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# AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh!

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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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GMAT...never fails to annoy

Fast forward 10 years...MBAs speak/write poor grammar...and SC makes a comeback
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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bb
AWA is coming back - so silly!
­This is a pretty dramatic reversal of the GMAT Focus getting rid of the 30-miute essay section but looks like AWA (Analytics Writing Asessment) is coming just 9 momths since it has been removed. It will not be a part of the GMAT but it will be a separate product/test priced at \$30 and can be scheduled independently of the GMAT. No idea how many times you can retake it but we have a perfect easy solution for getting a 6.0 on AWA

It is launching sometime in July 2024 and HBS is already requiring it if your test did not have an Essay component. So if you took GMAT Classic or GRE, you do not need to do this but you will be required to submit a separate AWA Essay score if you have taken GMAT Focus. This is not positive for GMAT Focus

https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6 ... 64327.html
­
­Thanks for sharing this news bb. This is honestly so annoying at this point. Yes 30\$ is not much but its another thing on the to-do list for bschool admissions now. Why did GMAC even remove the AWA in the first place if schools see it as such an important component of the testing process? I though GMAC and Bschools were in discussions all along before the release of the Focus. We have literally almost reverted to the Classic edition now.  GRE looks much more appealing now.­
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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Well, chineseburned's guide will continue to live more many years to come.

Does anyone know if schools will accept a higher GMAT Focus score coupled with a higher AWA score in an old GMAT score?
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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Totally agree—ignore this development for now. It's only these two schools and only a minority of applicants are invited to interview. You may decide not to apply to either HBS or Sloan in the end. You may apply and not be invited to interview—it's so competitive.

If you do apply and you are invited to interview, then that's amazing news. You'll have to prep for your interview, so this is just another step in that preparation. It really doesn't take long to prep for the essay—less than 10 hours and probably less than 5 for many people. You don't need to ace it—you're just aiming for a 5+ score.

I don't work for GMAC, so obviously I don't know what happened behind the scenes. But given the lateness of this announcement from HBS, I would bet that, last year, all of the schools (or the major ones) were on board with the plans—including HBS—and then HBS changed their minds at some point in the past few months.

If Harvard had told GMAC last year that they were still going to want this, then GMAC wouldn't have completely retired the product and now have to be putting it back up again. Even if they still removed it from the exam, they would have had it ready as a standalone product by the time HBS made its announcement. The fact that it isn't already launched implies that HBS is kind of "going rogue" here.

Also, GMAC is charging \$30 for the BWA with no score reporting fees. But it's still a proctored exam, and proctored services are quite costly. We talked to some proctoring companies back in 2021 about possibly offering a proctored practice exam experience for our students...but it cost way too much. \$30 for a half-hour live-human proctored exam...I would bet GMAC is barely breaking even. I'd guess the proctoring company alone is getting at least 2/3 of that fee.

This whole situation would make a really good case study, actually. Or MSR problem.
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AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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We congratulate those who have been asked by Harvard to take the BWA as it indicates their GMAT scores have secured them an interview! 7 out of 10 applications to the 2025 class of HBS were made with GMAT scores so you are in good company.

As discussed on this forum and others, after working closely with top business schools around the world, the GMAT was re-designed to allow all candidates to focus—in a streamlined testing process—on the data analytic and critical reasoning skills highly desired not only by their dream business schools but also their future employers.

Further advised and informed by a handful of business schools, the BWA is de-coupled from the GMAT to serve as a completely separate assessment to give test takers the flexibility—and option—to demonstrate their writing ability in today’s AI-affected world. It is this freedom of choice that gives us the confidence to believe the GMAT is superior to the alternatives available in the market.

We recommend that candidates check with individual schools to which they wish to apply about the application requirements. If you want to learn more about the BWA, visit https://www.mba.com/bwa
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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bb. We all know that MBA is a costly affair but even getting an admission is hard for people not earning in dollars, pounds and euros.
GMAT OG --> Mocks --> Prep courses--> GMAT --> More courses --> Re-GMAT --> Applications --> Consultants
Removing something and adding it later with an additional cost looks unethical tbh.

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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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1
Bookmarks
We should have just opted for GRE instead 🤡

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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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Quote:
P.S. In terms of schools being the founding members of the GMAC - yes, but those schools also hamstrung GMAC by going to accept GRE, MCAT, LSAT, and generously waive any kind of a GMAT requirement. It seems the relationship evolved over the years.

Agreed—but I think this behavior is still consistent with the overall goal. Schools will do what it takes to attract the greatest number of applicants; that's why they were ok with dropping the essay and why they started accepting the GRE* in the first place. They wanted to get people who hadn't initially thought about b-school and had already taken the GRE—I'm sure they did surveys showing that a lot of those people didn't seriously consider an MBA because they didn't want to have to take a second exam.

* There's also another fun little backstory here. ETS, the makers of the GRE, also used to be responsible for writing test questions for the GMAT. In 2005/2006, they lost the contract to ACT (makers of the ACT). It wasn't until after that happened that schools started accepting the GRE.

