Mastering the Writing Section

Exceptional Writing Skills Are Critical to Your Success on the GMAT® Exam

The GMAT Exam and Your Writing Skills

On the GMAT exam, you will be expected to successfully analyze issues, comprehend information, and communicate your ideas through essays written in English. Your essays are an essential component to your business school application.

You can prepare for this portion of the exam by enlisting the help of a professional consultant, or by selecting practice software, such as the GMAT Write™ tool, available at the mba.com Store.

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) of the GMAT exam measures the ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas. The AWA consists of one 30-minute writing task—Analysis of an Argument. The arguments presented on the test include topics of general interest related to business, or a variety of other subjects. Specific knowledge of the essay topic is not necessary; only your capacity to write analytically is assessed.

Analysis of an Argument

The Analysis of an Argument section requires you to analyze the reasoning behind a given argument, and to write a critique of that argument. You are not being asked to present your own views on the subject.

Consider the following when developing your essay:

  • What questionable assumptions underlie the thinking behind the argument?
  • What alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion?
  • What sort of evidence could help strengthen or refute the argument?
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