The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) consists of two 30-minute sections, the Analysis of Issue essay and the Analysis of Argument essay. You will receive a grade from 1 to 6, which will be sent with your GMAT scores.

Your essay will be graded by a human grader and an “E-rater” computerized grading program. If they disagree, it will be sent to a third human grader. If you do not write your essay in the proper format for the E-rater, it could lead to a lower score. Throughout the guidebook we have tips on the E-rater and a section exclusively about the E-rater.

The good news is that the AWA can be beaten.The essay topics are available for you to review beforehand. The structures for the AWA answers are simple and may be learned. In addition, while much GMAT preparation may appear “useless” and without any merit beyond test day, the skills, reasoning tools, and techniques you learn for the AWA may be applied to any essay or persuasive writing. These skills will help you throughout business school and beyond.

The guide is divided into these sections:

  •      Chapter 1:      Introduction (current page)
  •      Chapter 2:      Analysis of Issue
  •      Chapter 3:      Analysis of Argument
  •      Chapter 4:      About the E-Rater
  •      Chapter 5:      Improving Your Writing
  •      Chapter 6:      Getting the Real Essay Questions
  •      Bonus Section: 10 most common errors You may take practice essays and send them in for grading at:
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