I don't know in what sequence things happened behind the scenes. Maybe ETS was already lobbying schools to accept the GRE and that's why they lost the GMAC contract. Or maybe they only thought of this after they lost the contract.

Always makes me wonder whether this never would have happened if ETS had kept that contract...
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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I TOTALLY get why, at first glance, this might seem like a need to be concerned (the "SURPRISE!" aspect of it is probably making it FEEL far worse than it is, I think?), but just to mirror what many experts have said here already, there is NO REASON to, e.g., make a last-minute (and thus probably ill-advised) switch to the GRE JUST because of this.

Sure, it's "annoying", but I don't think it's a big deal -- I elaborate a little on this in my post below -- and also I asked myself: "Just HOW many people might this even affect, anyway?!" I took the ROUGHEST of STABS at trying to estimate roughly how many people in R1 from the HBS applicant pool will, in fact, be asked to take the BWA... CAVEAT that I did this on a FRIDAY evening at the end of a loooong week, so PLEASE BE NICE if my calculation was wrong, but... my "back of the envelope" calculation is that maybe fewer than 200 people (?) in the Round 1 HBS pool will be affected by this? Or am I way off and should have done this post-coffee instead, ha ha?

(I think the biggest question-mark in trying to guess this # is, "What percent of GMAT scores submitted in R1 will be the GFE vs. Old GMAT?" Since I don't work on the test-prep side, I have absolutely zero idea / intuition around: "Ok, so...between Nov - Feb, which % took the GFE? And since Feb, are test volumes about the same as they'd be for the old GMAT, or has it been a bit lower, as folks need more time to study / "wait and see"... or has it been higher, b/c test takers really do prefer the test?" I can easily conjure either scenario in my head, ha ha) Test prep experts: any intuition around which % of "folks submitting in R1" might be submitting the GFE? I'd love your expertise and insights on this!!

p.s.
One possible wrinkle for the folks who aren't submitting an "old" GMAT score that might have a "good" AWA (but presumably be too low otherwise)... definitely heed BB's advice and DO NOT submit it WITH your application... I wonder if, however, it could be sent in AFTER you are INVITED to interview? The language in the FAQ says: "You can satisfy this with a valid GRE, GMAT (10th Edition), or English language test score."

Sooo... theoretically, if I HAVE a "valid" score ("within the past 5 years"), but simply didn't submit it at the time of applying because I had done better, percentile-wise, on the GFE... I wonder if I can send the GRE / GMAT with the old AWA score, explaining that "Well, since the overall score wasn't as competitive as my GRE/GFE, I didn't submit it THEN, but... re: my writing skills, here's a 'valid' score!" (of course, if that score is "SUPER TERRIBLE LOW", then OF COURSE this does more harm than good, but if it was, say "lower than you'd like but not horrifying"... maybe???)

Put another way: if you make it to the interview stage at HBS, it's about MORE than just your test score ...so if at THAT point they find out that, ooops, actually I took a GRE last year and didn't do as well as I did on the GFE... well, who cares?

I'll be attending a webinar with them in a couple of weeks -- I will try to ask!!!­
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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Aryaa03
bb Minting money has become the norm these days. I don't know if it's good or bad for the Focus; it is bad for the pocket.

Posted from my mobile device

I don’t know that it is a significant financial implication…. It is \$30. Which is a cost of one more score report. They could have raised the gmat price… But it’s more of an inconvenience and it makes the GMAT focus product a feel incomplete.

i feel it’s a pretty big marketing disadvantage so GMAT Focus will probably get the essay included back in the test sometime soon.
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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pinkman27
We should have just opted for GRE instead 🤡

Posted from my mobile device
­

Exactly!

P.S. There is some evidence that GMAT is significantly better when it comes to scholarship funding allocation however, so that's GMAT's only grace but I don't see how someone would choose GMAT who is just starting out and decides to take GRE or GMAT + Essay Assessment. Seems silly so I think AWA will be coming back to the GMAT Focus in the near future.
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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I had given classic edition around 3 times and scored 4.5 to 5 in each. If I take Focus edition, then can my classic AWA score be used? Any idea?
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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KanikaJain
I had given classic edition around 3 times and scored 4.5 to 5 in each. If I take Focus edition, then can my classic AWA score be used? Any idea?

I think if you have a good classic score you can apply with that one. But if you have. 4.5 or 5.0 in AWA and 550, I do not think you want to s me that score and torpedo your chances. Easier and better to take this assessment.

Something to point out, this assessment is currently required by HBS - the only program I can see is requiring it but I feel if HBS does, others will follow.

