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5 Pointers for MBA Applicants to Consider Before Taking the GRE Analytical Writing Assessment

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Are you planning to take the GRE in order to apply for business school?

So much of the test prep advice that MBA applicants get when it comes to the GMAT and the GRE focuses on the verbal and quantitative portions of the test. With good reason – those two sections form the main score, and are a large part of what admissions committees consider.

But that doesn’t mean that the Analytical Writing Assessment is unimportant, or that it should be ignored by students.

If you want to get into business school, you need to get at least a 4.0 on the AWA – preferably 5.0 for top business schools. After all, a 5.0 will put you in the 93rd percentile, a 4.5 puts you in the 78th percentile, and a 4.0 only gets you into the 54th percentile of all test-takers.

This week’s article will take a look at some pointers for MBA applicants to keep in mind when it comes to preparing for the Gre Analytical Writing Assessment.

5-Pointers-for-MBA-Applicants-to-Consider-Before-Taking-the-GRE-Analytical-Writing-Assessment

5 Quick Tips for GRE Writing Success

1. The GRE Analytical Writing Assessment asks you to write two types of 30-minute essays: analysis of an argument, and analysis of an issue. Complete topic pools for both Essay types have been published, so take a look at the options.

Look carefully at what question is actually being asked in the prompt. It’s easy to get caught up in the details, but you will be scored based only on your ability to address the question the prompt raises.

If the prompt asks you to “discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument”, then your essay should discuss the needed evidence – NOT your evaluation of the argument.

2. Make sure to go through the scoring guide and sample essays for both of the essay types. Having a clear sense of what essay graders are looking for will give you a better sense of direction as you’re planning your own response.

3. Remember all those times we’ve talked about needing to take a full-length practice test in order to tell whether you’re ready to take the GRE? Guess what – we meant that you had to take a FULL-LENGTH test, essays included.

The GRE always starts off with the AWA section. That means a full hour of focused writing and analysis, before you even touch your first quantitative or verbal question. Regardless of how confident you are in your writing skills, there’s a big difference in the mental game between starting your quantitative section fresh and starting it an hour into the test.

4. Don’t focus on getting a perfect score. You don’t even necessarily need to focus on perfect writing skills. The more important element to focus on is your ability to analyze and construct a logical argument. Not only is this more in line with what the graders will be looking for when they score your essay, it is also more in line with the kind of writing you will be doing in business school and beyond.

5. There is no spell check or grammar check available if you’re taking the computer-based version of the GRE. This makes it especially important to leave time to review and revise before submitting your essays, as most people are so accustomed to autocorrect and spell check catching their errors when writing on a computer.

Your Turn

The GRE Writing Assessment is also valuable because it helps admissions committees evaluate your MBA application essays. If you were unable to write an effective essay on test day, the committee may doubt that your application essays are an accurate reflection of your thought and skills.

If you’d like an honest, unbiased assessment of your b-school profile, why not sign up for a free MBA application assessment from EXPARTUS? Our experienced consultants will give you insight into how schools will view your application, and how you can improve it.

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