The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section will be the first task to complete on the GMAT test day. If you perform this task well, you will build confidence before moving on to the other sections.
This video provides useful details needed to understand the AWA section of the GMAT test. These are its essentials explained briefly:
Analysis of an Argument
In the AWA section you will have 30 minutes to write an essay called Analysis of an Argument. You will be presented with an argument and you will have to critique that argument within your essay. This task does not test specific subject knowledge; rather, it tests your ability to think analytically and communicate your ideas in a clear and effective manner.
The score for this section ranges from 0 to 6 and to determine the score your essay will be graded twice – once by a person and once by a computer program. The person is usually a college or university faculty member. They spend around three minutes reading and grading the essay holistically against a scoring guide that helps them rate the overall quality of ideas presented, the overall ability to organise, develop and express those ideas, the relevant supporting reasons and examples used, and the ability to control the elements of standard written English.
GMAT Scoring Guide
In holistic scoring the reader develops an overall impression of the quality of the essay by reading it once and then assigns a score accordingly.
The computer program that also scores your essay is called the IntelliMetric Essay Scoring System. It evaluates structural and linguistic features such as organisation of ideas and syntactic variety. The other essential task of the program is to check your essay for plagiarism.
Once your essay has been scored twice, the score will be determined by taking the average of the two scores. In cases where the two scores differ by more than one point, a second person will read the essay to settle the dispute.