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How to get 6.0 AWA on GMAT ....my guide

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New post 03 May 2016, 13:04
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How to Prepare for the GMAT Essay Section

Try to make the most of the time you have to prepare for the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (the GMAT essay section). Write practice essays under exam conditions, take notes on a variety of official essay topics, and exploit resources such as my two GMAT essay books. This page provides details about each strategy.

Practice, Practice and More Practice

You could study many "model" GMAT essays and review every available essay-writing tip, yet still perform poorly on the actual exam. That's because there’s no substitute for putting yourself to the task under simulated exam conditions.

Compose as many practice essays as you reasonably have time for, responding to the official GMAT essay prompts. In so doing:

Always practice under timed conditions. Unless you're put under the pressure of time, you really won’t be ready for the test.

Always use a word processor for your practice tests. Be sure to use only the GMAT word processor's limited editing functions.

Evaluate your practice essays. Practicing isn’t all that helpful if you make the same blunders again and again. After composing an essay, evaluate and score it based on the official criteria. Then reflect on your weaknesses and concentrate on improving in those areas the next time. Don’t worry if you don’t produce perfect models. Concentrate instead on improving your performance next time.

Take Notes on a Variety of Official Essay Prompts

From the official GMAT website download the current list of Argument Analysis prompts. Select any 10-15 Arguments. For each one, spend about 5 minutes brainstorming and making notes. Even if none of the prompts you selected appears on your exam, this exercise will go a long way toward ensuring that you don't find yourself paralyzed, or stuck, during the actual exam.

My book GMAT—Answers to the Real Essay Questions (published by Peterson's) contains sample essays for more than a hundred GMAT Argument Analysis prompts. Randomly select from Part 3 as many essays as you reasonably have time to study. For each essay:

Identify the types of reasoning problems that the essay discusses and that you learned about in Part 1 of the book.

Highlight transition phrases, which connect the essay's points of critique. Then make a special effort to incorporate similar phrases into your practice essays.

CAVEAT: Don’t try to memorize the book's sample essays. GMAT readers are familiar with the book and will recognize plagiarism when they see it. There’s nothing wrong with borrowing ideas, reasons and transition phrases from the book's sample essays. Do try, however, to include your own specific examples. And be sure to express your ideas in your own words.

If your analytical-writing skills need significant improvement, further help is available in my book Writing Skills for the GRE-GMAT (also published by Peterson's). The book places special emphasis on building rhetorical writing skills, organizing your GMAT essay, and avoiding or correcting common language, grammar and mechanical problems.

The book also explores additional (less frequent) reasoning problems with Arguments in the official pool. Finally, to help improve and polish your analytic and writing skills, the book contains a variety of reinforcement exercises for the Argument Analysis writing task.
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New post 07 May 2016, 10:54
I got perfect score on AWA thanks to chineseburned!!!!
really incredible post!!! :)
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New post 21 Jul 2016, 09:16
*just hypothesizing*
Guys, don't you think that adcom could penalise for such "tricks" if they check out one's essay? Say a bunch of people applying to HBS; clearly, the majority took a look on this topic/forum. Then there is a high probability this applicants would follow the same template. So HBS would see a lot of similar essays, and that's not good IMO.
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New post 09 Feb 2017, 01:07
Hello everyone, this is a great guide! From my personal experience, I realized that you could take what he said as a rough outline, since it's way more than enough to draft the argument essay. I created a powerpoint that acted as a more generalized guide, but it is still thanks to Chinese Burned. It's for those who prefer it in a powerpoint format.
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New post 27 Mar 2017, 23:25
Is the AWA scored by computer or by a live person? If it is done by computer, does anyone have any insight on how the algorithm evaluates the overall strength of the writing? Thanks.
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New post 28 Mar 2017, 10:12
mrkirby131 wrote:
Is the AWA scored by computer or by a live person? If it is done by computer, does anyone have any insight on how the algorithm evaluates the overall strength of the writing? Thanks.


How AWA Scaled Scores are Calculated

In three steps, here's how your AWA score is determined:
Your essay is evaluated and scored independently on a 0-6 scale (in full-point increments) by a GMAT reader and by E-Rater.
If E-Rater's score is within 1 point of the human reader's score, then your final AWA score is the simple average of these two scores. (AWA scores are in half-point intervals.)
If E-Rater's score differs from the human reader's score by more than 1 point, then a second, very experienced reader will read and grade the essay, and your final AWA score will be the simple average of the scores awarded by the two human readers. (E-Rater's score will be disregarded.)

Example: E-rater assigns a score of 3 to an essay. A GMAT reader assigns a score of 4 to the same essay. Since the difference is within 1 point, the final AWA score for the essay is 3.5 (on the 0-6 scale).

