Skip Nav

GRE Prep Online Guides and Tips

6 Tips for a Perfect-Scoring GRE Essay

❶Maybe there is really something that should have been mentioned to make the argument more concrete.

Introduction to GRE Analytical Writing

Question Types
What Makes a Perfect-Scoring GRE Argument Essay?
How to Use This Guide

For the Analyze an Argument essay, begin by breaking down the line of reasoning in the argument text. Identify the separate steps in the thinking process and determine if progression from one step to the next is logically sound. For this essay, remember that you are not being asked whether you agree with the argument.

The audience for both your essays will be college and university faculty who are trained as GRE readers. Your writing should demonstrate a level of critical thinking and clarity that positively reflects your academic background. ETS recommends that everyone prepare for the Analytical Writing test, even confident and practiced writers. To help examinees prepare, ETS has provided the complete pools of issue and argument topics. You will be presented with one topic from each pool when you take the test.

ETS has provided an invaluable preparation tool in the form of scored sample essays in the Analytical Writing Introduction. Going over the scored sample essays will provide insight into what GRE readers expect to see in a high scoring essay and what will cause them to give a low score.

ETS also provides a sample test; completing this test under test conditions and having it evaluated by an instructor or peer will provide one more advantage when you sit down to take the actual test. Analyze an Issue and Analyze an Argument. Learn how GRE essays are scored: According to ETS, even the most practiced writers need to become familiar with the skills being measured and the scoring criteria. Consider the specific task you were assigned, and make sure the language you use in your initial paragraph demonstrates that you understand the special instructions in your assignment.

Use your strongest, most specific reason first. Your examples can be from history, science, politics, business, entertainment, pop culture, current events or even from yourpersonal experience. Make sure you explain clearly why your examples support your reason, and why this reason supports your main thesis.

You have three tasks in your body paragraphs:. You should be spending the majority of your body paragraph doing the third step: Use a transition phrase and launch into your second reason and supporting example.

Repeat the same process as the first paragraph. A good GRE Argument essay:. To get a perfect score on the Argument essay, you must display mastery with each one of these items. In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports swimming, boating and fishing among their favorite recreational activities.

The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities. In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason River.

Use of the river for water sports is therefore sure to increase. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted. The first of these rubric criteria is a description of what a perfect-scoring Argument essay should look like overall:. In addressing the specific task directions, a 6 response presents a cogent, well-articulated examination of the argument and conveys meaning skillfully. This description of what a perfect Argument essay should look like is much more general than the rest of the other rubric items and is more meant as a summary of what the other four items indicate than as a specific criterion in and of itself.

If an essay meets all of the other four rubric requirements for a 6. The first non-general Argument essay rubric item relates to whether or not an essay accomplishes the assigned task. A 6 essay clearly identifies aspects of the argument relevant to the assigned task and examines them insightfully. The sample essay succeeds in meeting both parts of this criterion.

Each of these claims is a key assumption upon which the argument depends, since if any one of these three claims proved unfounded, then the argument becomes illogical. If the author had merely identified the key elements of the argument without this kind of discussion, the essay would have received a lower score.

Below is an excerpt from the essay that illustrates an instance of the author fulfilling this criterion:. In this excerpt, the author points out an assumption of the argument that the quality and smell problems from the river can be dealt with and presents the implications if the assumption is unwarranted if the problems are from mineral deposits, quality and smell change might not be possible. The clear way in which the author gets to the point if A, then B may be true…but if not A, then B may not be true and the insight she uses in determining why the assumption might not be true and what effect that might have all contribute to this essay achieving a 6-level score.

A 6 essay develops ideas cogently, organizes them logically and connects them with clear transitions. GRE guidelines for both the Issue and Argument essay place a premium on clear logic and organization, both in terms of how ideas are linked within a paragraph as well as on a larger scale.

For the Argument essay, it makes sense to group your discussion of each assumption into its own separate paragraph. Instead, you must make sure that each of your points about the assumption is directly followed by support for that point. This clarity of development allows the reader to follow your logic more easily, which in turn makes your essay that much more persuasive and effective. In the Argument essay, organization and logic are also important when it comes to ordering the paragraphs of your essay and transitioning between ideas.

The clear and logical way in which the author develops her points within each paragraph and the tight organizational connections between paragraphs are how the essay exemplifies this rubric item. Want to improve your GRE score by 7 points? Built by world-class instructors with 99th percentile GRE scores , the program learns your strengths and weaknesses through machine learning data science, then customizes your prep program to you so you get the most effective prep possible.

The third non-general item on the GRE Argument essay rubric is focused entirely on how well the author supports her points. A 6 essay provides compelling and thorough support for its main points.

Essentially, this rubric item is all about determining whether or not an author properly supports her ideas and their development throughout the essay. Though there have been complaints, we do not know if there have been numerous complaints from a wide range of people, or perhaps from one or two individuals who made numerous complaints.

The first sentence of this excerpt lays out the assumption made in the argument: The author explains why the argument is flawed by presenting relevant details, like the fact that the source of the complaints is unknown and could potentially be just a few people.

The reasoning and support used by the author in her essay are effective because the author explains clearly the ways in which they support her points.

Issue Essay vs Argument Essay: 11 Key Differences

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

GRE Essay Writing Help Our GRE Essay help has got your 6/6! For most of the people who attempt GRE (Graduate Record Examination), the GRE essay is a big problematic area. The analytical writing section of GRE succeeds in flustering even the brainiest of scholars who have already calculated how they will ace the mathematical and reading .

Privacy FAQs

Test-taking Strategies for the Analytical Writing Measure. Before taking the GRE ® General Test, review the strategies, sample topics, essay responses and rater commentary for each task contained in this section. .

About Our Ads

If you get a perfect score on the GRE’s Issue Essay (a 6), it can really boost your graduate school admissions chances! The best schools want good Verbal and Quantitative scores, but also students who are clear, competent writers. The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) portion of the GRE consists of two essays, each of which you will need to write in 30 minutes or less. The two essays you will see on the GRE are, Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument.

Cookie Info

Use the major differences I pointed out in the 4-vs Writing score level comparison and my analysis of the 6-scoring sample GRE Argument essay to help you identify features that make the example essays so high-scoring. The full text of this GRE essay sample can be found on the ETS website. In this analysis, I’ll go over the different ways in which this essay meets the GRE essay rubric criteria for a perfect scoring Issue essay.