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I took the GMAT twice and scored 6.0 each time. I did put a lot of time in it the first time....too much actually. Being a non-native speaker and having not written a damn essay (of any kind) in many many years, I was very scared of the AWA. So, I went through every guide that I could find and wrote nearly 25-30 essays. Even had a friend grade them for me.....Pathetic, huh?
Anyway, for my second time, I just looked over my templates I created and wrote one of each the day before test just to refresh my memory on faster typing without making too many typos......
So, here it is....Enjoy, and please do not blame me if the 6.0 percentile goes down to 80 soon
AWA GUIDEby Chineseburned
1. General Structure
Intro - Restate argument, point out flaws or state intention to discuss them below
1st Para - First,...
2nd Para - Second/In addition,...
3rd Para - Third/Finally,...
Conclusion - The argument is flawed/weak/unconvincing because of the above -mentioned...Ultimately, the argument can be strengthened if/by...
2. Structural Word (should be all over the essays)
- Supporting examples - for example, to illustrate, for instance, because, specifically
- Additional support - furthermore, in addition, similarly, just as, also, as a result, moreover
- Importance - surely, truly, undoubtedly, clearly, in fact, most importantly
- Contrast - on the contrary, yet, despite, rather, instead, however, although, while
- Decide against - one cannot deny that, it could be argued that, granted, admittedly
- Ying-yang - on the one hand/on the other hand
- Concluding - therefore, in summary, consequently, hence, in conclusion, ultimately, in closing
The argument claims that ....(restate)
Stated in this way the argument:
a) manipulates facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation
b) reveals examples of leap of faith, poor reasoning and ill-defined terminology
c) fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated
The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak/unconvincing and has several flaws.
First, the argument readily assumes that......
This statement is a stretch....
The argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that...
Second, the argument claims that....
This is again a very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between....and...
In fact, it is not at all clear...rather....
If the argument had provided evidence that.....then the argument would have been a lot more convincing.
(pose some questions for the argument).....Without convincing answers to these questions, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence.
In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above-mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts....
In order to assess the merits of a certain situation/decision, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors. In this particular case....
Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.
4. Going from the templates to full-fledged essays
The following appeared in the editorial section of a national news magazine:[/b]
"The rating system for electronic games is similar to the movie rating system in that it provides consumers with a quick reference so that they can determine if the subject matter and contents are appropriate. This electronic game rating system is not working because it is self regulated and the fines for violating the rating system are nominal. As a result an independent body should oversee the game industry and companies that knowingly violate the rating system should be prohibited from releasing a game for two years."
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument's logic and analyze the argument's underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument's conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.
The argument claims that the electronic games rating system, although similar to the movie rating system, is not working because it is self regulated and violation fines are nominal, Hence, the gaming rating system should be overseen by an independent body. Stated in this way the argument fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion relies on assumptions, for which there is no clear evidence. Therefore, the argument is rather weak, unconvincing, and has several flaws.
First, the argument readily assumes that because the electronic game rating system is self regulated, it is not working well. This statement is a stretch and not substantiated in any way. There are numerous examples in other areas of business or commerce, where the entities are self regulated and rather successful. For instance, FIA, the Formula1 racing organization is self regulated. Yet, the sport is very popular and successful, drawing millions of spectators around the world each year. Tickets are rather expensive, races are shown on pay-per-view, and nearly all drivers are paid very well. Another example is the paralleled movie rating system that the argument mentions. The author fails to clarify whether it is working well, but it is clear that the movie rating system is pretty well received by people, who often base their decisions to go see a movie with kids or not on the movie rating. It has never been a case when someone would feel cheated by the movie rating and express disappointment afterwards. Since the movie rating system is also self regulated, it follows that this regulatory method is working pretty well and it is not obvious how it can be the reason for the poor electronic game rating system. The argument would have been much clearer if it explicitly gave examples of how the self regulatory system led to bad ratings and customer dissatisfaction.
Second, the argument claims that any violation fees for bad electronic game ratings are nominal. It thus suggests that this is yet another reason for the rating system not working. This is again a very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between the monetary amount of the fines and the quality of the electronic game rating system. In fact, the argument does not even draw a parallel with the mentioned movie rating system and its violation fines. If any such correlation had been shown for the movie rating system, which supposedly works well, then the author would have sounded a bit more convincing. In addition, if the argument provided evidence that low violation fines lead to electronic game manufacturers to ignore any regulations with respect to the game rating system, the argument could have been strengthened even further.
Finally, the argument concludes that an independent body should oversee the game industry and companies that violate the rating system, should be punished. From this statement again, it is not at all clear how an independent regulatory body can do a better job than a self regulated one. Without supporting evidence and examples from other businesses where independent regulatory bodies have done a great job, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence. As a result, this conclusion has no legs to stand on.
In summary, the argument is flawed and therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts. In order to assess the merits of a certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors.
5. Final tips
- During the tutorial type in a few sentences in the mock essay window to get used to the keyboard.
- Again during the tutorial, jot down on your notebook the basic structure of your essays or the opening sentences in case you get too nervous and forget them when the clock starts ticking.
- Write as much as you can. Try to write at least 500 words per essay.
- Always have the e-rater in mind as your potential reviewer. Remember that the human rater will make every effort to grade just like the e-rater. In that sense, keep your structure and volume in mind over actual quality/content.
- Be careful of spelling mistakes. Double check words that you normally know you misspell (e.g. exercise). Try to finish 2-3 minutes before time is up so you can slowly re-read your essay for the purposes of spell checking. Do not reorganize/delete sentences/paragraphs with less than 2 min left.
