GRE Analytical Writing

Guide to GRE Analytical Writing Section with Essay Examples, Scores, & Dates

gre-analytical-writing-testWhat to Know Before the GRE Analytical Writing Essay Section

What is the Analytical Writing Section of the GRE?

GRE Analytical Writing Test or Essay Section is the first part of the GRE you will take. It is a two essay writing project where you analyze an issue and an argument. You will have to express your viewpoint on a particular topic and offer detailed direction on how you reply to it and offer supporting evidence.

The task encouraged the candidate to evaluate an argument based on precise instructions and assessing the logical soundness instead of disagreeing or agreeing with the topic.

You have 3o minutes to write the essay, and you cannot skip the GRE essay section to move to other GRE sections because it is a separate section. Regardless of what most students claim, the essay section just assesses your ability to compose an essay and hence only gauges your writing skills.

Therefore the GRE essay section does not assess your mental process, contrary to popular belief. It only looks at your writing ability as long as it sounds sensible.

Let’s look at the GRE Analytical Writing test along with its topics, writing examples, and how you can ace this exam.

What Topics and Skills are Tested on the GRE Analytical Writing Test?

The essay section covers writing and critical thinking skills that the candidate has developed in their educational lifetime.

First, there is the issue task where you construct your argument. You take a position and the argument task to deconstruct someone’s argument by evaluating evidence and assessing claims.

Issue Essay Example

Analyzing an issue is the first task in which you will have an opinion regarding a general issue of interest with instructions on responding. The test requires you to evaluate the issue by considering its complexities and developing an argument, including examples and evidence supporting your viewpoint.

There are six summary categories regarding analyzing an issue which you will encounter. You will either agree or disagree with a statement, explain your reasoning, and support the position you are taking while considering weaknesses and strengths in the statement and how that influences your position. The essay requires you to agree or disagree with a specific recommendation with evidence.

Discuss the extent of your agreement or disagreement with a claim by addressing compelling reasons and things that can counteract your agreement. Most importantly, discuss your perspective and justify the reasoning behind your viewpoint.

Argument Essay Example

Argument analyzing is different from issue task because the essay prompt in a particular direction. Instead of expressing disagreement or agreement with the perspective it represents, you will be required to evaluate the argument according to the instructions, examining the logical soundness of the argument.

There are six categories of argument essays presented in the GRE where you discuss the evidence required to assess an argument or how the evidence can weaken or strengthen the argument.

You should evaluate the argument’s explicit or implicit assumptions, describing how the argument is based on them and what the consequences would be if they were incorrect. Discuss the GRE questions that must be addressed to determine whether the offered proposal and argument are acceptable and how the answers to those questions will assist you in evaluating the recommendation.

Address the questions you would need to answer to evaluate a suggestion and argument and how the answers to the questions would help you evaluate the proposal and argument.

GRE Analytical Writing Test Structure, Format, & Time Length

The general structure involves you starting with an introductory paragraph followed by three to four body paragraphs and finishing off with a conclusion. Always ensure there are five to six paragraphs in the essay.

The essay should be logical and reasonable, and make sure you provide evidence to back your point of view. Have writing examples that reinforce your thesis cogently.

You have one hour to complete the essay, which implies each part will take 30 minutes each. It is essential to keep in mind that your essay should not be too long, but it should cover all aspects.

How is the GRE Analytical Writing Test Graded?

Each response will be scored holistically on a 6 point scale which implies that each response will be judged as a whole. The grader will not separate the essay into components and award points for a given element like sentences structure, language, ideas, and organization.

The essay will be read by two readers who will give it’s a score, with the highest score a grader can award being 6.0 for each essay, and your score will be the average of the scores awarded by the twin graders.

The final score will be the average of the argument and issue tasks, and the final score ranges between 0-6 and most of the candidates score falls between 2 and 5 with the average score for most takes being around 4.2.

How Hard is the GRE Analytical Writing?

The GRE analytical writing test is viewed as one of the easier GRE test sections. Since it’s subjective in nature, candidates report that it is slightly easier to get a higher score than the corresponding multiple-choice tests.

It really comes down to being prepared. The GRE analytical writing test isn’t hard if you properly prepare for it and practice writing example essays.

What is a Good GRE Analytical Writing Score?

A good GRE Analytical Writing score is above 4.5. A score this high will help you get in almost any college and grad school program of your choice.

Keep in mind that many graduate programs don’t emphasize the writing and essay sections as much as the GRE General Test because it is more subjective. Some top tier universities don’t even require candidates to submit their essay section scores.

When can You Take the GRE Analytical Writing Test?

When is the GRE Writing Test Dates Offered?

The essay section can be done in April, September, and October, and the best time to take it is in early spring in April. Students who are in junior high thinking of graduate school can take the test.

Most importantly, take the test during the April window because results for September and October might come late when applications have been closed.

What can You Bring to the GRE Analytical Writing Section Test?

You must bring an identification document to the test center during the testing day and the confirmation email or voucher you receive after registering.

Ensure you don’t have any jewelry, watches, or accessories on you because

How Much Does the GRE Analytical Writing Cost?

The test can get expensive for some candidates because the cost is around $205.

However, those that cannot afford the total fee can be eligible for a partial waiver through the GRE Fee Reduction Program

Start Studying Today!

Don't put off preparing for the GRE Test. Start studying today and improve your score!

GRE Exam Courses