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GRE Analytical Writing

gre-analytical-writing

Are you preparing for the GRE and feeling intimidated by the GRE Analytical Writing section? You're not alone! Many test-takers find the prospect of writing two essays under timed conditions daunting. But fear not - you can ace the Analytical Writing Measure of the GRE with the right preparation, strategies, and practice. This blog provides a comprehensive guide to the Analytical Writing section, including tips and strategies to help you succeed. So let's dive in and tackle the GRE Analytical Writing section together!

What is GRE Analytical Writing(AWA)?

The GRE Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) is an important component of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), testing your ability to analyse complex concepts, back up your arguments with solid evidence, and communicate your ideas compellingly and cohesively. This section is tailored to gauge your writing prowess and critical thinking skills, making it an important aspect of the overall GRE score. The AWA consists of two tasks:

1. Analyse an Issue

In this task, the test-taker is presented with a general topic or statement and must write an essay discussing their perspective. The topic may be a broad social or political issue or a more specific question related to a particular field of study. For example, the prompt might ask the test-taker to discuss the role of technology in society or the impact of climate change on the environment.

  • The test-taker must develop a well-reasoned argument in response to the prompt, considering all sides of the issue and providing relevant examples and evidence to support their position.
  • The essay must be well-structured and coherent, with clear transitions between paragraphs and a strong thesis statement that outlines the test-takers position.
  • The test-taker must also address potential counterarguments or opposing viewpoints, demonstrating an ability to think critically about complex issues.

2. Analyse an Argument

In this task, the test-taker is presented with an argument and asked to evaluate its validity. The argument may be flawed or contain errors in reasoning, and the test-taker must identify these flaws and explain why they weaken the argument.

  • The test-taker must provide alternative explanations or evidence that would strengthen the argument.
  • The test-taker must thoroughly analyse the argument, consider the assumptions and evidence presented, and assess whether they support the conclusion.
  • The essay must be well-structured and written, with logical transitions between paragraphs and a thesis statement outlining the test-taker argument evaluation.

In both tasks, the test-taker has 30 minutes to write their response. The grades for essays range from 0 to 6, with 6 representing the highest score. The essays are evaluated by trained readers, who consider factors such as the coherence and clarity of the argument, the quality of the supporting evidence, and the ability of the test-taker to think critically and communicate effectively in writing.

The AWA section is an integral part of the GRE, as it evaluates skills essential for success in graduate-level studies. The ability to think critically, analyse complex issues, and communicate effectively in writing is necessary for success in many academic fields, and the AWA provides an opportunity for test-takers to demonstrate these skills to admissions committees.

GRE Argument Essay

The GRE Argument Essay is one of two tasks that test-takers are asked to complete in the Analytical Writing section of the GRE. The task requires the test-taker to analyse an argument presented in the prompt and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. The Argument Essay prompt provides a statement or position on a particular issue. Then it presents an argument that supports that position. The test-taker must evaluate the argument, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and provide a well-reasoned response to the prompt.

The Argument Essay prompt consists of the following components:

  1. The issue statement: The prompt begins with a statement or position on a particular issue. For example, the prompt may state, "The government should increase funding for public transportation."
  2. The argument: The prompt presents an argument that supports the issue statement. For example, the prompt might provide evidence that "Investing in public transportation can reduce traffic congestion, decrease air pollution, and improve access to jobs and education."
  3. The instructions: The prompt provides instructions for the test-taker, explaining what they must do to complete the task. For example, the prompt might instruct the test-taker to "Evaluate the argument and explain whether you agree or disagree with the position presented. Please provide specific examples to back up your statement."

When writing the GRE Argument Essay, several tips can help test-takers produce a high-quality response:

  1. Analyse the argument: The first stage in creating an Argument Essay is to analyse the prompt's argument thoroughly. Determine whether the evidence supplied supports the decision by identifying the premises and conclusion of the argument.
  2. Identify strengths and weaknesses: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the argument. Consider whether the evidence is strong or weak, whether the assumptions are reasonable, and whether there are any logical fallacies in the argument.
  3. Develop a response: Respond to the prompt that clearly articulates your position on the issue. Give particular examples to back up your claim, and address any potential counterarguments or competing opinions.
  4. Organise your essay: Organise your essay clearly and logically, with a clear introduction, body paragraphs that support your argument, and a conclusion that summarises your position.
  5. Use strong language: Use strong language and precise wording to express your ideas. Avoid using vague or general statements, and support your argument with specific examples and evidence.
  6. Proofread your essay: Finally, proofread your essay carefully for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. A well-written and error-free essay will make a strong impression on the reader.

By following these tips, test-takers can produce a high-quality response to the GRE Argument Essay prompt, demonstrating their ability to analyse complex issues, think critically, and communicate effectively in writing.

GRE Issue Essay

The GRE Issue Essay is one of two tasks that test-takers are asked to complete in the Analytical Writing section of the GRE. The task requires the test-taker to take a position on a given issue and support their position with well-reasoned arguments and examples. The Issue Essay prompt provides a statement or position on a particular issue and then asks the test-taker to take a position and support their position with reasons and examples.

