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I didn't write any practice essays for the AWA myself because I do a lot of writing for work, but I did take a peek at the chapter on the AWA in my Cracking the GMAT book. The tips were good, and I followed the structure they outline when I took my actual GMAT. I got a 6.
Prepare a template for both the essays ... just follow examples in any book and you can devise a template, although for arguement essay this should be very easy. If you stick to this template and use proper examples getting a 5.0 at least should not be a problem _________________
It's all structure and length. What your write isn't that important, just expand upon what you're saying and give real examples. I read a brief chapter in a PR book and stuck to the tips for a 5.5 AWA.
First aim for about a 4.0, 4.5. If you get higher than this congrats. But this really isn't worth much of your time.
Bout a couple weeks before the test just flip to back of the OG 11 and take about 10 min each night. 5 min for each essay. Think about how you would go about writing out the essay: make a thesis, list some examples you would use to support your thesis. Conclusion, well this isn't too hard, just a restatement of your these but reworded differently and leading to a broader outlook etc.. standard Paper. Id def do a couple practice essays.
If your lucky enough like me, you got the GMAC email to write 2 awa's for 30$ woohoo! btw where is that stupid check anyway...
the awa only matters if you do really bad on it. IMO, having a score of 4.5 versus a 6 doesn't make a difference to your candidacy.
i think the main thing to keep in mind as you're doing the essays is that a computer will be grading you.. so your score will in large part be determined by the grammar, spelling and length of your essay rather than the opinions or eloquence you convey.
I did the two sets of 2 practice AWAs on the official GMAT software. Also, look at the sample AWAs in the Official Guide and figure out what they consider important (things like varied sentence structure).
When you write your essays think about the e-rater, not the human rater. You know what the e-rater expects and can get 6.0 there even if writing crap. If you are lucky and the human rater does not give you a score lower than 5.0, you got yourself at least a 5.5. _________________
Chinese Democracy is misunderstood...at your nearest BestBuy.
Best AWA guide here: http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html