GMAT: How Analysis of an Argument Is Graded

When grading the GMAT Analysis of an Argument, test-readers focus on your logic, clarity, cogency (persuasiveness), and writing skill. In the GMAT Analysis of an Argument, the content of your response weighs more heavily than the quality of writing. You show your ability to think critically, to analyze features of arguments, and to communicate complex ideas.

Because you must write your response in a limited period of time, graders don't allow minor errors of spelling, grammar, or mechanics to affect your score. A response that receives a 6 isn't, necessarily, errorless, but it is superior in content.

Score of 6 on GMAT argument analysis: Excellent

The following qualities characterize these responses:

  • Thorough coverage of all the tasks required by the exam question
  • Careful analysis of the important features of the argument
  • Cogent reasoning and logical development
  • Relevant supporting details of the critique
  • Superior organization
  • Superior command of standard written English

Score of 5: Good

The following qualities characterize this level of GMAT Analysis of an Argument responses:

  • Good coverage of all the tasks required by the exam question
  • Good analysis of the important features of the argument
  • Clear reasoning and development
  • Use of supporting evidence of the critique
  • Good organization
  • Good handling of standard written English

Score of 4: Competent

The following qualities characterize an argument analysis with this GMAT score:

  • Some coverage of the tasks required by the exam question
  • Competent analysis of the important features of the argument
  • Adequately reasoned and supported points of the critique
  • Competent organization
  • Adequate handling of standard written English

Score of 3: Limited

The following qualities characterize responses earning this score:

  • Failure to respond to all of the assigned tasks
  • Failure to understand or to analyze the important features of the argument
  • Failure to use supporting details of the critique
  • Numerous minor errors in grammar or mechanics
  • Less than adequate use of standard written English

Score of 2: Weak

Most 2 responses fail to analyze the argument and instead present, in place of critique, the writer's ideas about the topic. These papers are often well written but wholly lacking in analysis of an argument.

Other 2 responses compound the deficiencies of responses in the 3 range. They likely misunderstand the main features of the argument, fail to present an analysis, and fail to employ supporting detail. The organization, grammar, diction, and mechanics are likely incompetent.

Score of 1: Poor

These responses compound the deficiencies in the 2 range. They display an inability to respond to the topic and write standard English prose. They are often unacceptably brief.

Score of 0

Wholly off-topic responses receive a score of zero.

Score of NR

If you provide no response, you receive a score of NR.