AWA Tip: Write More

September 30, 2011

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While the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment isn't the most important part of the exam (and it will become even less so), it is the first section, and it stresses out a lot of students.

I'm convinced that much of the reason is that writing feels awkward and unfamiliar--in other words, test-takers don't write fluently because they don't write enough.

Seth Godin made a great point the other day in remarking, "No one ever gets talker's block." We talk all the time; we speak fluently, without feeling pressure. But many people don't write very often.

Godin suggests starting a blog and writing every day. That's great advice. More to the point, he suggests: "Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better."

I would add one thing. When you're writing poorly, write quickly. Write like you talk, and worry about the details later. You'll edit once you're finished, so why concern yourself with getting it exactly right the first time?

You can pick up this habit with just a few minutes a day. If you do, you'll find yourself moving through the AWA faster, composing better essays, and feeling fresher when it's time to move on to the GMAT Quant section.



About the author: Jeff Sackmann has written many GMAT preparation books, including the popular Total GMAT Math, Total GMAT Verbal, and GMAT 111. He has also created explanations for problems in The Official Guide, as well as 1,800 practice GMAT math questions.

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