GMAT Analytical Writing General Testing Tips

The GMAT Analytical Writing section is specifically designed to evaluate an individual’s ability to analyze a particular subject and then convey that analysis in an essay. However, there are certain general considerations about the analytical section of the exam that an individual might want to keep in mind. First, it is important to realize that your essay will usually be read and scored by both an actual person and a computer program. This can be extremely important to consider because there are specific key characteristics that the program and the actual person are looking for, and if your essay doesn’t have them, you will most likely lose points. Some of the most important things that both the program and the individual reading your essay will look for include the structure of your sentences and paragraphs, your grammar, how many examples did you use and how effective were those examples, and the general flow of ideas within your essay. Basically, the best way to impress the program and the individual reading your essay is to start out with an introductory paragraph, have 2 – 4 paragraphs that offer examples and evidence to support your analysis, and a concluding paragraph that restates the main idea of your essay. Each of these paragraphs, and each idea within these paragraphs, should also link into the next idea or paragraph by using transition words and transitioning sentences.

Secondly, it is important to remember that you only have 30 minutes to write your essay so managing your time effectively is extremely important. This doesn’t mean that you should rush and just try to get down as much as you can, but rather that it might be wise for you to spend the first few minutes writing down some ideas of what you want to include in your essay and then just write the essay. If it looks like you are running low on time, try to move your essay towards a conclusion and write the concluding paragraph before your run out of time. Even if you didn’t have time to write every paragraph you wanted to include, you can still make the program and the individual reading the essay feel like you finished the essay by writing a concluding paragraph that fits what you wrote. Basically, your goal should not necessarily be to have the greatest quantity of examples, but rather to achieve the greatest overall quality of your essay within the time allowed.