Thanks for your post. To answer your question, well written essays or an explanation can partially ease the pain of a low AWA. If you can provide other evidence to support writing skills, it should be OK. However, a retake would also be a consideration. Of course only you can evaluate whether or not the score is actually likely to go up, and whether there is actually time to retake the test. If essays and other components of the application will suffer do to a retake, it's not worth it. In that case an explanation will have to be enough.
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