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I have a little less then a week before my test and I've been trying to find information about how important the AWA score is and if schools take this into consideration when reviewing your application. For instance, does getting a 4.0 on the AWA hurt you?
So far, I haven't had much luck in answering these questions, so if anyone could shed some light on this I would appreciate it.
Just wondering if I need to spend some extra time preparing for the AWA.
A perfect score on the AWA will not enhance your resume, while a low score introduces doubt for the admissions officers. The AWA is a nuisance, but you should prepare for it; a week is plenty of time.
As for the hypothetical 4.0 score, it depends on how you perform on the verbal section and application essays. A 4.0 per se is not that good, but it should not be a huge concern. Anything below that, though, is trouble for sure. Just try to do your best on the section.
To echo bmillan01, top business schools generally want to see at least a 4 on the AWA. Scores lower than 4 will make admissions committees wonder about your ability to write at the graduate level. This is especially true when your application essays are polished but your AWA score is low - committees might wonder if you received help on your application.
Of course, the higher the score, the better, but schools are not looking for the next Hemingway here: they simply want to see that you can write a persuasive essay on an assigned topic. While it is not likely that a high AWA will convince a committee to accept you if the rest of your application is borderline, it is possible that a low AWA score will convince a committee to reject you if the rest of your application is not totally up to snuff.
Remember that business schools receive so many applications that they need to weed people out fairly quickly in the admissions process. Scoring poorly on the AWA can give schools a reason to say no.
Best of luck!
Matt Mapplebeck Student Services Associate Manhattan GMAT _________________
Matt Mapplebeck | Manhattan GMAT Online Marketing Associate | New York