The Issue Essay prompt consists of the following components:

  1. The issue statement: The prompt begins with a statement or position on a particular issue. For example, the prompt may state, "Individuals should prioritise their own needs over the needs of the community."
  2. The instructions: The prompt provides instructions for the test-taker, explaining what they must do to complete the task. For example, the prompt might instruct the test-taker to "Take a stand on the issue, and support your position with reasons and examples."

When writing the GRE Issue Essay, several tips can help test-takers produce a high-quality response:

  1. Analyse the prompt: The first step in writing the Issue Essay is carefully analysing the prompt. Consider the position in the prompt, and identify the key issues and arguments related to the topic.
  2. Develop a response: Take a clear position on the issue presented in the prompt, and develop a response that supports your position with well-reasoned arguments and examples. Be sure to address potential counterarguments or opposing viewpoints, demonstrating an ability to think critically about complex issues.
  3. Use specific examples: Use specific examples to support your arguments, drawing on personal experience, academic research, or other relevant sources. Avoid making generalisations or relying on vague statements.
  4. Organise your essay: Organise your essay clearly and logically, with a clear introduction, body paragraphs that support your argument, and a conclusion that summarises your position.
  5. Use strong language: Use strong language and precise wording to express your ideas. Avoid using overly formal or technical language; support your argument with specific examples and evidence.
  6. Proofread your essay: Finally, proofread your essay carefully for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. A well-written and error-free essay will make a strong impression on the reader.

By following these tips, test-takers can produce a high-quality response to the GRE Issue Essay prompt, demonstrating their ability to take a clear position on complex issues, think critically, and communicate effectively in writing.

Overview of the Analytical Writing Measure

The Analytical Writing Measure is one of the three sections of the GRE, and it consists of two tasks: the GRE Issue Essay and the GRE Argument Essay. Each task assesses the test-takers ability to write effectively and evaluate and analyse complex information.

The GRE Issue Essay requires the test-taker to take a position on a given topic and support their position with well-reasoned arguments and examples. The GRE Argument Essay, on the other hand, requires the test-taker to analyse an argument presented in the prompt and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. The test-taker must evaluate the argument, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and provide a well-reasoned response to the prompt.
Both tasks require the test-taker to demonstrate their ability to think critically, organise their ideas effectively, and communicate their thoughts clearly and coherently in writing.
These abilities are critical for graduate school success since students frequently need to read and evaluate complicated books, write academic papers, and participate in classroom debates.
The Analytical Writing Measure is assessed on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments, and the scores for the two tasks are averaged to obtain a total score.
The essays are graded by two independent readers, who evaluate the essays based on the overall quality of the writing, the clarity and effectiveness of the arguments, and the coherence and organisation of the essay.
In addition to the essays, the Analytical Writing Measure assesses the test-takers' ability to use standard written English effectively.
The essays are evaluated for grammar, syntax, and punctuation, as well as for clarity and coherence of expression.

By demonstrating these skills, test-takers can demonstrate their readiness for graduate-level coursework and their potential to succeed in various academic and professional settings.

Preparing for the Analytical Writing Measure

To succeed in the GRE Analytical Writing Measure exam, familiarise yourself with the exam format, practice writing essays, manage your time effectively, build your vocabulary, develop your critical thinking skills, use a structured approach to writing, and seek feedback on your writing. Take reference from the following tips to prepare yourself for success on the Analytical Writing Measure and improve your overall chances of success on the GRE.

  1. Familiarise yourself with the format: Start by familiarising yourself with the format of the Analytical Writing Measure. Understand the types of tasks you will be required to complete, the time limits for each task, and the scoring criteria.
  2. Practise writing essays: Writing essays is the greatest approach to preparing for the Analytical Writing Measure. Sample essay prompts can be found online or in GRE practice books. Spend some time writing and evaluating many essays with someone who can provide criticism.
  3. Learn to manage your time effectively: The Analytical Writing Measure relies heavily on time management. Learn to effectively schedule your time to complete each work within the given time. Practise writing essays within the exam's time limitations.
  4. Build your vocabulary: A robust vocabulary is necessary for GRE performance. Spend time expanding your vocabulary by reading tough materials, studying vocabulary lists, and memorising using flashcards or other methods.
  5. Develop your critical thinking skills: The Analytical Writing Measure includes a critical thinking component. Analyse complex arguments, detect assumptions, and evaluate evidence. The more you train critical thinking, the more you can analyse and analyse the exam prompts.
  6. Use a structured approach: Use a structured approach to writing your essays. This way, you can organise your thoughts and ensure your essay is clear, concise, and well-structured. A smart strategy is, to begin with an introduction presenting your thesis statement, followed by many body paragraphs supporting your thesis with well-reasoned arguments and examples, and then a conclusion summarising your important points.
  7. Get feedback: Seek comments on your writing from others. This could be from a teacher, tutor, or writer friend. Their input might help you find areas for improvement and develop your writing style.


Remember that practice is the key to success; give yourself ample time to create essays and assess your performance.

