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How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide

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How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 22 May 2008, 05:56
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Guide to Perfect 6.0 AWA GMAT Score

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I took the GMAT twice and scored 6.0 each time. I did put a lot of time in it the first time....too much actually. Being a non-native speaker and having not written a damn essay (of any kind) in many many years, I was very scared of the AWA. So, I went through every guide that I could find and wrote nearly 25-30 essays. Even had a friend grade them for me.....Pathetic, huh?

Anyway, for my second time, I just looked over my templates I created and wrote one of each the day before test just to refresh my memory on faster typing without making too many typos......

So, here it is....Enjoy, and please do not blame me if the 6.0 percentile goes down to 80 soon :-D



AWA GUIDE

by Chineseburned

1. General Structure



Intro - Restate argument, point out flaws or state intention to discuss them below
1st Para - First,...
2nd Para - Second/In addition,...
3rd Para - Third/Finally,...
Conclusion - The argument is flawed/weak/unconvincing because of the above -mentioned...Ultimately, the argument can be strengthened if/by...


2. Structural Word (should be all over the essays)



  1. Supporting examples - for example, to illustrate, for instance, because, specifically
  2. Additional support - furthermore, in addition, similarly, just as, also, as a result, moreover
  3. Importance - surely, truly, undoubtedly, clearly, in fact, most importantly
  4. Contrast - on the contrary, yet, despite, rather, instead, however, although, while
  5. Decide against - one cannot deny that, it could be argued that, granted, admittedly
  6. Ying-yang - on the one hand/on the other hand
  7. Concluding - therefore, in summary, consequently, hence, in conclusion, ultimately, in closing


3. Templates



Intro:
The argument claims that ....(restate)
Stated in this way the argument:
a) manipulates facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation
b) reveals examples of leap of faith, poor reasoning and ill-defined terminology
c) fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated
The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak/unconvincing and has several flaws.

1st Para:
First, the argument readily assumes that......
This statement is a stretch....
For example,...
Clearly,...
The argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that...

2nd Para:
Second, the argument claims that....
This is again a very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between....and...
To illustrate,...
While,...
However,....indeed....
In fact, it is not at all clear...rather....
If the argument had provided evidence that.....then the argument would have been a lot more convincing.

3rd Para:
Finally,...
(pose some questions for the argument).....Without convincing answers to these questions, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence.

Conclusion:
In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above-mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts....
In order to assess the merits of a certain situation/decision, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors. In this particular case....
Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.

4. Going from the templates to full-fledged essays




ESSAY QUESTION:
The following appeared in the editorial section of a national news magazine:[/b]

"The rating system for electronic games is similar to the movie rating system in that it provides consumers with a quick reference so that they can determine if the subject matter and contents are appropriate. This electronic game rating system is not working because it is self regulated and the fines for violating the rating system are nominal. As a result an independent body should oversee the game industry and companies that knowingly violate the rating system should be prohibited from releasing a game for two years."

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument's logic and analyze the argument's underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument's conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.


YOUR RESPONSE:
Quote:
The argument claims that the electronic games rating system, although similar to the movie rating system, is not working because it is self regulated and violation fines are nominal, Hence, the gaming rating system should be overseen by an independent body. Stated in this way the argument fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion relies on assumptions, for which there is no clear evidence. Therefore, the argument is rather weak, unconvincing, and has several flaws.

First, the argument readily assumes that because the electronic game rating system is self regulated, it is not working well. This statement is a stretch and not substantiated in any way. There are numerous examples in other areas of business or commerce, where the entities are self regulated and rather successful. For instance, FIA, the Formula1 racing organization is self regulated. Yet, the sport is very popular and successful, drawing millions of spectators around the world each year. Tickets are rather expensive, races are shown on pay-per-view, and nearly all drivers are paid very well. Another example is the paralleled movie rating system that the argument mentions. The author fails to clarify whether it is working well, but it is clear that the movie rating system is pretty well received by people, who often base their decisions to go see a movie with kids or not on the movie rating. It has never been a case when someone would feel cheated by the movie rating and express disappointment afterwards. Since the movie rating system is also self regulated, it follows that this regulatory method is working pretty well and it is not obvious how it can be the reason for the poor electronic game rating system. The argument would have been much clearer if it explicitly gave examples of how the self regulatory system led to bad ratings and customer dissatisfaction.

