GMAT consists of four sections — analytical writing assessment, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and integrated reasoning. However, in this article we will take a look at only two sections — the AWA (analytical writing) and Quant (quantitative) sections of the GMAT exam. So let’s begin with the AWA section.
The GMAT AWA section has a scoring range of 0 to 6. It consists of an Analysis of an Argument question and you are allotted a time period of 30 minutes to write the essay. You are presented with an argumentative essay that you have to evaluate, critically analyse and write a response. The main objective of this section is to check your comprehension skills and your ability to communicate your thoughts and ideas clearly.
Some effective strategies which you can use for preparing for the AWA exam are listed as follows:
- Use the GMAT Write, a very useful and effective tool offered by the GMAC (the creators of the GMAT exam) that costs US $29.99. You gain access to two unique essay prompts and also get the opportunity to write four essays as well. The unique feature of this tool is that it uses the same scoring algorithm that is used in the official GMAT exam. This way you get an idea about what score your essay is likely to receive. You also gain insights on how to improve your essay and make it better.
- Since the topics given in this essay can be from any niche, it is recommended that you are prepared for the same. You are not assessed on your knowledge of the topic. Your writing abilities, critical thinking skills and your competence to communicate your ideas in a clear and concise manner is evaluated.
- It is expected that you have a good vocabulary to be able to obtain a good score in the GMAT AWA. Make sure that you spend adequate time to improve your vocabulary skills.
- The scoring for the AWA is done in 2 parts — first by an electronic automated scoring bot. It essentially scans the essay while checking for any linguistic mistakes that include grammatical errors, spell check, how well the ideas are organized, topical analysis and more. Next an experienced and trained human assessor analyses the essay for any discrepancies. Once your essay goes through both the rounds of assessment, you receive a final score.
Now let’s talk about one of the most important sections of the GMAT exam — the GMAT Quant section. The Quant Reasoning section is considered to be one of the most important topics of the GMAT exam. It measures your ability to reason mathematically, interpret graphic data and solve quantitative problems. There are two types of questions in this section:
- Data Sufficiency – The question is presented along with two statements and you need to determine if the data is sufficient to answer the question asked.
- Problem Solving – You need to solve the question and choose the solution from the five options given.
The GMAT Quant syllabus comprises the following: Real numbers, Fractions, Integers, Numbers, Percentages, Ratio and proportion, Averages, Decimals, Roots and Power, Probability, Sets, Permutation and Combination, Statistics, Algebra, Lines, Geometry — Triangles, Polygons, Quadrilaterals, Circles; Word problems.
Some of strategies for the Quant section are as follows:
- Don’t make any assumptions for questions where all the values are not mentioned (especially the geometry questions). Also check if the question allows you to substitute only a single value or a range of values.
- Read every question thoroughly and make sure you don’t miss out on any basic information given in the problem.
- Write down the steps for problem solving to avoid basic errors.
- Go through all your answer options carefully before you proceed to select the correct answer.
- Keep an eye on the time left for the section so that you are able to complete all the questions within the given time limit.
We hope this article answered your questions about the GMAT AWA and Quant sections.