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Please Advise on Low AWA Score

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Please Advise on Low AWA Score [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2012, 08:10
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Hi,

I took my GMAT 2 years back and my score is 720 (Q 50; V 37) and AWA 4.0. I am planning to apply to Wharton, Booth, Stern, Cornell, McCombs and Rotman for the class starting Fall 2013. How much of an issue would the low AWA score be at these target BSchools?? Considering that I would have to spend 2 months on preparing for my GMAT again, a test retake would significantly reduce the effort I could put in my application essays instead. Should I still consider retaking the GMAT??

Thanks,
Vikram
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Re: Please Advise on Low AWA Score [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2012, 02:48
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Hey VikramMukhi,

Here is my theory on AWA scores - no one really cares about it that much. When I say "no one", I mean that admissions committees really care about GMAT score, with AWA following very far behind. I would also argue that that Q/V split would matter much, much, much more than the AWA (because if you can't do data sufficiency, you can't be an effective manager ... lol.)

My conspiracy theory is that since most rankings do not consider the AWA (only GMAT) as a factor, the AWA is really about "does this applicant communicate/comprehend coherently." "Can they even write a complete sentence?" In fact, when I used to teach GMAT, I told my students to take it easy on the AWA and to not get stressed out before the real test of ability - the GMAT Q/V sections.

Now I do want to strike a little fear in you - that is always healthy as my dad used to say. Your AWA is significantly lower than most applicants. I know what I just said in the paragraphs above, but it's never good to be below average in anything besides cancer rates.

So what do you do now? I would not retake the GMAT because of the AWA. But it's really not as simple as that - a 720 is at par for most schools for the Indian male (from India) demographic. Factor in the number of times that you have taken it (less than 2?), how long ago you took it, what's going on at work, what round you are applying, whether or not another Lord of the Rings movie is coming out, and you may want to take it again.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti

VikramMukhi wrote:
Hi,

I took my GMAT 2 years back and my score is 720 (Q 50; V 37) and AWA 4.0. I am planning to apply to Wharton, Booth, Stern, Cornell, McCombs and Rotman for the class starting Fall 2013. How much of an issue would the low AWA score be at these target BSchools?? Considering that I would have to spend 2 months on preparing for my GMAT again, a test retake would significantly reduce the effort I could put in my application essays instead. Should I still consider retaking the GMAT??

Thanks,
Vikram

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Re: Please Advise on Low AWA Score [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2012, 06:03
Thank You Paul, I really appreciate your advise.
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Re: Please Advise on Low AWA Score [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2012, 02:00
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VikramMukhi wrote:
Thank You Paul, I really appreciate your advise.


Well then, I most certainly appreciate your question!
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Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

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