Posted By: 28 May 2022
All about the awa section in GRE
The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section tests a test taker’s ability to think critically and write about a given topic analytically. You need to articulate complex ideas and then construct arguments which showcase a focused and coherent discussion on the topic given but it will not require any specific knowledge of any particular subject or field of study. Below are a few pointers that will help in gaining a deep insight into the section:
What does the AWA Section have?
The AWA Section consists of 2 tasks, an “Issue “task and an “Argument” task. The Issue task asks us about our opinion on a topic of general interest whereas the Argument task requires us to evaluate a given argument so as to check the logical soundness of the argument rather than taking any sides. The two tasks complement each other as in one we have to make our own case whereas in the other we need to evaluate someone else’s claims and assumptions that are given.
What is the AWA Section measuring?
Issue task on the AWA Section tests your ability construct and develop our own arguments and then give supporting examples for the same and the Argument Task will ask us to check the soundness of the argument and point out any unwarranted assumptions that are made. So we need to be able to express our thoughts in the form of a focused discussion that is a coherent read. The responses should be structured, logically sound and competent. The AWA is testing your skill to analyse and structure proper responses and not your subject knowledge.
How is the AWA Section scored?
How much time do we get for AWA?
The AWA section is of a total of 1 hour with 30 minutes dedicated for each task individually i.e. 30 minutes for the Issue task and 30 minutes for the Argument Task. This section will always be the first section of your exam, so make sure that you have plenty of energy and concentration left for the upcoming Quant and Verbal sections. The 30 minutes provided for each task have to be mindfully divided into reading the topic, writing the response and revising the essay so as to avoid any silly mistakes like spelling or grammatical errors. Effectively we get about 20-22 minutes to type the essay; accordingly, practise is required to build our stamina for the same.
What is a good AWA Essay Score?
There is no score as a good score or a bad score, but looking at data collected by the ETS, the body that conducts the GRE exam, most of the test takers are able to score above 3.5, about 60% of them but only about 10% of them are able to score about a 5. Thus it is safe to say that scoring around a 4 to 4.5 is doable on the GRE and at the same time such a score will cross the cut-off for almost all foreign colleges and universities. The cut-offs might be different for different courses offered at various universities but it’s rarely more than 4, and if it is there it will be for very specific courses. So with proper direction and thought process getting a good score on the GRE AWA is not tough.
Why is the AWA Section present in the GRE?
Last but not the least, the AWA section is an important parameter for the selection of your application and a crucial part of your GRE exam as it is proof that you are capable of thinking critically, writing well with proper logic and structuring and thus express yourself effectively in words. The skills that you’ll be developing for AWA will not only help in scoring good in the exam but also help you in your upcoming college life where you’ll be expected to write a lot of papers, and assignments, do a lot of research and submit many reports. All in all the skills honed by preparing for the AWA Section will not only be an asset throughout college life but also after.