Example: E-rater assigns a score of 3 to an essay. A GMAT reader assigns a score of 5 to the same essay. (The difference is greater than 1 point.) A second human reader reads the essay and assigns a score of 4 to it. The final AWA score is 4.5 (the average of 4 and 5).


Your AWA Percentile Rank
In addition to your AWA scaled score of 0–6, you'll receive an AWA percentile rank (0% to 99%) for your writing. This rank indicates how you performed relative to all other test takers. For example, a percentile rank of 60% indicates that you scored higher than 60% of all other test takers and lower than 40% of all other test takers.

NOTE: Percentile rankings indicate how you performed relative to the entire GMAT test-taking population during the most recent 3-year period.
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New post 29 Mar 2017, 10:40
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I got a 6.0, thanks to the original author!!!!!!!!!!!

My tips, memorize the non-specific phrases he's using here. As soon as I sat down I wrote these on the whiteboard scratch pad they give you. The format the author here posts is perfect too.

Example:

Paragraph 1:
- The argument claims that
- fails to mention several key factors
-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.

Paragraph 2: (argue against an assumed point)
- First, the argument readily assumes that
- The argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that

Paragraph 3: (argue against another assumed point)
- Second, the argument claims that
- This is again a very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between....and
- If the argument had provided evidence that.....then the argument would have been a lot more convincing.

Paragraph 4: (include things that the argument should have included)
- (pose some - two is fine - 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. (rewrite to be less wordy though, I can tell the author's native language isn't English here).

Paragraph 5: (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
- Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate. (I liked this as a final line).


So yeah, you still have to include an actual argument against - thing that are specific to the argument, but I found this outline, and the use of these phrases made it much easier to focus on the argument specifics that I wanted to include, and made my essay well formatted. I didn't expect a 6.0, but got it.

SUPER PROPS TO THIS BLOG!!!!! I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE, AND YOU WROTE THIS YEARS AGO, BUT I MAJOR CREDIT FOR HELPING ME ACE THIS ESSAY. THANKS A BUNCH!
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New post 05 Aug 2017, 06:18
This still works. I never wrote a full AWA essay or even created an outline before taking the real test. I typed out the template once everyday for 7 days straight right before the test. I also typed (copied) out sample essays previously written by others using different keyboards to get used to typing on different keyboards.

I got a 6.0 on the actual test. YMMV
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New post 24 Aug 2017, 12:04
THIS STILL WORKS.

Got a 6.0 on my AWA. God bless the creator of this template!


chineseburned wrote:
Guide to Perfect 6.0 AWA GMAT Score

Related AWA Resources:


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!

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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA on GMAT ....my guide  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2018, 10:40
Thanks for the template, I studied just 1 day and got 5 on AWA. Everybody who can't allocate much time on AWA must visit here..
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New post 12 Sep 2018, 02:12
Thank you very much it's works ! really works!
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New post 24 Jan 2019, 10:38
Exactly What I needed Thanks!!!
very appreciate your effort for this topic
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New post 04 Feb 2019, 08:24
Hello all...I am new to GMAT and started preparing for it. Could you please suggest if there is any word limit for the AWA in GMAT? What is the good word limit for AWA? Thanks in advance.
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New post 25 Feb 2019, 03:30
'Magic Hat brewery recently released the results of a survey of visitors to its tasting room last year.Magic Hat reports that the majority of visitors asked to taste its low calorie beers. To boost sales, other small brewery should brew low calorie beers as well'.

Here goes my essay:

The argument that small breweries should brew low calorie beer to boost their sale based on the survey conducted last year by Magic Hat Brewery omits some important concerns that must be addressed to substantiate the argument.The statement that follows that all small breweries will gain by brewing low calorie beer based on solely one survey does not constitute a logical argument.The author draws a weak analogy between the Magic Hat brewery and the small breweries and assumes that because their products are same they are same in all aspects.

First, the author readily assumes that small breweries have same quality of brewing machines as Magic Hat brewery. If the quality of machines are not as par with the Magic Hat Brewery, small brewery would not be able to produce good quality low calorie beer and therefore would not meet customers expectation. In addition to this, argument does not mention anything about the costs involved in installation of these brewing machines and the costs involved to source special ingredients required to produce this beer which could increase the production costs and hence the selling price. As a result it would be difficult for small brewery to sell this beer.

Second, the claim that low calorie beer will be profitable for even small breweries is weak and unsupported because of lack of evidence.The argument does not give any details about the target audience and the location of the breweries. For instance, Magic Hat is located in the downtown and caters to the elite class who prefer low calorie beer and are health conscious, while small breweries are located in suburbs and cater to middle class audience who like regular beer.

Finally, the argument fails to cite any statistical evidence of the taste preference of people surveyed :which could have changed over a period of year; gender and age group of the beer tasters; and the sample size. This sample size of the survey must be representative of the overall beer drinkers and should be relevant to make any recommendation.

