GMAT: How Analysis of an Issue Is Graded

When grading the GMAT Analysis of an Issue, test-readers focus on your logic, clarity, cogency (persuasiveness), and writing skill. In the GMAT Analysis of an Issue, a well-written, thoughtful response will receive a high score regardless of which side of the issue you choose. You show your ability to think critically, to analyze issues, 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: Excellent

The following qualities characterize GMAT Analysis of an Issue responses with a score of 6:

  • Coverage of all the tasks required by the exam question
  • An understanding of the complexity of the issue
  • Reasoning and logical development of a position
  • Persuasive supporting details
  • Organization
  • Command of standard written English

Score of 5: Good

The following qualities characterize GMAT responses with a Good score:

  • Coverage of all the tasks required by the exam question
  • Clear reasoning and development of a position
  • Use of well-chosen supporting evidence
  • Good organization
  • Good handling of standard written English

Score of 4: Competent

The following qualities characterize Competent responses:

  • Coverage of all the tasks
  • Development of a position
  • Adequately reasoned and supported arguments
  • Competent organization
  • Adequate handling of standard written English

Score of 3: Limited

The following qualities characterize Analysis of an Issue responses considered to be Limited:

  • Failure to fully understand the issue and develop a position
  • Failure to respond to all the assigned tasks
  • Failure to use supporting details
  • Numerous minor errors in grammar or mechanics
  • Less than adequate use of standard written English

Score of 2: Weak

These responses compound the deficiencies of Analysis of an Issue responses in the 3 range. They likely fail to present a position on the issue or fail to employ supporting detail. Also, they likely include incompetent organization, grammar, diction, and mechanics.

Score of 1: Poor

These responses show even greater deficiencies than the responses in the 2 range. They display an inability to deal with 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.