Everything you need to know about GMAT – Analytical Writing Assessment (III)

July 29, 2011

Writing Assessment for GMAT

The essays for GMAT are 30 minutes each.

What you need to remember is: Nobody cares what your opinion really is. Be superficial.

Tips & tricks:

  • When an entire paragraph contradicts with another use expressions like: on the one hand/on the other hand, the traditional view/the new view.
  • When you support the main idea use: for example, to illustrate, for instance, because.
  • When you use a second argument to support the main idea: furthermore, in addition, similarly, just as, also, moreover.
  • The most important idea that you write must be introduced by one of the following words: surely, truly, undoubtedly, clearly, certainly, indeed, as a matter of fact, in fact, most important.
  • The conclusion starts with: therefore, in summary, consequently, hence, in conclusion, in short.
  • When you talk about the opinion that you argue against, start with: admittedly, certainly, obviously, undoubtedly, one cannot deny that, true, granted, of course, to be sure, it could be argued that.

Analysis of an argument for GMAT

Before starting to write, at the analysis of an argument essay for GMAT, you must read the text carefully and identify the assumptions.


  1. Write the argument (copy/paste) and point the three weak points you identified.
  2. Write the first weak point and write one reason ore more reasons why it is not true.
  3. Write the second weak point and write one reason ore more reasons why it is not true.
  4. Write the third weak point and write one reason ore more reasons why it is not true.
  5. Write again the three weak points and say that because of those the argument is not “entirely logically persuasive”.

As an example:

  1. The argument that … is based on … but omits certain important concerns that must be addressed to make this argument logically persuasive. The declaration that follows the explanation of what … simply explain …. This alone does not support the main argument.
  2. First the argument assumes that … But …
  3. Second the argument never concentrates on … Although …
  4. Finally, the argument also does not deal with … However …
  5. Thus the argument is not completely persuasive. The argument would have been more comprehensive and compelling if …


Analysis of an issue for GMAT – they look for good organization, good supporting examples and reasonable use of the English language.

  1. Read the topic.
  2. Decide the general position you are going to take – you need to take a stand on the issue.
  3. Brainstorm. Come up with a bunch of supporting ideas or examples. It helps to write these down on a piece of scratch paper. These supporting statements are supposed to help persuade the reader that your main thesis is correct.
  4. Look over your supporting ideas and throw out the weakest ones. There should be three to five left.
  5. Write the essay on the screen.
  6. Read over the essay and do some editing. The GMAT readers will not take away points for spelling or grammatical mistakes, but you want your organization to be as well-reasoned as possible.

As an example::

  1. 1st paragraph: State both sides of the argument briefly before announcing what side you are on.
  2. 2nd paragraph: Support your argument.
  3. 3rd paragraph: Further support.
  4. 4th paragraph: Further support.
  5. 5th paragraph: Conclusion.
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