GMAT Analytical Writing Section

Student studying for the analytical writing section of the GMAT


For the Analytical Writing Assessment Section of the GMAT exam, test-takers must analyze an argument and write a critique that highlights and disproves the flawed reasoning behind the information. Your response will let scorers evaluate your critical thinking skills, as well as your ability to organize and communicate your ideas in writing.

"Analysis of an Argument"

Test takers have 30 minutes to compose an "Analysis of an Argument" essay and complete the GMAT writing section. In most cases, the argument that you must analyze and critique covers a business-related issue. However, GMAT writing prompts can focus on other general topics as well.

When completing the GMAT writing section, the goal is to deliver a thorough, organized analysis of the reasoning in the presented argument. As you present your findings, you should discuss the logical or informational flaws you find in the given text and provide evidence to support the claims you make.

How Is It Scored?

Completed GMAT Analytical Writing exams go through two separate evaluations during the scoring process. A trained human grader and a sophisticated computer grading program both score your ability to deconstruct and analyze a flawed argument. If there is a disparity between the human and algorithm scores, an additional human rater will review your essay and adjust the score if necessary.

During scoring, evaluators are assessing your ability to develop and present your own ideas clearly and concisely, as well as your understanding of standard written English.


Those who believe their GMAT writing scores require a second look can pay a fee and request rescoring within six months of the test date. Rescored results are final, regardless of whether they increase or decrease your original score.


Proper pacing is crucial when it comes to completing the GMAT writing test within the allotted time. You must be able to read the argument, plan your response, and deliver and review your analysis as thoroughly and quickly as possible.


Use the following GMAT Analytical Writing tips to help you finish this portion of the exam in a timely manner and receive a good score.

Build an Outline

After reading the prompt, take a few brief moments to jot down a short outline to develop and organize your thoughts. Include an introduction, your analysis of the argument's line of reasoning, the evidence that supports the claims you're making, and a conclusion.

Avoid Stating an Opinion

When taking the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment, some test-takers make the mistake of giving their own opinion or viewpoint on the presented argument. Remember that your objective is to evaluate the argument and provide clear, factual examples that prove why the argument is flawed or illogical.

Start with a Strong Thesis

Another mistake people make is making dubious statements in their essays. Your introduction must include a direct, specific conclusion about the given argument that provides a clear answer and sets the tone for the rest of the analysis.

Think Outside the Box

When reviewing the line of reasoning throughout the writing prompt, try to consider the writer's perspective and think about the assumptions that may have brought them to that conclusion. From there, you can use alternative explanations and counterexamples to point out flaws in their logic.

Review and Revise

Once you complete your essay, look back over your work to check for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. You can also review and rewrite any unclear or unfinished ideas before submitting the exam.

Analytical Writing Examples

Practicing with past GMAT writing prompts is a good way to prepare yourself for the exam. Incorporate sample arguments into your study process to learn how to pace yourself and organize your thoughts while writing. Check out our site for GMAT Analytical Writing examples to help you practice and boost your chances of getting a great score.

Study Resources

GMAT Test Prep Course

Test Section Overview

How to Study for the GMAT

GMAT Scoring