This article throws light on the important sections of GMAT analytical writing test structure. The tips and information given in this article are handy, easy and very helpful. Read on to know the facts of analytical writing test in GMAT.

GMAT Analytical Writing Test Structure

GMAT Analytical Writing Test Structure is all about writing two essays on given topics. It is often neglected by test takers as they concentrate more on the verbal and quantitative sections. Though it’s not necessary to spend much time in preparing for this section when compared to the other two sections, it is wise to put modest efforts in improving your writing skills and analyzing skills and it will make a big difference in your overall scores.  

This section deals with essay writing of two types, namely – analysis of an issue and analysis of an argument.

  • Analysis of an Issue
In this, you will analyze the given topic and give your opinion on it. You can express your own examples from your experience or observations to give a relevant conclusion which reflects your opinion.
  • Analysis of an Argument

Here you will examine the given topic on logical basis and suggest the ways to improve it, if there are any flaws. In this essay your personal opinion will not be considered valid. Please remember that your score will come down if you write for or against the topic.

Thus analytical writing section judges your skills in:
  • Presenting a case in a persuading method which is effective and support relevant reasons. 
  • Representing ideas in a unified and structured manner.
  • Ability to judge logically and decisively.
  • Language diction
  • Grammatical aptitude
The topics are randomly selected and given. And you need to write an essay on both the topics. The time allotted for each topic is 30 minutes. Your essay will be rated in a range between 0-6 and the essays will be evaluated by a committee of members plus a computer program called “E-Rater”.  

Few Important Tips:

  • The time allotted for each essay is 30 minutes and you have to write each essay in that time limit only. Once you have completed the first essay and started with the next one, you will not have accessibility to the previous essay.
  • It is advisable not to plan the timings of your own for writing the essays. For example, if you think you can write the first essay in 20 minutes and start with the second essay, but the computer does not allow you to do so. Even though you finish the first essay earlier, you can just re-check for any required corrections.
  • It is prudent that before you start writing, spend 2 or 3 minutes on preparing an outline about the points you will include in the essay. It makes the writing part easier. This small brainstorming session will assist you in maintaining the flow in writing.
  • This section tests your ability to organize the given issue in the right way. So make sure your essays are structured properly.
  • Vague writing won’t help much in this section, as your essays will be judged for your way of presenting ideas in clarity and persuasive manner.
  • Using transition words such as “because”, “for example”, “however” and other such words will help the reader to follow the article and it shows that the article is well structured.
  • The analytical writing section does not exactly test your vocabulary skills so while writing do not be wordy. The graders may feel that you are covering up the weakness in your writing by being verbose.
  • Make sure you choose the right tone of writing. You are asked to analyze the given topics and not to express your personal views. Follow the structured form of essay writing, and do not be innovative in this, as it may backfire and your scores may shrink.
  • The topics can be anything about general issues, business related or can be of any genre.
  • In this section of GMAT, the answers given by you will not be termed as “right” or “wrong”. Only the analyzing and writing skills are put into test.

The value of Analytical Writing Assessment differs from one B-School to another. Even if the score of this assessment may not be highlighted more than the other two sections, it may be considered as a tie-breaker, when it gets tough in evaluating your overall performance. So all you guys out there not worrying too much about analytical writing section, remember that just a little effort will make a huge difference.

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