Test-taking Strategies for the Analytical Writing Measure

Writing essays may be stressful, especially when time is of the essence. However, you can ace the GRE Analytical Writing Measure like a pro with the right strategies. Start by reading the following tips:

  1. Read and analyse the prompt carefully: When you receive the prompt for either the GRE Issue Essay or the GRE Argument Essay, take the time to read it carefully and analyse the information presented. Identify the key themes and arguments presented, and use this information to guide your response.
  2. Plan your response before you begin writing: Give yourself time to plan a response. Decide on your thesis statement and the main arguments you want to make supporting your thesis. Remember that practice is the key to success; give yourself ample time to create essays and assess your performance.
  3. Use a structured approach: Use a structured approach when writing your essay. Begin with an introduction that highlights your thesis statement before moving to the body paragraphs supporting your thesis with well-reasoned arguments and examples, and finally, a conclusion summarising your important points.
  4. Be concise and clear: Ensure your arguments are well-organised and your essay is easy to follow. Use clear and straightforward language, and avoid overly complex sentences or jargon.
  5. Use examples to support your arguments: Use specific examples to support your arguments to make your essay more convincing and help to demonstrate your ability to think critically and analyse complex information.
  6. Edit and revise your work: Check your essay for spelling and grammar errors to ensure it is well-organised and easy to follow. You should have someone else read your essay and provide feedback.
  7. Manage your time effectively: Manage your time effectively during the exam. Remember that you only have 30 minutes for each essay, so use your time wisely. Try to write a complete essay, but if you run out of time, present your main argument and conclusion at least.

Follow these tips and strategies to confidently and skillfully tackle the GRE Analytical Writing Measure exam. Remember, writing is a skill that can be honed with practice and dedication. So keep practising, keep learning, and keep writing!

GRE AWA Score Range

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) score measures a test-takers ability to analyse complex ideas, support arguments with relevant evidence, and effectively communicate their ideas in writing. The GRE AWA score ranges from 0 to 6, with half-point increments, with 0 being the lowest and 6 being the highest possible score. Here is a breakdown of each score level:

  • GRE AWA Score 6.0: This score is given when the writing is outstanding and demonstrates an exceptional mastery of complex ideas, with insightful reasoning, extensive and varied evidence, outstanding organisation, and flawless language use.
  • GRE AWA Score 5.0 - 5.5: This score is given when the writer demonstrates an exceptional ability to develop a complex argument with insightful reasoning and evidence, shows outstanding organisation, and has excellent language use.
  • GRE AWA Score 4.0 - 4.5: This score is given when the writer develops a sophisticated argument with insightful reasoning and evidence, shows excellent organisation, and has few errors or weaknesses in language use.
  • GRE AWA Score 3.0 - 3.5: This score is given when the writer clearly understands the task, develops a well-reasoned argument with relevant examples, and demonstrates good organisation and language use but may have minor errors or weaknesses.
  • GRE AWA Score 2.0 - 2.5: This score is given when the writer can develop a coherent argument with adequate reasoning and examples but has significant organisational, grammar, and syntax flaws.
  • GRE AWA Score 1.0 - 1.5: This score is given when there is a clear indication that the writer understands the task but cannot develop the argument effectively, lacks sufficient evidence or reasoning, or has significant grammar and sentence structure errors.
  • GRE AWA Score 0.5: This score is given when there are severe flaws in the writing, such as inadequate or irrelevant responses to the task, lack of organisation, or significant grammatical errors.
  • GRE AWA Score 0.0: This score is given when the writing is completely off-topic, incoherent, or consists of copied text. It shows a complete lack of writing skills and understanding of the task.

Band

Description

GRE AWA Score 6

Highest band score awarded

GRE AWA Score 5 - 5.5

Score awarded on complex yet flawed ideas

GRE AWA Score 4 - 4.5

Scored on candidates' relevant approaches with little disparities.

GRE AWA Score 3 - 3.5

Scored on average competitive writing skills

GRE AWA Score 2 - 2.5

Scored when fails to demonstrate proficiency in analytical writing

GRE AWA Score 1 - 1.5

The score for insufficient argument development and errors.

GRE AWA Score 0 - 0.5

The score for severe writing flaws, like irrelevance, disorganisation, or grammar errors.

GRE AWA Score 0.0

She scored two candidates with little understanding of the GRE AWA section.

It is important to remember that the GRE AWA scores are viewed in the context of the candidate's overall application, which includes other factors such as work experience, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. Nevertheless, with the right preparation and test-taking strategies, anyone can achieve a competitive GRE score to advance their chances of admission to their desired graduate programs.

AWA GRE Examples

Following are 2 AWA GRE prompts to help you practise and prepare for the exam.

  1. Issue Essay: "The rise of social media has led to increased connectivity, but at what cost?" How many times do you agree or disagree with this statement?
  2. Argument Essay: "A recent study found that people who sleep for six hours per night are more to develop chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity." As a result, getting at least six hours of sleep per night is critical.' Discuss how well-reasoned you believe this argument is."

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