The Analytical Writing measures your ability to think critically and the way you communicate your ideas. In this section you will have 30 minutes to complete the given essay. During each 30-minute Analytical writing session, you should spend the first five minutes outlining your argument and the remaining 25mins writing the essay.
Most test-takers are under the impression that in Analytical writing, GMAT requires you to write an essay and until some extent it is true because in this section you are asked to analyse the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument.
The Analytical writing score is based on Analysis of an Argument essay. But When you are given a normal essay with a given topic, you are supposed to take sides, in the sense that you express opinion either for the topic or against the topic. However, on GMAT, you are not supposed to be doing any of this.
Hence, Analytical writing is actually not an essay at all. In fact, it very closely mirrors a Critical Reasoning question. That’s the reason, it is actually called an Analysis of the Argument. Basically, an argument is given; like all Critical Reasoning arguments, the argument has a premise and a conclusion. What you’re supposed to do, is to find the gaps between the premise and the conclusion
You need to prove that the given idea does not necessarily lead to the conclusion in the most logical manner. For that there are you can point out that certain assumptions are needed for the argument to reach the conclusion. Plus, there are certain evidences that are currently missing. Hence the argument is weak. You can then add your own idea of evidences would have strengthened the conclusion.
The reason this is important to keep in mind, is because there is really no separate and dedicated practice needed to tackle the AW section on GMAT. During your preparation, the time that you dedicate towards Critical Reasoning, is also the time that you are spending towards AWA preparation.
While practicing for AW select a few topics from each type of AW essay and spend 5 minutes for each outlining your argument or analysis. If it’s an argument essay topic, what evidence would you offer to make your case? State a few examples to support your thesis. When you feel you’ve created a few solid outlines, write a couple essays. Make sure to spend no more than 25 minutes on each essay.
During the exam, you just need to put-in your Critical Reasoning analysis, in a structured format. There are many freely available templates on the net, that provide you with the basic framework, in which to fit in your Critical Reasoning analysis.
Try reading two-three templates online just a day before exam to get yourself acquainted with AW after practice. If you follow this format the chances of a good score will definitely increase.
1st Paragraph should include Introduction. Identify the argument in this paragraph and mention the points put forward by author to support/refute the argument. Also mention if you find the author’s point valid or not.
In 2nd and 3rd Paragraph explain your own points. For example, if you are refuting the argument, provide two strong points why and based on what reasoning you are doing the same. Be concise and precise. Don’t digress beyond the scope.
In 4th Paragraph Suggest ‘Remedies’ in this paragraph. It means, put forward some premises which could have made the author’s argument more valid and sensible.
5th Paragraph should contain Conclusion. Sum up the entire write-up.
If you go through all the points mentioned above and practice thoroughly using the described rules and methods, you are without any doubt going to score very well at Analytical writing, finally best of luck for your GMAT!