Good Vocabulary is Essential to Answer Both GMAT AWA and Verbal Sections

In this article, we are going to take you through the GMAT AWA and the Verbal section and also shed light on why GMAT vocabulary is important to answer questions in these sections. So, keep reading!

The GMAT AWA section comprises an ‘Analyse the Argument’ question. Here you are required to analyze the given argument and write a critique of it. This is basically to assess your critical thinking ability and see how well you can communicate your ideas clearly and concisely.

The topics given in this section can be related to anything — business or any general topic. You are not evaluated on your knowledge of the topic but only your writing prowess and your ability to critically analyze the given essay. You are not expected to write your views but only to critique the argument presented.

It is suggested that you initially spend time, after evaluating the argument, to plan your essay in detail. This step will allow you to develop your essay in an organized manner. Remember that you have only 30 minutes to spend in this segment, so ensure you utilize your time wisely. You can also practice the GMAT AWA section by opting for a tool offered by GMAC called GMAT Official AWA practice that costs $29.99. This is available on the official GMAT website ( It has the same scoring algorithm as the actual exam and will give you an estimate on how much you will score in the exam. You will gain access to two unique essay questions and an opportunity to write four essays.

The scoring for the AWA section is done in two parts. The first is by an electronic automated essay scoring engine. It scans and checks for many structural linguistic errors, which is inclusive of grammar, organisation of ideas, topical analysis and more. The second is by a trained expert human assessor who would analyze any discrepancies from the scoring engine and then determine the final score.

It is necessary to have a good vocabulary to be able to score well in the GMAT AWA section. Besides, a good vocabulary is also needed to answer questions in the Verbal section of the GMAT. Let us now learn more about the GMAT vocabulary.

GMAT Vocabulary

There is no separate section in the GMAT to test your vocabulary. However, you must have a good understanding of the same to answer the Verbal section which comprises three questions — sentence correction, critical reasoning and reading comprehension, as well as the AWA section, as mentioned before. A good knowledge of high school and college-level English vocabulary makes your reading and writing tasks easier.

The Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions of the Verbal section generally don’t use very complex vocabulary, however, it is beneficial if you are aware of some important words. You will be presented with challenging material and you will need to extract the required information from it to form strategies. Hence, a good GMAT vocabulary knowledge is essential.

Some of the most common words which you might encounter in the GMAT verbal section are — analyse, assumption, cite, clam, dearth, mitigate, paradox, posit, redundant, undermine, warranted. These should be part of your GMAT vocabulary learning list. You would not be expected to know the exact definition of these words, however, you should know the meanings in case you come across them in any of the questions.

To improve your vocabulary, some of the fundamental steps which you can follow are — developing a reading habit, learning a new word every day, utilizing learning strategies like GMAT flashcards, and periodically attempting GMAT mock exams.

We hope the information provided above was of help. Good Luck!