be the manager of the purchasing department.”


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Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Aishwarya is a professional Writer currently working as a Study Abroad Expert in the Editorial Team at Shiksha. She has over 5 years of experience and is skilled at creating Online Content with leveraged knowledge i... Read Full Bio

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