Prepare for the Analytical Writing Assessment Section

Identify the Strengths and Weaknesses of an Argument

The Analytical Writing Assessment measures your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas. During the Analytical Writing Assessment, you will analyze the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument. You will have 30 minutes to write your essay.

Your best performance on the Analytical Writing Assessment section starts with becoming familiar with the possible essay prompts. For more practice, try the GMAT Write® essay writing practice tool developed to improve your performance on the Analytical Writing Assessment section.

Review the Guide to GMAT Exam Prep Materials to find even more tools to help you prepare.

Analytical Writing Assessment Strategies

Before you begin writing your response, take a few minutes to evaluate the argument and plan your response. You will then have 30 minutes to organize your ideas and develop them fully in your essay. Pacing is key. You want to leave time to re-read your response and make any revisions.

  • As you organize a thoughtful response, ask yourself the following questions:
    • What questionable assumptions underlie the thinking?
    • What counter-examples might be raised?
    • What additional evidence could help strengthen or refute the argument?
    • Does my response read like a discussion with full sentences and coherent organization?

  • Use well-developed illustrations and examples. Don’t simply list examples. Develop your thoughts. Use your erasable noteboard to organize your thoughts.

  • Make your response read like a discussion. Your essay response should be coherent, with full sentences, logical transitions, and appropriately introduced and developed examples.

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