tips on how to structure gmat essay

Tips on How to structure GMAT essay

It is a general tendency to not try the essay portion in GMAT since it has been made optional. When you are in a hurry to take the test and do not want to devote some time to prepare for the essay section then you think about doing away with the essay. But never be in a hurry to take the test. Instead prepare well for the essay portion which will land you in a much better school. Some of the schools make it a point to consider the essay in their selection criteria. People who have not taken the essay portion seriously lose out while competing for these schools. Here we will discuss about the structure and template of the GMAT essay which will give an insight into the section and try to clear off the fear factor concerned with the section.

To beat the essay blues we need to look at it in a structured way which makes it much easier to understand. When we have a framework of the whole essay then we are left with filling up the different small structures and automatically get the full essay.

The templates will represent-

  • How many paragraphs are to be included
  • The function of each paragraph.
  • The type of information to be placed in each paragraph.


As a rule of thumb each essay should consist of 4 to 5 paragraphs. The first paragraph should be an introduction about the topic on which you are writing.

Paragraph 1

First try to summarize the lead given in the prompt in your own words. Do not copy the issue given in the prompt.

Include the thesis statement that explains the flaw in the logic of the prompt. You will need to acknowledge the view of the other party and put forward your own opinion also.

Then summarize your own argument in the last sentence of the paragraph. You can just touch upon examples that you want to touch upon.

You can include about 2 to 3 sentences in the first paragraph.


Paragraph 2

Describe here the First Flaw given in the prompt of AWA.

You can begin with phrases like “To begin with, “Firstly, etc. and introduce the flaw.

Explain with logic and give reasons why the prompts logic or reasoning is a flaw. Focus only on the flaw and do not talk anything but the flaw. Try to give some solutions to the flaw.

This should take you about 4 to 6 sentences to complete the paragraph.


Paragraph 3

Describe here the Second Flaw given in the prompt of AWA.

You can begin with phrases like “In addition, “Secondly,” etc.

Give a different logic or reasoning as to why the reasoning given in the prompt is not correct.

Here concentrate on the second flaw only and do not give reference to the first flaw.

You should be able to complete this paragraph in 4 to 6 sentences.


Paragraph 4

You can begin with phrases like “As an alternative, “However,” etc.

Clearly mention your stance regarding the issue in this paragraph.

Try to clarify how you stance addresses the issue or the flaw.

Here try to avoid any other thing and focus on your alternate view only.

Again this paragraph should be 4 to 6 sentences long.


Paragraph 5

This should be your concluding paragraph of the essay.

You can begin with phrases like “In short, “In summation,” etc.

Here you require to summarize the flaws and the alternatives given by you.

This paragraph should be shorter than the others and is to be completed in 2 to 3 sentences.


So now you have a very concise template or structure or a format built in your mind. The only thing is to fill up this format with all your skill. The information should be presented in a manner so that it is very clear, articulate and at the same time crisp and concise. This five paragraph essay is similar to your high school essay and might be a bit boring. This is boring but there is no need to be literary expert in this test. The requirements are different and you need to stick to those requirements to score.

Apart from this, you also need to find the information in the prompt which will help you identify them with your template and help you to place that information in the suitable paragraphs.

You should know that the argument given is flawed on purpose. You need to bring out the flaw and you may also decide to give a probable solution to state what is needed to strengthen the flaw.


Argument Analysis

Conclusion of the argument – you need to find out the conclusion of the argument in the prompt. Generally it will be found at the end of the AWA prompt.

Basic Evidence – Try and isolate the basic evidence given in the prompt argument. The arguments are very assertive but are logically weak. They will not have documented evidence.

Sub-conclusions and Extended assumptions – There might be sub-conclusions in the intermediate section of the prompt and extended evidences to support. These need to be identified as well.

Template – Now if you arrange all the information your 3 paragraphs of body of the essay are complete. Add an introduction and a conclusion to the essay and you are done.

When you have identified these information offered to you through the prompt, you are already equipped with the template in which these information are to be implanted to get the full essay done. Now with all the analysis of this section done you are equipped with the anatomy and physiology of the AWA and this clarity and simplicity will always help you to overcome this section with flying colors.

Wish you all the best for your preparations and a very good score above your fellow competitors.


Blogger. Passionate about writing, Reading & Photography. He has been to many places due to work and have turned bare land into roaring business hub. He has a whole lot of experience in varied fields and want to share and learn new things in turn.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of