While many argue that your GMAT essays are meaningless, don’t forget that the essays can be a determining factor in the increasingly competitive admissions process. An extremely low score could set off flags, and raise doubts about your ability to complete graduate work. Additionally, admissions officers will use your GMAT essay as a check on your personal statements, to make sure they were authored by the same person.
1. Have an opinion. In both Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument essays, it is important to pick a side in the intro/thesis and argue it persuasively throughout.
2. Organize. And then don’t deviate. Shoot for the time-honored five paragraph model of Intro-Body-Body-Body-Conclusion. This template should help you organize your thoughts. Again, this is not the only way to do it, but it is perhaps the method that essay readers find most appealing.
3. Pick relevant and eclectic examples to back up your thesis. Each body paragraph should be about one (and only one) of the talking points.
4. Don’t relax come conclusion time. Many students will bail out of their essays at the end—and dash off only a sentence or two as the last paragraph. Hang in there and write a substantial conclusion. Restate the thesis in the conclusion, but introduce the thoughts in a new way—and make it at least three sentences. Remember, your conclusion is the last thing the reader will see before giving you a score.
5. Proofread. Scorers (both human and computer) will focus a trained eye on your grammar and syntax.
Visit the Knewton blog again in a few days for a sample essay scored a perfect “6″!