GRE prep tips: Analytical Writing

GRE

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Rahul
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jul 31, 2022 10:52 IST

GRE Analytical Writing Tips: The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section of the GRE General Test, is designed to assess the critical thinking and analytical writing skills of the GRE test taker. The GRE Analytical Writing section is designed to reflect the candidate's ability to express complex ideas clearly and effectively while maintaining a coherent and focused discussion.

Many candidates lose sight of the fact that the GRE test does not evaluate their content knowledge. So what opinion you provide has no right or wrong answer. In this particular article, we are going to cover topics revolving around GRE AWA preparation strategies and how to prepare for analytical writing GRE for 2022. We also have experts pitching in with their ideas on how to prepare for AWA GRE for first-time test takers. 

Top 5 GRE Analytical Writing Tips 2022

Let us start with the most important GRE AWA preparation strategies for students looking to appear for the GRE test.

  1. Identify the topic
  2. Know what you are required to do
  3. Time management
  4. Bring about depth in writing
  5. Practice practice practice

Candidates should understand that these are GRE AWA tips that they are required to swear by in order to perform well in their GRE AWA section. Let us understand them in detail.

  • Identify the topic: In order to do justice to the topic, the test-taker should understand the topic clearly. Candidates should understand that broadly speaking, there are seven categories of topics they could face. The categories are Arts, Cities, Education, Government and Power, Intellectual Endeavors, Philosophy and Technology. The topics would revolve around these seven categories. 
  • Know what you are required to do: It is important for candidates to read the directions that come with the question. As you must be aware the GRE AWA section is majorly made up of two tasks, Analyze an Issue - task and Analyze an Argument - task. And both the tasks, would require different treatment from the candidate. Hence, it is very important for the candidate to understand what is required of him. 
  • Time management: Candidates would be required to complete the two tasks, in one hour, that is 30 mins per task. Candidates should understand that the process of completing one single task, including, brainstorming, outlining, thesis statement, the body of the essay, checking for grammatical errors and an intro (optional) for each topic would have to be done in 30 mins. Hence, there would be immense pressure on the candidate. Time management is key to performing well in the GRE AWA section.
  • Bring about depth in writing: A lot of times, candidates compromise on the length of the essay, in order to reduce grammatical errors. However, candidates are advised against any such practice. candidates should stick to the length prescribed by ETS-the conducting body of the GRE test. Only a well-fleshed-out essay would provide depth to the reader and qualify for a good score.  
  • Practice practice practice: We cannot simply overstate the importance of asking candidates to practice GRE AWA section topics enough. As you will read along, we have provided a pool of topics for candidates wanting to practice GRE AWA questions. Candidates should note that, instead of solving topics provided in the pool below, they should be able to write on topics that they are unfamiliar with and come up with examples to address different types of GRE AWA topics. 

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About the GRE Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section of the GRE Test

In the GRE Writing section, there will be two separately timed essays. For each essay, the candidate would be given 30 minutes to address a specified topic. The topics are broadly categorized into two kinds. 

  • Analyze an Issue - task (30 mins)
  • Analyze an Argument - task (30 mins)

What is GRE Analyze an Issue - Task?

For the GRE Analyze an Issue task, the GRE test taker would be required to write an essay in which he would have to respond to a brief statement over an issue of general interest. This task assesses the candidate's ability to think critically about a general interest topic and express their thoughts in writing. The candidate would be given an issue statement that can be viewed from several different angles. The candidate would be directed to adopt a position on the issue and to develop and support that position.

What is GRE Analyze an Argument - Task?

For the Analyze an Argument - task, the candidate's task would be to compose an essay in which he would analyze a paragraph-length argument. However, the candidate does not have to present their own views on the argument's topic. This task assesses your ability to understand, analyze, and evaluate arguments. The arguments will be presented in a brief paragraph that puts forth the author’s opinion or case. You need to determine if it is logically sound and evaluate it.

Note that the first essay requires you to state your stance and provide supporting evidence, while the second essay requires you to evaluate someone else’s position. Remember that you will be assessed on how you use critical thinking to address the given topic and how well you can express yourself in writing.

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GRE AWA Skills tested:

  • Ability to articulate, develop and support complex ideas
  • Ability to formulate and evaluate arguments
  • Ability to maintain a focused, cohesive, and coherent discussion
  • Control over the word choice and usage, and
  • Control over the conventions of grammar and sentence structure

GRE Analytical Writing Topics

As informed earlier, we are going to provide a number of GRE Analytical writing topics for our GRE test takers to practice with. Kindly note, that if there is a shortage of time, candidates can simply familiarize themselves with the diversity of topics. Candidates with less preparation time on them should note that, instead of solving GRE AWA topics provided in the pool below, they should be able to write on topics that they are unfamiliar with and come up with examples to address different types of GRE AWA topics. 

Analyze an Issue - Pool of Topics for GRE General test

Issue topics for the Analytical Writing section of the GRE General Test have been sourced from the official ETS website, the candidate who would be taking the GRE test will be presented with one Issue topic from the pool below. 

Topic - 01

Universities should require every student to take a variety of courses outside the student's field of study.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.


Topic - 02

A nation should require all of its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college.

Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.


Topic - 03

Educational institutions should actively encourage their students to choose fields of study that will prepare them for lucrative careers.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.


Topic - 04

Some people believe that in order to be effective, political leaders must yield to public opinion and abandon principle for the sake of compromise. Others believe that the most essential quality of an effective leader is the ability to remain consistently committed to particular principles and objectives.

Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.


Topic - 05

Formal education tends to restrain our minds and spirits rather than set them free.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.


