This is the section of the GMAT examinations where the aspirant's mental bandwidth is consumed the most, especially at the very beginning of the test.
The Analytical Writing Assessment section is the area where you will be analyzed for the critical thinking and communication of your ideas.
The common topics will always be familiar to the applicants and thus what is tested, is your ability to analyze any given argument along the line of reasoning and present a critique.
The catch here is that the arguments given are often weak and contain logical fallacies. You should, therefore, be able to put forward the flaws and suggest improvements to score good.
Most of the top B-schools expect the candidates to score beyond the threshold, say at least 4 out of 6.
The interesting part is B-schools (your score recipients) also get to compare your AWA style and tone with that of your application essays.
The good news is: there are shortcuts to crack the AWA section. Few things which you can learn are:
Tips you need to know BEFORE you start preparing for AWA
How to use the 30 minutes allotted to AWA to maximum effect
How to use a template to make the AWA writing process simpler
You can read get the detailed explanation of these tips and templates at Crackverbal’s GMAT AWA. Also, you can find 8 sample AWA essays to observe and learn from. These strategies will definitely prove helpful to you in cracking the AWA.