Strategies for GMAT AWA :
Analysis of Issue in GMAT AWA
Analysis of Issue
The 'Analysis of Issue' question in the GMAT AWA test
assesses your ability to express thoughts clearly in writing. The 30-minute
task requires you to think critically on a topic that briefly
states an opinion / view on an issue of broad interest.
You are given only one 'Issue' topic.
Your task is to
plan and compose an effective, well-reasoned essay that presents any
perspective(s) you desire on the selected topic. You may choose to accept,
reject or qualify the claim briefly quoted in the topic.
Take a few minutes at the start to think about the issue and plan your
perspective. Similarly, take a few minutes at the end to review your
essay and make necessary revisions.
Syvum's AAA Strategy to Author an Issue Essay
To author your essay, Syvum suggests the AAA Strategy consisting of three
- Assemble : The first step is to assemble your ideas in
the form of brief points after carefully reading the claim made in the
topic and understanding the issue involved. You may agree completely with
the claim, agree partially or disagree absolutely.
Think briefly first about your own experiences and observations, and then about other studies and readings.
After deciding whether
you wish to accept, reject or qualify the claim, generate reasons,
evidence and examples by examining the claim from different standpoints,
conditions and situations.
You may define or
qualify some terms in the topic, question some assumptions, show validity only
under certain conditions, and present several relevant examples or a single
extended example. The examples may be real or hypothetical.
Although you have considerable freedom in the way you
wish to respond (because there is no correct answer or proper position),
always address the central issue and articulate a persuasive argument to
support your own position on an issue.
- Arrange : The second step is to arrange your ideas in a
logical manner to provide a smooth flow of thought. You may serially
number the assembled points for this purpose on scratch (rough) paper.
You have complete freedom to develop and organize your essay in
terms of content and form in any way you consider appropriate and
effective. For example, you could start by briefly summarizing your
position and then arguing the main points explicitly and in detail.
Another possibility is to lead the reader logically to your position
by describing a scenario, defining important terms in the topic, or raising
a series of questions.
- Author : The third and final step is to author your
essay to provide a compelling case for the position you take. Here,
it is important to pay attention to effective choice of words, fluency
of language, cogency of ideas and clarity in communication. The number
of examples or the number of paragraphs is relatively unimportant.
Note that it is not
the position you take that matters, but the skill you display in developing
your position. To explore the complexity of an issue and fully develop
the relevant ideas, develop answers to the following questions:
- What is the central issue?
- Do you agree completely, partially, or not at all with the claim?
- Does the claim hold only in particular situations?
- Are there any terms or concepts in the topic that need interpretation?
- What assumptions are built into the claim? Are the assumptions reasonable?
- What persuasive reasons support the position you are taking?
- What single example or multiple examples provide strong evidence
for the reasons?
- Last but not the least, what reasons would others who might not agree
with your position give and how would you acknowledge or defend those
Reserve a few minutes at the end to review the essay for
obvious errors and for the final polishing act.
PRACTICE IS VITAL !
Practise with as many topics from the published pool
of topics by taking a position and jotting down relevant points.
The Syvum AWA Issue Topics Preparation Material
contains FOR (in favor of) and AGAINST (not in favor of) points
on various topics that will help you discuss the extent to which you
agree or disagree with the opinion stated. The points will assist you
hone your critical thinking and
persuasive writing skills to maximize your score on the GMAT.
For a few essays, write a full essay developing your position within the
30-minute time limit.
Make sure you practise typing out essays on a computer
terminal under timed conditions. You have no automatic spell check options
available, so avoid spelling mistakes.
It may be beneficial to trade points on the same
topic with other students and discuss one another's essays using
Syvum's Discussion Boards. Further, it may be fruitful to see how
each essay meets or misses the criteria for each score point in the scoring
guide and determine areas of weakness for improvement.
Also, review the tutorials for the word processor and testing tools.