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Components of a Successful GMAT Essay
A lot of prospective MBA students dread the GMAT essay. So many of us have spent years in school conditioned to straightforward questions and answers. The essay, also referred to as the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), is a 30-minute writing evaluation that business schools use to measure your writing skills. It can be difficult for some GMAT takers to switch from the analytical quantitative and qualitative questions over to "author" mode in a matter of minutes. Effective GMAT essay practice helps prepare for the transition so time is used efficiently. Here are a few components of a successful GMAT essay that will help get you over the hump and into a great score.
Pay Attention to Structure
One of the biggest mistakes that writers make in the GMAT essay is ignoring proper essay structure. It sounds basic, but so many people fail to form a good essay. Essays need to be clearly structured into an introduction, body or content paragraphs, and then a conclusion. Structure helps prevent the essay from sounding like the author’s rambling. It also helps readers flow through the story and make reading it easier. If GMAT essay practice helps readers do one thing, it should be to form a proper essay. It will help you get all of your ideas down when test time comes.
Don’t Stray Too Much from the Norm
Even though some students feel like they really need to stick out to get noticed, GMAT essay practice should teach you that there are some norms you have to respect. Keep in mind that the essays are graded by computers, so putting that inspirational poem in the middle of your essay may not even matter. It’s all about sticking to points, writing in active voice, no run-ons, and composing a succinct essay. Style and structure reign.
GMAT Essay Practice is Essential
Just because the essay is more free-form than other portions of the test doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dedicate as much time to it. A lot of people, especially those who have left school for a couple years, aren’t used to writing essays. Regular practice gets you back in the habit of what makes a good essay. Study programs should have exercises students can do to get their writing back on track for a great GMAT score.
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