800 Score Gmat Essay Guide

Need a 6 on the AWA section? Use the 800score guide.

Eric Bahn, Founder, BeattheGMAT

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) consists of one 30-minute section, the Analysis of an Argument essay. You will receive a grade from 1 to 6 on each and these will be sent with your GMAT scores.

Both a human grader and an "E-rater," a computerized grading program, will grade your essay. If the graders disagree, your essay will be sent to a third (human) grader. Not writing your essay in the proper format for the E-rater could lead to a lower score.

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. Don't worry about over-preparing for the AWA section, because you'll actually use this for the real world!

800score has graded tens of thousands of essays from GMAT candidates and we have an unparalleled knowledge of where students go wrong.

Here are some tips before we get started:

  • Grammar and spelling are less important than structure and content.

  • The E-rater's main impact is to put more value on highly structured writing.

  • Take many timed practice tests on a computer. We have 20 practice essays.


Understanding How the GMAT will Score Your Essay

Video Courtesy of Kaplan




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1. Be particularly concerned with structure. Clearly divide your essay into the introductory paragraph, two to three content paragraphs and a conclusion. Take time out before you start writing to set up an organizational structure. Our Essay Guide includes sample essay templates.


2. Use transitional phrases. Words and phrases like " first", "on the other hand," and "therefore" help the computer identify concepts between and within the paragraphs.



3. Be a conformist.The E-rater is not programmed to appreciate individuality, humor, or poetic inspiration; computers aren't known for their sense of humor. It will be comparing the style and structure of your essay to those of other high-scoring essays. Our Essay Guide and sample essays have over 50 sample high-score essays to give you a sense of the proper writing style for the AWA.



4. Clearly state your critique.The essat question will show you an essay loaded with logical fallacies, such as the unwarranted assumption or fallacy of equivocation.



5. Know the essays and how to answer them. The 800score Essay Section Guide shows you all of the 275 actual GMAT essay questions with 20 sample essay answers to those questions.



6. Practice, Practice, Practice.The best preparation is practicing under real conditions within the 30-minute time frame. 800score offers5 free practice timed essayswith complete explanations and an additional 10 timed essays in the 800score Complete Prep Course. If you need personalized feedback and scoring, 800scorehas graded over 10,000 practice essays through ourEssay Grading Service.

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