How important are the AWA and IR Sections of the GMAT?

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Students preparing for the GMAT are uncertain about the importance of the AWA and IR Sections of the test and many just ignore them because these scores are not incorporated into the 800 score that all schools quote in their admission requirements list. Test aspirants start preparation with this uncertainty about the relevance of AWA and IR and often finish the prep as , or more, oblivious.

While getting ready for the GMAT it is prudent to give the AWA and the IR sections a thorough preparation routine and to practice them in the mock tests. The benefits of this focus go a long way.

I can think of one really important reason for working on the AWA and IR sections. They come at a very crucial point of the test- the beginning- and are critical in setting the spirit of the test-taker and the tempo of the subsequent sections. I cannot imagine a test taker getting off to a positive start if he has never practiced the AWA assignment nor dared to negotiate the fast pace of the IR questions. How must it feel to sit much like a dodo in front of the PC fumbling to complete the sections one has never experienced? How also must it feel to look around the test room and to see other test takers confidently working at the two sections, gearing up for what is to follow? Clearly the ramifications of the helplessness one experiences in the real test situation if one has never done these sections are damaging. An hour of virtual limbo in front of the computer can knock the bottom out of the stoutest test-taker. No matter how ready one is for the Math and Verbal sections, the act of languishing before the essay task and then collapsing before the rapid-fire round of IR questions instigates a lethargy that that tells on one’s performance ahead.

This apart, a slipshod performance on the AWA and IR sections even if followed by a dazzling score on the Math and Verbal tells a strange tale about the test-taker. How would the Admission Committee react to a score sheet that showed abysmally poor scores on the AWA and the IR? Not positively for sure. Most schools nowhere lay down a clear policy about reviewing the GMAT score sheet but it seems to be common sense that they do look at a coherency in the scores of the different sections. It is hard to digest that an individual who can score in the upper percentile range on the verbal section cannot draft a strong response to the essay prompt or that someone with an envious math score does really badly on the IR.

It is imperative for every test-taker to respect the components of the test and to work to achieve a well-balanced result across the sections so that the score sheet speaks befittingly about his potential.

At Option GMAT Dubai, training for the AWA and IR sections is an essential ingredient of the class modules and students are not only taught skills befitting these sections but are also required to submit regular practice assignments on them so that trainers can ensure a holistic approach to test prep.

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