Why the AWA and IR do matter

 In GMAT test

As you might have already read, the GMAT exam consists of four different sections: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative- and Verbal section. Your GMAT score (which ranges between 200 and 800) is based solemnly on the Quantitative- and Verbal section of the GMAT. Knowing this, you’d probably like to know why the AWA and IR do matter.

What is the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)? 

This is the first part of the GMAT exam. Here you are asked to write an essay, for which you get 30 minutes. In this essay you will need to analyse a given argument and write a critical response about the reasoning behind this given argument. This essay should start off with a short introduction, followed by a critique on the given argument and finally, a proper conclusion. So, to answer the question: What is the Analytical Writing Assessment? It is an essay assignment that measures your ability to think critically and how well you can communicate these thoughts. For this part of the GMAT exam you can score between zero and six points.

What is the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section?

The Integrated Reasoning section consists of four different question types. Here you are asked to interpret information from multiple sources, showed in different formats. So what is the Integrated Reasoning section? It’s a measurement of your ability to evaluate these various forms of information mentioned above. You will receive twelve questions that need to be answered within 30 minutes. This will lead to a score ranging between one and eight points.

Why the AWA and IR do matter 

There are institutions that only ask for a GMAT score when you apply for them. So, these will only look at the score you receive for the Quantitative- and Verbal section of the GMAT exam. But there also are institutions that do look at AWA or IR section. Maastricht University for instance sets a minimum required GMAT score of 550, combined with a minimum score of 4.0 for the AWA. Then there are the situations where you apply for a very prestigious master- or MBA-program. In these cases you probably need to stand out above other applicants. A way to achieve this, is by not only performing on the Quant- and Verbal section, but also on the AWA and IR section, which will lead to a well-balanced GMAT score.

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