AWA portion: Length and # of arguments? Thanks! : General GMAT Questions and Strategies
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# AWA portion: Length and # of arguments? Thanks!

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AWA portion: Length and # of arguments? Thanks! [#permalink]

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20 Apr 2012, 18:32
Hi all, first post and seems like everyone is extremely helpful!

A little background of myself. I am coming from a scientific background, BS in cell/molecular biology and have worked in the biomedical field for ~4years. But I'm done with science and I am now seeking a career switch. This is where the MBA and the GMAT comes in.

I have taken the GRE when I was preparing myself for a Ph.D in science. I have spoken to the admission people at SFSU (my target school) and that the numeric score of my GRE is good enough for admission, so I don't need to worry much about the GMAT score. However, my AWA was lacking. They require a 4.5, and I got a 4.0 in my GRE. So I will be taking the GMAT again.

I have been writing numerous practice essays and I have two main concerns, these are all compared to Kaplan's practice book:
1) My essays are not as long as shown in the practice book. The most that I can crank out is almost one single spaced page. Whereas the Kaplan book have essays ranging from 1 and a half pages. In comparison, my responses are more condensed and concise, but given the same prompt, I have similar argument in my responses.

2) Sometimes I just can't think of more than 2 (strong) arguments to write about. Usually I can come up with at least 3 arguments, but certain prompts just have be baffled.

What do you guys think? Will sheer length (long vs. short) hurt me? Will having fewer but stronger arguments hurt me?

Thanks!

Last edited by saychisinlo on 23 Apr 2012, 15:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AWA portion: Length and # of arguments? Thanks! [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2012, 15:24
Lack in length for the most party will hurt you - unless it's structured well and the responses meet the argument validly. But generally, test raters will take an essay that has a lot to say (argumentative) and elaborates on that communication as more effective. If you're a science background, you might have a weakness in elaborating this aspect of your writing style and you'll need more practice reading what people wrote and backwards engineering their writing process. The structure matters and how you support it and transition are important as well.
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Re: AWA portion: Length and # of arguments? Thanks! [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2012, 15:38
gmatpill wrote:
Lack in length for the most party will hurt you - unless it's structured well and the responses meet the argument validly. But generally, test raters will take an essay that has a lot to say (argumentative) and elaborates on that communication as more effective. If you're a science background, you might have a weakness in elaborating this aspect of your writing style and you'll need more practice reading what people wrote and backwards engineering their writing process. The structure matters and how you support it and transition are important as well.

First of all thank you for responding.

Second of all I commend you for reading through my post, I spotted several errors but despite them, you were still able to understand my problem.

Here's another thing. I'm weary of "having a lot to say" because I'm scared I'll say the same thing over and over. But I will take your suggestion and elaborate as much as I can without repeating myself.

Also, with the time limit, how many arguments do you think one should have? Like I said, I can usually come up with 3 arguments and examples to back them. And honestly with the 30mins time limit, that's about all I can do.

3 arguments per essay, do you think that's sufficient? I'm asking because in my Kaplan book, some of these essays have 4 and sometimes 5 arguments. And it ends up being a massive essay.
Re: AWA portion: Length and # of arguments? Thanks!   [#permalink] 23 Apr 2012, 15:38
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# AWA portion: Length and # of arguments? Thanks!

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