Second, the argument claims that any violation fees for bad electronic game ratings are nominal. It thus suggests that this is yet another reason for the rating system not working. This is again a very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between the monetary amount of the fines and the quality of the electronic game rating system. In fact, the argument does not even draw a parallel with the mentioned movie rating system and its violation fines. If any such correlation had been shown for the movie rating system, which supposedly works well, then the author would have sounded a bit more convincing. In addition, if the argument provided evidence that low violation fines lead to electronic game manufacturers to ignore any regulations with respect to the game rating system, the argument could have been strengthened even further.

Finally, the argument concludes that an independent body should oversee the game industry and companies that violate the rating system, should be punished. From this statement again, it is not at all clear how an independent regulatory body can do a better job than a self regulated one. Without supporting evidence and examples from other businesses where independent regulatory bodies have done a great job, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence. As a result, this conclusion has no legs to stand on.

In summary, the argument is flawed and therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts. In order to assess the merits of a certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors.


5. Final tips



  • During the tutorial type in a few sentences in the mock essay window to get used to the keyboard.
  • Again during the tutorial, jot down on your notebook the basic structure of your essays or the opening sentences in case you get too nervous and forget them when the clock starts ticking.
  • Write as much as you can. Try to write at least 500 words per essay.
  • Always have the e-rater in mind as your potential reviewer. Remember that the human rater will make every effort to grade just like the e-rater. In that sense, keep your structure and volume in mind over actual quality/content.
  • Be careful of spelling mistakes. Double check words that you normally know you misspell (e.g. exercise). Try to finish 2-3 minutes before time is up so you can slowly re-read your essay for the purposes of spell checking. Do not reorganize/delete sentences/paragraphs with less than 2 min left.
  • No matter how great you thought your essays went, try to stay humble and focused - remember this was just a warm-up and the real stuff hasn't started yet!

Good luck!

Image
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Best AWA guide here: how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html


Last edited by carcass on 26 Aug 2014, 10:26, edited 9 times in total.
Added the template as image
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2010, 11:09
used your guide to study for the AWAs.
official score in today: 6.0
thanks so much! =]
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2010, 10:33
So far I am having some trouble with these essays, especially the issue one, mostly due to wanting my essay to be convincing and based on solid evidence. What I am taking from chineseburned comments is that I need to train myself to just write as much as possible with an emphasis on structure/grammar/spelling and not worry about the content. Does this include making up my own "facts"? Can I spout off a bunch of BS without reprisal? Also, is it always better to take a solid stance on one side of the issue without qualifiers?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2010, 13:38
Ivanjames wrote:
So far I am having some trouble with these essays, especially the issue one, mostly due to wanting my essay to be convincing and based on solid evidence. What I am taking from chineseburned comments is that I need to train myself to just write as much as possible with an emphasis on structure/grammar/spelling and not worry about the content. Does this include making up my own "facts"? Can I spout off a bunch of BS without reprisal? Also, is it always better to take a solid stance on one side of the issue without qualifiers?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


I also need help with the ISSUE essay. Unlike the ARGUMENT essay, which is highly structured and formulaic, the ISSUE essay is less ridged and more free form--that gets me into trouble.

For instance, my ISSUE essay is always MUCH shorter than my ARGUMENT essay. And I often come up short on content, with only enough "material" for 2 MAIN BODY paragraphs.
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 17 Nov 2010, 21:25
Thanks a lot!!

Thanks to your template i managed to get 6 in my AWA !!
Thanks a ton! :-D
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2010, 05:38
NICE POST!!
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2010, 21:27
totally works! excellent! I got a 6 following your guide!!!
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2010, 03:22
Thanks CB....have my GMAT tomorrow.. hoping this template will do its magic. :)
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 14:40
Haha. Just got a pretty low score on my first official Gmat, but I used your guide and got a 6.0 without even doing a single practice ever. Good write up bro.
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 19:43
This is obviously a great template judging from all of the high scores received. I take my test for the first time in less than one week and was wondering how closely the template was followed by those who did well. My concern is that I might be penalized if a human grader recognizes that I have copied numerous phrases from this template verbatim. It may seem like a silly concern, but I just want to have all of my bases covered.

Thanks,
PWH
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 23:38
peeweeherman wrote:
This is obviously a great template judging from all of the high scores received. I take my test for the first time in less than one week and was wondering how closely the template was followed by those who did well. My concern is that I might be penalized if a human grader recognizes that I have copied numerous phrases from this template verbatim. It may seem like a silly concern, but I just want to have all of my bases covered.

