AWA does not matter much. I have never heard anybody from Adcom of any school saying that they factor AWA in admission-decisions (and I read a lots of Admission Officers' interviews, blogs, etc; also met some personally, when I was applying to B-schools). Most adcoms would focus just on your overall score, Quant score and verbal score. In any case, they have your application-essays to judge your writing abilities.

However, if your AWA score is terrible (Anything below 4) and your essays look very polished, things may get questionable! Hence, I won't recommend ignoring this section completely. Remember, even a 5 on a scale of 6 is just around 56 percentile, which means as many as about 44% manage 5 or more. Spend some time towards the end of your GMAT preparation towards this, amd you should be good.

I wrote a detailed blog post on this topic some time ago:…

Hope this helps.

See question on Quora


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