You must be a great writer! 5.5 ^^; Were you anticipating a 4.0 though? Or are you saying a 4.0 would be equally satisfying?
The first time I took the test, I got a 4.5. I wrote way too much and didn't pay attention to the clock on either essay and I was left without a completely formatted essay. I didn't care though. A 4.5 was fine.
I have a hard time believing that the admissions people care about this metric. If they did, they would probably brag up average AWA scores with their class profile info.
I got a 5.5 this time by keeping my essay simple. I stopped with about 8 minutes to spare, did my formatting, and left 5 minutes to spare. It is too much of a distraction before the actual test.
With several admissions essays, undergrad transcripts, GMAT score, and an interview, the Admissions people have enough information to make their decision on the applicant.
AWA is lame and a waste of time for everyone. Don't allow yourself to sweat this portion of the test. Go to the testing center to bring home a 700+, not a 5.0+.
Someone sent me a private message about how to find a one-on-one tutor. My best suggestion is to use Craig's List and only work with someone who has scored a 750 or greater. These are the people that know all of the tricks. A friend who fell into this category tutored me informally and it helped a lot.
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