How important are the IR Section and AWA Section in the GMAT exam?


We all know that the two sections do not count towards your final score of 200-800. Some of you work hard on them, others skip the sections whatsoever considering them unimportant. So, what is their real value?




How Important is the AWA Section?


Although you may think that the main goal of the Analytical Writing Assessment Section is to evaluate your writing skills, its real value is far beyond that. Since this section is the only place in the GMAT where you can convey your ideas in your own way, it sets as its main goal the evaluation of your critical thinking and persuasion skills. Because both study and business environments will require a lot of public speaking as well as business correspondence, admissions committees want to see how effective your communication is. 




How High Should I Score for the AWA Section?


Your essay will be rated 0-6 with half-point intervals. The score of 4.0 is considered sufficient by most schools. If you score lower, admissions committees may start wondering about the reason. 




How Important Is IR Section?


The Integrated Reasoning Section is younger than the AWA Section. Nevertheless, it is at least as important. IR and Math tasks have much in common, so a significant mismatch between the two sections will be a warning for admissions committees. Additionally, some schools require a certain minimum for the section, especially those providing education in the IT field. 




To Sum Up


All said, the two discussed sections are quite important and should not be disregarded by test takers. Even if you are not sure whether you need them, just place them after the Math and Verbal Sections when doing the real test so that you know you do not waste your energy on them from the very start and then complete your IR and AWA as well as you can. 


Good luck!

by Tory Dove


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