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Intro to AWA

Chris Lele
Lesson by Chris Lele
Magoosh Expert
Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ:  Is there only one human reader now?

Yes, that is correct.  The ETS has since changed who reads and scores the essay.  Your essay will be read and scored by one human grader and one computerized program.

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Welcome to the AWA module, the Analytical Writing Assessment module. In this very first video We're gonna go through the different parts of the A.W.A. and then we're gonna talk about scoring and then we're gonna talk about what those scores mean.

So first off let's talk about why the AWA is so important. It's the very first thing you're going to see when you take the test. Now you may say, oh well, that's great. Because then I can get it over with and move on to the other sections. However, how you perform on this part is going to leave an aftertaste in your mouth.

so if you really knock out both essays and do a great job, you're going to go into the verbal and math sections with a lot of confidence. If you feel flustered and overwhelmed well, when you're done writing both of these essays, you are not gonna feel like taking a Math or a verbal section, so it's very important to go in with a lot of confidence.

now, I mentioned a second ago that there are two essays. And they are thirty minutes each. And it is important to note that if you finish the first essay with, say, ten minutes left The, those minutes do not carry over to the next essay.

You have thirty minutes for each essay, period. So, what are these two different essays? We have the the issue task, and we have the argument task. The first one, the issue task, you have to actually answer a question in the form of an arguement.

You create the arguement, you back up your answer to the issued question. With the arguement task, actually going to take someone's arguement, they've come up with a response and you have to take that arguement apart and critique it, show what's wrong with the arguement, now both the issue and arguement tasks.

I'm going to go into far greater detail in the upcoming videos. So, now, let's talk about the scoring. The scoring is on a range from zero to six. What that means exactly is That you can get anywhere, of course from zero to six, but more importantly, increments, you can get .5, you can get probably better news 5.

you get anything between you can't get xx 24 that is not an increment 4.55 so anything from a zero to a six. So, who's giving you this score? That's the important thing.

There are two human readers and I'm going to underline here because there are other tests included where there's not always a human grading you, but sometimes a machine. So it's important on the GRE, that there are two human readers.

They are from colleges or universities they teach there. They usually teach courses that are focused on critical thinking and writing skills, so these are definitely experts will be reading and critiquing your essay.

So, what are they looking for? Well, they're looking for the big picture. And that's what this word, holistically, means. you're thinking, how compelling was this argument? This essay I'm reading? Did it build its case?

Did it have a cohesive organization once sentence flow into the next etcetra. And so, they're not saying, oh look, its grammar is really awesome, and they give it a 2. on grammar, then I'm going to give it a three on essay organization.

I'm going to add it up together. That is breaking things apart. They are just going to give an overall impression of your essay based on a number of factors and that's what the word holistically refers to.

So finally, a little note here about plagiarism Do not be tempted to take texts from GRE sources or from books you're reading or articles you're reading and think that if you can sneak them in here, you're on your way to getting a six.

They actually have a software. Instead of two readers, that's for reading. but, in general, when you're writing software is always tracking your words. If it notices that these words match anything out there even if it's an essay written by another student a few weeks ago, if there are significant similarities, then you are noted for plagiarism, and that's bad.

Because your score will be rescinded or cancelled, and you will have to pay the full fee and that would not be a good thing of course, so do not be tempted to do it.

It would not help you out at all, so that is a scoring. What does it actually mean now to have a zero or have a six. So, we're going to start with the good news, a six. What does that mean?

Well, have insightful analysis in superior language So you can even pause the video if you want, and go through each one of these separately. But what you'll notice here, is that there's always a slight drop off from positive positive to generally positive to pretty good to kind of limited to pretty bad.

And for some organizations, there are two just irrelevant do you think. And I didn't even put a zero here because so few people end up getting a zero. A zero means you look at the screen, maybe you pass out from fright, who knows.

but you're definitely not writing anything. Or if you are, it's just scribbles, jibberish on the keyboard. So, obviously, that doesn't apply to most people. For the most part, most come around and that's what you want to get above. You want to distinguish yourself.

You want to differenciate yourself from more than fifty percent of the students taking the text. And that's why people usually want to aim for that 4.5 area right here between 4 and 5 on both of the essays.

And that's important to note that the scores are going to be the average of the issue task, and the argument task. So if you end up getting five on the issue, four on argument, you will end up getting four-point-five on the essay, and once again, that would be a good place in terms of scoring better than fifty percent of people who are taking the .

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AWA Basics