The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) of the GMAT® is designed as a direct measure of your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas.
The AWA consists of two 30-minute writing tasks—Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument.
The issues and arguments presented on the test concern topics of general interest related to business or a variety of other subjects. A specific knowledge of the essay topic is not necessary; only your capacity to write analytically is assessed.
Analysis of an Issue
For the Analysis of an Issue section, you will need to analyze the issue presented and explain your point of view on the subject. There is no correct answer. Instead, you should consider various perspectives. Use relevant reasons or examples drawn from your experience, observations, or reading to develop your own position on the issue.
What Is Measured
The Analysis of an Issue tests your ability to explore the complexities of an issue or opinion and, if appropriate, to take a position that is informed by your understanding.
For an example of this type of question and directions for answering, go to the Sample Analysis of an Issue Question.
Analysis of an Argument
For the Analysis of an Argument section, you will need to analyze the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument. You are not being asked to present your own views on the subject.
Consider the following when developing your essay:
- What questionable assumptions underlie the thinking behind the argument?
- What alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion?
- What sort of evidence could help strengthen or refute the argument?
What Is Measured
The Analysis of an Argument section tests your ability to formulate an appropriate and constructive critique of a specific conclusion based on a specific line of thinking.
For an example of this type of question and directions for answering, go to the Sample Analysis of an Argument Question.
Current Analytical Writing Assessment Topics
You may download the complete list of current Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Analysis of an Argument Topics and Analysis of an Issue Topics used during the administration of the GMAT exam.
For information on the ownership of essays and scores please see Canceling Your Scores.
AWA Rescoring Service
Independent readers will rescore your essays for a fee of US$45. The multiple-choice Quantitative and Verbal sections of the test cannot be rescored.
Requests for rescoring must be made within six (6) months of your test date. A request received after six (6) months will not be honored.
Rescoring may result in increases or decreases in your original AWA score. The rescoring results are final whether there is an increase or decrease. Revised results will be sent to you and to the graduate management programs you designated as score recipients approximately 20 days after your request is received. Once your rescoring request has been processed the fee will not be refunded.
How to Request Rescoring
You may request this service by sending a request to GMAT Customer Service.
Contact Customer Service
If you have questions about the AWA or the AWA Rescoring Service, please contact GMAT Customer Service in your region.