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# 4 well developed paragraphs or 5 shorter ones for essays?

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Intern
Joined: 29 May 2009
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4 well developed paragraphs or 5 shorter ones for essays? [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2009, 22:22
Hi. I've attempted several essays so far, and in 30 minutes time, I've noticed that I can get either 4 well developed paragraphs (inlcuding intro/conclusion) or 5 shorter paragraphs (inlcuding intro/conclusion). The ideal scenario is to get 5 well developed paragraphs but alas, that is "ideal" and may not happen come test time for me.

Anyways, I'm not quite sure how GMAC scores essays so I was wondering which is usually better - 4 well developed paragaphs or 5 shorter ones. Specifically, during my testing, when I start writing the paragraphs for the body of my essay, I may not have enough time for the 3rd body paragraph. There are pros and cons with 2 well developed body paragraphs versus 3 shorter less developed body paragraphs:

Pro with 2 well developed body paragraphs:

- Each paragraph and example is more fleshed out and discussed in more depth

Con with with 2 well developed body paragraphs:

- 2 examples is a bit weak, compared to 3 examples.

Does anybody have any advice on what to choose? How would GMAC rate an essay with 4 well developed paragraphs versus one with 5 shorter paragraphs, all other things being equal?

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Re: 4 well developed paragraphs or 5 shorter ones for essays? [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2009, 22:33
Naturally, I would say 5, but after a number of reports, I don't think it matters - everyone understands that you had 30 mins to write it.

Just in case - take a look at this guide: how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html

Usually, 90% of test takers don't need to spend more than 1-2 days on preparing for AWA.
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Last edited by bb on 27 Sep 2009, 22:50, edited 1 time in total.
clarification

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Director
Affiliations: Consortium (CGSM.org), NSHMBA
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Re: 4 well developed paragraphs or 5 shorter ones for essays? [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2009, 13:31
both my essays had 2 body paragraphs (4 total paragraphs), which were pretty decently developed. i managed to get a 6.0 on the AWA. i think you shouldnt try to push for that last body paragraph if it's going to be a weak paragraph, or if youre running low on time.
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Re: 4 well developed paragraphs or 5 shorter ones for essays? [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2009, 23:54
both my essays had 2 body paragraphs (4 total paragraphs), which were pretty decently developed. i managed to get a 6.0 on the AWA. i think you shouldnt try to push for that last body paragraph if it's going to be a weak paragraph, or if youre running low on time.

Thanks shadowsjc! That feedback was valuable!

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Re: 4 well developed paragraphs or 5 shorter ones for essays? [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2009, 12:25
Thats good to know thanks.
Also does it matter if you use good vocab or simple and clear sentences are good enough?

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Kudos [?]: 236 [0], given: 113

Location: New Haven
Schools: Yale SOM Class of 2012
WE 1: Investment Banking Summer Associate (Boutique tech M&A)
Re: 4 well developed paragraphs or 5 shorter ones for essays? [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2009, 21:28
if you already possess a good vocabulary that you use on a daily basis (either speaking or writing), then by all means use it on the gmat. the fact of the matter is, most people generally do not have a super-advanced vocabulary. in this case, you shouldn't "force" one on the AWA because it will lead to situations with awkward wording - or worse, totally incorrect or incoherent sentences.

my opinion is, to be safe - leave the fancy SAT words out of the AWA. stick to the very basic template, and make sure you minimize all grammatical and syntax errors. you're going to want your thesaurus for your application essays, not for the AWA.
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Re: 4 well developed paragraphs or 5 shorter ones for essays?   [#permalink] 04 Oct 2009, 21:28
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