Does GMAT AWA really matter for B-school admission? Read this article to find out if it does or does not. 

The AWA section in the GMAT is one of four exam sections in the popular standardised exam, the GMAT. In the Analytical Writing Assessment section of the GMAT, or AWA for short, you are expected to write an essay. You will be allotted 30 minutes to present your response to the ‘Analysis of An Argument’ question. 

Generally, GMAT aspirants tend to focus mainly on the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections. However, the AWA is considered very important from the perspectives of B-schools. Your AWA essay is an indicator of how well you can formulate your thoughts and arguments and present them in a way that is coherent and incisive. Your ability to participate in and contribute to class discussions, conduct scholarly research, and communicate effectively will be judged initially  based on your AWA performance. 

So, let’s see in detail why the AWA section is important and does the GMAT AWA really matter for b-school admission?

Why is the AWA Section Important?

When you submit your test, your Quant and Verbal scores immediately pop up on your screens, but your AWA score is nowhere to be found. This is because your essay will be evaluated by e-raters and human raters, and your score will appear on your final scorecard about two weeks from the date of your exam.

The AWA score can be a maximum of 6 marks, and is calculated with 0.5-point increments. You should aim to get an above average score of 4.5-5.5 in the AWA section, as this will be looked upon favourably by any B-school you apply to.

Your English language skills will be assessed through this section as well. You will be graded based on how well you are able to communicate your thoughts and ideas, and whether you are able to present your stand with clarity and assertiveness. These are all qualities that are expected in your writing as a business school aspirant.

For non-native English speakers, it is a bit challenging to do well in the AWA section. You can improve your grasp over the language by reading newspaper articles and other literature in English, or even take a crash course to help improve your skill. 

The hesitation to prepare for the AWA section is often twofold in most GMAT aspirants; they believe the section is not as important as the rest, and they also tend to be intimidated by the essay writing aspect of it. However, it would not be wise to neglect preparing for the section, and communicating your views well is an important trait for any business school student.

So, answering the question — does the GMAT AWA really matter for b-school admission? The answer is, yes it does. If you wish to do well on your GMAT, and get into your dream B-school, make sure to prepare well for the AWA as well as the other sections. Each section of the GMAT is important, and has been included in the test for a reason. If you focus on your preparation and are dedicated to it, there is no doubt that you will succeed in achieving your target score.

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