My guess they threatened to drop GMAT Focus if they don’t have an essay… 😱

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Founder
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
1
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sv2023
bb
AWA is coming back - so silly!
­This is a pretty dramatic reversal of the GMAT Focus getting rid of the 30-miute essay section but looks like AWA (Analytics Writing Asessment) is coming just 9 momths since it has been removed. It will not be a part of the GMAT but it will be a separate product/test priced at \$30 and can be scheduled independently of the GMAT. No idea how many times you can retake it but we have a perfect easy solution for getting a 6.0 on AWA

It is launching sometime in July 2024 and HBS is already requiring it if your test did not have an Essay component. So if you took GMAT Classic or GRE, you do not need to do this but you will be required to submit a separate AWA Essay score if you have taken GMAT Focus. This is not positive for GMAT Focus

https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6 ... 64327.html
­
­Thanks for sharing this news bb. This is honestly so annoying at this point. Yes 30\$ is not much but its another thing on the to-do list for bschool admissions now. Why did GMAC even remove the AWA in the first place if schools see it as such an important component of the testing process? I though GMAC and Bschools were in discussions all along before the release of the Focus. We have literally almost reverted to the Classic edition now.  GRE looks much more appealing now.­

I think this is an ironic turn of events for the poor GMAT Focus.

AWA has been the 5th wheel on the GMAT for years. Most programs have not cared about it. None published average AWA scores and so my theory is that it was an easy target to cut in order to shorten the GMAT and make it more attractive….

But then AI and ChatGPT happened. That has suddenly caught schools off guard and there is not much they can do when they get essays. So now they are requiring the essays once again and clearly AWA is a lot more important. Now if you have a low score and stellar essays, your essays will look suspect…. so do actually take some effort and time to prepare to make sure you’re writing is actually impactful and meaningful.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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Thanks for the update, bb.

­This is clearly an own goal by GMAC. People (mostly) did not say anything about it, but it was easy to see that removing AWA could be a problem.

I haven't seen all the details yet, but I'm worried by the little that I have seen.
Quote:
In the era of generative AI, business schools want to know that you can communicate important ideas critically and concisely through your writing.

Quote:
Flexible Scheduling Delivered online and available year-round to take at home at any time.
So the new product is meant to guard against unethical use of generative AI by... being an online-only, at-home only test? I hope I'm reading this wrong.­
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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Top Contributor
­Some insider told you this I am pretty sure    bb

However, for those who want to kill two birds with one stone, the GMAT Club team provides tons and tons of great yet FREE material to help you score at your best on the GRE.

This amazing website is located here  https://gre.myprepclub.com/forum/free-m ... 18796.html

1) Taking the GRE you have both: essay and test
2) It costs less
3) It is easier
4) It is accepted universally now

If you need further help, just drop me a private message. I 'll be happy to assist you, folks

In case you are interested in take a look at Shorter GRE AWA - All You Need to Know to Score 6 on the Issue Essay

I am also preparing a NEW Guide for the Issue AWA on the GRE from scratch. I am also sure it will be great for the new GMAT Essay

Best regards

Carcass­
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Re: AWA Essay is Coming Back - Doh! [#permalink]
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Top Contributor
bb
sv2023
bb
AWA is coming back - so silly!
­This is a pretty dramatic reversal of the GMAT Focus getting rid of the 30-miute essay section but looks like AWA (Analytics Writing Asessment) is coming just 9 momths since it has been removed. It will not be a part of the GMAT but it will be a separate product/test priced at \$30 and can be scheduled independently of the GMAT. No idea how many times you can retake it but we have a perfect easy solution for getting a 6.0 on AWA

It is launching sometime in July 2024 and HBS is already requiring it if your test did not have an Essay component. So if you took GMAT Classic or GRE, you do not need to do this but you will be required to submit a separate AWA Essay score if you have taken GMAT Focus. This is not positive for GMAT Focus

https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6 ... 64327.html
­
­Thanks for sharing this news bb. This is honestly so annoying at this point. Yes 30\$ is not much but its another thing on the to-do list for bschool admissions now. Why did GMAC even remove the AWA in the first place if schools see it as such an important component of the testing process? I though GMAC and Bschools were in discussions all along before the release of the Focus. We have literally almost reverted to the Classic edition now.  GRE looks much more appealing now.­
I think this is an ironic turn of events for the poor GMAT Focus.

AWA has been the 5th wheel on the GMAT for years. Most programs have not cared about it. None published average AWA scores and so my theory is that it was an easy target to cut in order to shorten the GMAT and make it more attractive….

But then AI and ChatGPT happened. That has suddenly caught schools off guard and there is not much they can do when they get essays. So now they are requiring the essays once again and clearly AWA is a lot more important. Now if you have a low score and stellar essays, your essays will look suspect…. so do actually take some effort and time to prepare to make sure you’re writing is actually impactful and meaningful.

Posted from my mobile device
­
They took years to update the tests and create the GMAT FE. all this in accordance with the BS. Neither the GMAC nor the BS saw what was behind the curve: the AI.

After all, the GMAC is not the culprit.

Nonetheless, now they have a tough call: on the one hand, they have an exam for which, if you incorporate the AWA again, it will not only be long like before but also waste almost all the work they did, but also will cost more. On the other hand who will take the gmat if they will have an interview by HBS and even the MIT said they will do the same, you have to go back BEFORE the interview and spend another 30 bucks for the AWA and back to HBS. At least the GMAC could say that the AWA would be FREE and already included in the price tag of the GMAT FE. Turns out, now you need to spend almost 300 bucks versus 220 of the GRE all inclusive.

The ongoing chaos....................

­
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