In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. The argument can be considerably strengthened if the author had explicitly mentioned the location, sample size, revenues and average size of the breweries mentioned in the argument.It is essential to have full knowledge of all the contributing factors before makeing any recommendation particularly in this case. Without this informationthe argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate
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New post 08 Mar 2019, 22:22
Hi, as per the example by chineseburned , we don't have to use a lot of commas in our essay (to separate clauses, to indicate modifiers, etc.) so should I follow this strategy of avoiding commas in parts in which they are not absolutely necessary or should I use commas like the sentence correction questions on the GMAT at the cost of making things more complicated for me? bb GMATNinja
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New post 09 Mar 2019, 14:20
Thanks for sharing such an awesome template and post , I have only read two days AWA using this thread and I got 5.5 in AWA. I am quite satisfied with my score there.
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New post 24 Apr 2019, 14:46
This legit works, got a 6.0 on AWA and did not study for it outside of writing a couple of practice essays using this template!!
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New post 08 May 2019, 19:45
This is my first ever attempt with AWA. Can expert please help me assess what score can I possibly expect with this attempt? chineseburned GMATNinja

The following paragraph recently appeared in an editorial printed in the opinion section of a local newspaper:

The recent surge in violence in the southern part of the city is a result of a shortage of police officers and an absence of leadership on the part of the city council. In order to rectify the burgeoning growth of crime that threatens the community, the city council must address this issue seriously. Instead of spending time on peripheral issues such as education quality, community vitality, and job opportunity, the city council must realize that the crime issue is serious and double the police force, even if this action requires budget cuts from other city programs.

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and use the evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refuse the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.

The argument states that the recent surge in violence in a part of the city was a result of shortage of police officers and absence of leadership role from city council, hence requiring a serious address by doubling the police force despite this resulting in budget cuts in other programs like education quality, community vitality, and job opportunity. This argument fails to provide any evidence on the actual number of police forces available in the city as against the required numbers and also vaguely states that the city council failed on its leadership. Further it does not show any evidence on the chances of success and also assumes that putting resources in one sector at the cost of others will not create other sorts of problems. Hence, this argument is flawed and can be strengthened.

First, the argument states that the recent growth in crimes were caused primarily because of absence of leadership role from the city council without mentioning what were the part of responsibilities and where did the city council lack thereof. Further, it also presents the shortage of police officers as the cause of the event, however, failing to show how many police officers are actually present in the part of city in question and is that number less in relation to certain parameter. Without the evidence the argument is merely a strong subjective opinion against the council and the police force.

Secondly, the argument strongly claims that doubling the police force at the cost of other programs like education quality, community vitality and job opportunity will not disrupt those aspects of the city thus requiring no policing. In many other times ignoring a sector of a community has led to chaos and creating other types of violence that also requires police force to control it. It clearly assumes that simply drawing budget off these sectors will leave these sectors without any negative consequences. This leap of faith makes the argument weaker and could have been strengthened if only the author had prescribed a length of time for budget channeling to increase police force, and mentioned the status of the health of those sectors thus pointing that they would remain unaffected despite budget cuts.

Third, the strong expectation of positive results by doubling the police force is an assumption without any evidence and hence is a stretch. The argument fails to first mention the nature of crime and show if those types of crimes actually needed police efforts. For example, domestic violence as a result of alcohol abuse could rather be effectively addressed by controlling the supply of alcohol in the city, community-based family counselling with a moderate police force. Any parallel example of other cities or places where merely increasing the number of police for that nature of crime has had a positive result in curbing the crime effectively would have made the argument effective. In the absence of this, the conclusion seems to be a strong leap.

In conclusion, the argument by failing to state the nature of crime and evidence of success potential of the efforts, and also assuming that the effort would not have any retaliation from other sectors whose budget is in question, gives an unsubstantiated conclusion based on weak evidence. The evidence mentioned above could have been used to further make the argument stronger.
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New post 16 Jul 2019, 22:43
This is an amazing guide, thanks so much. I'll be taking the GMAT soon and I'm very happy to have found this template.

Just one comment on the actual essay below the template, though - aren't movie ratings not self-reported? In the United States at least, they're rated by the Classification and Ratings Administration, a division of the MPAA (I'd post a source link but I'm too new, you should look it up).

This would make the reference to the movie rating system in the article a little more self-consistent: movie ratings are similar to electronic games ratings (an assumption) -> movie ratings are not self-reported -> movie ratings seem to be getting the job done (another assumption) -> electronic games should adopt a model more like that of movie ratings in order to be more effective. While the line of reasoning still relies on too many assumptions to be convincing, at least one assumption differs from an assumption highlighted in the example essay.

Would the discrepancy between reality and the essay's claims affect the essay score at all?
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Re: How to get 6.0 AWA on GMAT ....my guide   [#permalink] 16 Jul 2019, 22:43

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