How is the GMAT Essay Scored?

Who grades the essays?

For the GMAT AWA, each essay is reviewed twice, though one of the reviewers may be an "automated essay-scoring engine, which evaluates more than 50 structural and linguistic features." If there is a discrepancy between the human and auto rater of more than 1 point, a third reader will evaluate the essay and ultimately determine the final score.

What are they looking for?

Straight from the MBA website:

Expert readers are trained college and university faculty members who consider the following:

  • The overall quality of your ideas about the argument presented
  • Your overall ability to organize, develop, and express those ideas
  • The relevant supporting reasons and examples you used
  • Your ability to control the elements of standard written English

Readers are trained to be sensitive and fair in evaluating the responses of examinees whose first language is not English.

What score level(s) is(are) possible?

The AWA score is based on one Analysis of an Argument essay. Essays are scored independently twice and then averaged. Scores for the AWA range from 0 to 6 in half-point intervals. You can also see how the different score levels stack up in the percentile ranking chart.

How do I score my own essay?

We have distilled the official documents into an easy-to-read rubric. Head over to this article for the rubric to grade your essay and some tips: Score your GMAT Essay.


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