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6.0 - My AWA experience

This topic has 5 member replies
godot Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
12 May 2006
3 messages
4 times

6.0 - My AWA experience

Post Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:15 pm
Elapsed Time: 00:00
    Hi folks,

    I got my official GMAT score report yesterday(20 June, 2006), and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had scored 6.0 on the AWA section. I had not practiced for this a whole lot -- just attempted all the essays/issues for the practice tests I took in the last week or so -- hence I wasn't really sure how I would do on the real GMAT for this section. It probably doesn't matter either way, given that schools rarely look at the AWA scores, but it was nice to know that I did not do egregiously badly in this section. I am not sure if this post will have anything new to add to all the different things that have already been explained here, but here are the details anyway.

    For the analysis of argument section, I think the most useful approach for me was to treat the argument as a CR question and use the approach one would normally use when answering CR questions, namely:

    - Identify the assumptions made in the argument and point out the flaws in that argument (and there are almost always going to be flaws)

    - Determine if the reasoning used in the argument is valid or not (it's almost always going to be flawed, usually because the argument goes too far or generalizes too much or something similar)

    - Try to point to specific details in the argument which are incorrect and need to addressed before the argument can be considered valid, and mention how to resolve these problems. What details would you expect a good argument to have.

    - If the argument uses results from some sort of survey, you can almost always argue -- legitimately -- that the sample space for the survey is too small, and that there's no reason to believe that what holds for the group surveyed will be true in general.

    - It's also useful to point out that correlation is not the same as causality. I did not end up using this in my essays, but it's a useful argument to remember.

    - Finally, as has been pointed out in many places, leave the first and the last paragraphs for the end. The first paragraph should be an executive summary of what you are going to say, and the last paragraph should wrap things up nicely, providing a good framework for the whole essay. Both of these things are best done at the end.

    The analysis of issue question is far more open-ended, which is both good and bad. It's good because you can defend any point of view as long as you reason it out properly, but it often requires taking a more balanced approach, and might therefore require a little more time to organize your thoughts. Here's what worked for me:

    - The first thing I did was to write down any point, either for or against, which was relevant to the issue. You need about three good points on either side to be able to defend your stand.

    - Next, I evaluated which side of the issue made more sense to me, and started writing out the essay using the points I had compiled in step 1 which strengthened my argument.

    - After I had elaborated on all the points in favor of my argument, I tried to address everything that I felt could be used against my opinion. This is probably a good thing to do, since it shows that you have thought things through. Typically, the points against your argument make sense only under extreme conditions or assumptions, hence if those assumptions/conditions are listed explicitly, the opposing argument is likely to be weakened.

    - Finally, I wrote the first and the last paragraph, exactly as I did for the the analysis of argument question.

    I hope this is useful in some way for other people preparing for the test. I have only one thing to say about this section of the GMAT: don't sweat too much on this part of the test. It's relatively straightforward, and as long as you organize your thoughts properly, and write with as little ambiguity as possible, you will be just fine. Good luck for the GMAT! Cheers,


    "Please leave your values at the front desk."
    -- Sign in a Paris hotel lobby

    Thanked by: yuri, hopetobeat, luvaduva, Magellan
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    GMAT/MBA Expert

    Post Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:04 am
    Fantastic post! Congrats on your accomplishment!

    Sorin Istrate - Community Manager

    MBA Watch - Your one-stop shop for all MBA program research

    Auzbee Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
    09 Jul 2007
    77 messages
    Post Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:37 pm
    Excellent post Godot. I appreciate the compile you have posted. Highly useful, especially the strategy to write the first and the last paragraphy after writing the main body of the essay.

    preciousrain7 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
    06 Dec 2007
    78 messages
    2 times
    Test Date:
    Jan 25th
    Target GMAT Score:
    Post Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:57 pm
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for debriefing us! This is very helpful

    dublued Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
    21 Mar 2008
    3 messages
    Test Date:
    April 7th, 2008
    Target GMAT Score:
    Post Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:32 am
    major props for this post!

    I did not study for the awa at all. I was sitting on the computer the night before the exam and stumbled upon your post.

    I quickly jotted down your tips and reviewed them in the morning before the exam.

    got a 5.0 on the awa! not bad for not having studied at all for this segment.

    thanks a bunch

    angeo123 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
    11 Feb 2008
    2 messages
    Post Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:59 am
    Thanks for the post. This will surely help guys like me who has just started.


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