- No matter how great you thought your essays went, try to stay humble and focused - remember this was just a warm-up and the real stuff hasn't started yet!
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Chinese Democracy is misunderstood...at your nearest BestBuy.
Best AWA guide here: http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html
Last edited by bb on 14 Nov 2017, 21:18, edited 10 times in total.
Added the template as image
I'm sorry guys -- I really didn't use a template for issue essays! I did those far more on the fly since those were more question-specific than argument essays.
I guess a general template would be
P1 - Intro and a thesis
P2 - Example 1 (usually in depth)
P3 - Example 2 (in depth)
P4 - Exploring the nuances of the question -- ie, why the opposing position is not entirely wrong. This shows I understand that the issue is not black and white.
P5 - Conclusion
I'm sorry, I really structured issues essays loosely and didn't go as in depth with them as I did with arguments. I've attached an issue essay below and hopefully that might help some of you guys? If you have specific questions let me know.
"Despite the convenience of distance learning and online educational programs, they will never replace in-class instruction."
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the position stated above. Support your viewpoint using reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
With an increasingly globalized world, and the advent of ever-improving technology that allows people to go as far as to project a holograph of themselves sitting in a chair in Tokyo from their office in San Jose, California, we are starting to reexamine the ways we structure learning. Gone are the days on the one-room schoolhouse, where all learning is completed between eight and three p.m. More and more often, schools are utilizing the significant technological tools that have been developed in order to redefine the way we teach and the way we learn. Indeed, we can now learn math from an online recorded voice while we sit on the couch in our pajamas. In the statement above, the author claims that though distance learning and online educational programs offer convenience, in-class instruction is irreplaceable. Though, distance learning and online educational tools can provide fantastic aids to traditional classroom learning and a great deal of benefit to certain students, as the author claims, they cannot entirely take the place of in-class instruction.
The main reason that distance learning cannot take the place of traditional in-class instruction is that the primary benefit that in-class instruction provides is spontaneity. Students can learn from the questions another student asks, which can make them realize that they do not understand a subject as well as they thought they did. In debates with other students surrounding, perhaps, the Cold War, students can learn from each other based on their give-and-take, something impossible to duplicate in online educational programs. Many programs through reputable universities, such as Johns Hopkins' CTY program or Stanford's EPGY program provide distance learning to secondary school students. In such programs, students complete assignments, email them back and forth with their teachers, receiving comments each time, learn primarily from books or prewritten tools, and only hear their teacher speak through phone or web based tools. Studies show that humans communicate over 90% of their emotion through body language, yet this interaction is nonexistent in distance learning. CTY students cannot see the imperceptible body shift or raised eyebrow that let them know they are moving off track. Because they can only communicate with other students (generally) through discussion boards or chat rooms, they are not as spontaneous in their student-to-student interaction. By writing down what they say, they have time to read it over, think about it, before posting it. In a typical classroom, however, students bounce ideas off each other, and often, the exchange of ideas is far more free than if they are given the chance to self-censor. Because distance learning lacks the spontaneity of conversation that in-person teaching provides, by definition, it cannot perform the exact same function.
Another issue with the replacement of in-class instruction with distance/online learning is that the two serve often drastically different populations. In-class instruction generally caters to students in a specific geographical area, whereas distance learning allows for interactions with students around the world. In-class instruction might utilize specific community examples such as a proposed city ordinance to teach a concept, while distance learning, by definition, must include more universal examples that are easily understood by people with a variety of backgrounds. This lack of personalization and tailoring of teaching to specific students makes distance learning fundamentally different than in-class instruction, and therefore, beneficial to different people. MIT recently launched an open courseware system where lecture notes, Power Point slides, essay questions, and assessments are provided to anyone with an Internet connection. Yet the act of attending MIT is substantially different than the act of using the courseware to take the same classes MIT students take. The students one would interact with at MIT are generally at the top of their high school classes, have been preselected by the university as able to do the work, whereas though the MIT courseware allows for online discussion of the material, any person can log in and utilize it - a significantly different population than the population that attends MIT. Because the two modes of teaching by definition must serve different populations, they cannot act (fully) as substitutes for one another.
Though distance/online learning may not replace in-class instruction, we cannot go so far to say it is not valuable or that a student cannot learn a great deal from them. Many colleges, particularly community colleges, have launched distance learning and online educational systems to better serve their largely commuter population. The student who takes, for example, Calculus I through distance learning will likely leave with a similar understanding of the mathematical principles as the student who takes Calculus I through a traditional, in-class teaching system. The key point, however, is that their experiences will not be the same. Distance learning/online education and in-class instructions provide substantially different experiences to the students (and teacher) involved, and different students will prefer different methods of course instruction. Distance learning has value, can teach a student a great deal, but not all students learn best in such an environment. Distance learning will never replace in-class instruction, since many students learn better through in-class instruction than through distance learning (and vice versa), but that is not to say it will not continue to expand and provide value for the students who utilize it.
In sum, distance learning and in class instruction provide different modes of learning, and neither can exist as a substitute for the other. Neither can replicate the other so completely as to say they are the same, and thus, neither can replace the other. While distance learning will likely to continue to expand, better serving populations that likely otherwise would not have access to the types of information the courses disseminate, in-class instruction will remain, primarily because it offers benefits that distance learning does not. Distance learning provides convenience and an ever wider net of people willing to be educated, but in-class instruction provides a spontaneity of interaction that distance learning cannot duplicate. Therefore, distance learning will never truly replace in-class instruction worldwide, though it will surely continue as a supplement to such instruction and beneficial program on its own merit.