Thanks,
PWH


Well, what he outlined isn't some proprietary formula for cracking some system. It's just a thoroughly outlined structure for a sound argument/analysis. I briefly read the bullet points and loosely followed it. The pointers in this thread won't help you with grammatical errors or proper sentence structure, however it does tell you to be lengthy and support every claim you make. I was sure to restate everything and then go on to analyze/support/critique it while using relevant examples of my own. I think that thought organization counts as well as giving support for everything you say. If not this, then why. If you agree, why do you agree. If you do not agree, why not? Baseless claims are weak even if they are factual.

I would venture to guess that a lot of the critical analyses that are asked of test takers are generally blanket statements that are easy to attack and tear down. My question I had for the first one went something very similar to this:

A business manager observed that over the months of july through september inclusive, the home goods and furnishings department had higher profits than the clothing department. As a result, the business manager recommends that the store expand the home goods dept while shrinking the clothing dept.

Then it asked you to critique. Well, this is just about support-less a statement can get.

I restated, then went into specific things that are not unaddressed in this short passage that would be necessary to look into to ensure that it would be a sound move. The passage does not address the fact that both these departments have specific business cycles that could have attributed to the difference in profits. We'd need to look at longer operating cycles to ensure that this is not normal cyclical behavior. How about incentives that may have helped spur home goods sales? What about inventory costs? maybe the dept for furnishings is much more streamlined, affecting profits. How about the fact that consumer discretionary sales such as retail clothing will almost certainly spike coming into holiday season? Shrinking that dept now could likly be costly, not to mention time consuming. Perhaps a strong domestic currency allowed the store to purchase furniture at lower prices for sales in our market. On the contrary, maybe a lot of the retail is purchased in euros, which might have been very strong against the domestic currency...enough to actually hurt profits.

What I'm getting at is that it seems that in the short amount of words the GMAT will post a statement, it will not be able to sufficiently state something that you can agree with in whole. There should be many weaknesses that you can pick at. Just make sure your thoughts are organized and pay attention to grammar and redundancies and other common mistakes and you should be good.

As for the second AWA task, it said something like this:

Companies and organizations tend to overemphasize the training and importance of teamwork, when in fact, it is the drive and commitment of individuals that enable things to get done. Should companies and organizations shift to emphasize training individuals.
Agree, or disagree.

Well, this one is anyone's game, but taking both sides of the argument here will probably give you more material to work with.
Again, I restated the claim, and then immediately afterwards, put down my stance on it and went on to explain why I felt that way. On this one, I brought in work examples, both of my own industry, and that of other ones I had familiarity with. Again, just refer to the OP's structure guidelines because they work. Good luck.
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2010, 09:33
Just got my official score report, another 6.0!

Thanks a ton chineseburned, I gave you a kudos as that's the best I can do online!

Let me know if you are in DC, I will get you a drink!
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2010, 16:21
The explanation given here is so simple to understand and is very helpful. I am glad you posted this. it will help to do quick review just prior to exam.
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 13:08
got 5.5 ... I think I love you :) thx
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 19:53
Great guide.
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2010, 07:58
Another 6.0 thanks to chineseburned! While I'm sure the bringing down the 6.0 percentile comment was meant to be a joke, without this template, there's no way I would have scored that high. Thanks again!

On a related side note, I was slightly panicked in the week leading up to the test because I was scoring 4s and 4.5s on Princeton Review AWA practice tests, even when I was using this template! I had a suspicion that their grading might be tougher than the actual grading. Just a heads up to anyone that may run into the same scenario...

-P.W.H.
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2010, 03:50
chineseburned wrote:

I include this in the conclusions.
5 or 6 paragraphs doesn't matter as long as the word count is there.


what is the prescribed word count for a target score of 5-6 ?
Is it the same for both the essays?
Has someone tried to find out how many lines (approx.) are needed to be filled on the actual GMAT interface to fulfill this word count?
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2010, 13:32
Try to write at least 500 words. With respect to lines, it depends on the computer screen's width, so no figure can be provided.
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2010, 02:40
I love this templates! It will help me with my Toefl as well! Thanks!
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2011, 08:43
went from a 4.0 on the GRE to 6.0 on the GMAT.

Thanks a bunch!
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2011, 07:07
Hi there,
Your templates are just so convenient. It puts the high school English essay writing styles into an elegant GMAT worthy format. Really good job and thanks for sharing.
-DK
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide   [#permalink] 07 Jan 2011, 07:07
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