Every section of the GMAT exam is very well thought out and serves a specific purpose. The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section of the exam helps to measure the test takers' abilities to think critically, demonstrate clear thought and reasoning through written expression, and communicate their arguments.
The aforementioned abilities are critical in graduate management education and that is why the Analytical Writing Assessment section of the GMAT exam provides an opportunity for graduate programs to evaluate your abilities in this area.
As of 2017, test takers can choose the order of the sections within the GMAT, which means it is not compulsory to begin with the AWA section anymore. During this part, the test taker is given a written statement with supporting arguments. The test taker is required to analyze the reasoning of the given argument and present in writing their critical analysis of the flaws of the argument. The test taker has 30 minutes to work on the AWA section.
The scoring of the AWA section is on a 0-6 scale. The written work of the test taker is scored by a human reader and by a computer software. The readers are college and university faculty members from various subject matter areas and they will look at the overall quality of your thinking and writing. In case the scores of the human and the computer differ significantly, the written work of the test taker is sent to a second expert for final evaluation.