Topic - 06

The well-being of a society is enhanced when many of its people question authority.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.


Topic - 07

Governments should focus on solving the immediate problems of today rather than on trying to solve the anticipated problems of the future.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.


Topic - 08

Some people believe that college students should consider only their own talents and interests when choosing a field of study. Others believe that college students should base their choice of a field of study on the availability of jobs in that field.

Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.


Topic - 09

Laws should be flexible enough to take account of various circumstances, times, and places.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.


Topic - 10

Claim: The best way to understand the character of a society is to examine the character of the men and women that the society chooses as its heroes or its role models.

Reason: Heroes and role models reveal a society's highest ideals.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.


Topic - 11

Governments should place few, if any, restrictions on scientific research and development.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.


Topic - 12

The best way to teach is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.


Topic - 13

Governments should offer college and university education free of charge to all students.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.


Topic - 14

The luxuries and conveniences of contemporary life prevent people from developing into truly strong and independent individuals.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.


Topic - 15

In any field of inquiry, the beginner is more likely than the expert to make important contributions.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

Source: ETS | For complete list visit: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/issue/pool 


Analyze an Argument - Pool of Topics for GRE General test

The following Argument topics for the Analytical Writing section of the GRE General Test have been sourced from the official ETS website. Candidates who would be taking the GRE test will be presented with one Argument topic from the pool below for their test.

Topic - 1

The council of Maple County, concerned about the county's becoming overdeveloped, is debating a proposed measure that would prevent the development of existing farmland in the county. But the council is also concerned that such a restriction, by limiting the supply of new housing, could lead to significant increases in the price of housing in the county. Proponents of the measure note that Chestnut County established a similar measure ten years ago, and its housing prices have increased only modestly since. However, opponents of the measure note that Pine County adopted restrictions on the development of new residential housing fifteen years ago, and its housing prices have since more than doubled. The council currently predicts that the proposed measure, if passed, will result in a significant increase in housing prices in Maple County.

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the prediction and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the prediction.


Topic - 2

Fifteen years ago, Omega University implemented a new procedure that encouraged students to evaluate the teaching effectiveness of all their professors. Since that time, Omega professors have begun to assign higher grades in their classes, and overall student grade averages at Omega have risen by 30 percent. Potential employers, looking at this dramatic rise in grades, believe that grades at Omega are inflated and do not accurately reflect student achievement; as a result, Omega graduates have not been as successful at getting jobs as have graduates from nearby Alpha University. To enable its graduates to secure better jobs, Omega University should terminate student evaluation of professors.

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.


Topic - 3

In an attempt to improve highway safety, Prunty County last year lowered its speed limit from 55 to 45 miles per hour on all county highways. But this effort has failed: the number of accidents has not decreased, and, based on reports by the highway patrol, many drivers are exceeding the speed limit. Prunty County should instead undertake the same kind of road improvement project that Butler County completed five years ago: increasing lane widths, resurfacing rough highways, and improving visibility at dangerous intersections. Today, major Butler County roads still have a 55 mph speed limit, yet there were 25 percent fewer reported accidents in Butler County this past year than there were five years ago.

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.


Topic - 4

The following appeared as part of an article in a business magazine.

"A recent study rating 300 male and female Mentian advertising executives according to the average number of hours they sleep per night showed an association between the amount of sleep the executives need and the success of their firms. Of the advertising firms studied, those whose executives reported needing no more than 6 hours of sleep per night had higher profit margins and faster growth. These results suggest that if a business wants to prosper, it should hire only people who need less than 6 hours of sleep per night."

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.


Topic - 5

The following memorandum is from the business manager of Happy Pancake House restaurants.

"Recently, butter has been replaced by margarine in Happy Pancake House restaurants throughout the southwestern United States. This change, however, has had little impact on our customers. In fact, only about 2 percent of customers have complained, indicating that an average of 98 people out of 100 are happy with the change. Furthermore, many servers have reported that a number of customers who ask for butter do not complain when they are given margarine instead. Clearly, either these customers do not distinguish butter from margarine or they use the term 'butter' to refer to either butter or margarine."

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.


Topic - 6

The following appeared in a memorandum from the manager of WWAC radio station.

"To reverse a decline in listener numbers, our owners have decided that WWAC must change from its current rock-music format. The decline has occurred despite population growth in our listening area, but that growth has resulted mainly from people moving here after their retirement. We must make listeners of these new residents. We could switch to a music format tailored to their tastes, but a continuing decline in local sales of recorded music suggests limited interest in music. Instead we should change to a news and talk format, a form of radio that is increasingly popular in our area."

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.


Topic - 7

The following is a memorandum from the business manager of a television station.

"Over the past year, our late-night news program has devoted increased time to national news and less time to weather and local news. During this period, most of the complaints received from viewers were concerned with our station's coverage of weather and local news. In addition, local businesses that used to advertise during our late-night news program have canceled their advertising contracts with us. Therefore, in order to attract more viewers to our news programs and to avoid losing any further advertising revenues, we should expand our coverage of weather and local news on all our news programs."

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.


Topic - 8

Two years ago, radio station WCQP in Rockville decided to increase the number of call-in advice programs that it broadcast; since that time, its share of the radio audience in the Rockville listening area has increased significantly. Given WCQP's recent success with call-in advice programming, and citing a nationwide survey indicating that many radio listeners are quite interested in such programs, the station manager of KICK in Medway recommends that KICK include more call-in advice programs in an attempt to gain a larger audience share in its listening area.

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.


Topic - 9

The following appeared in an article written by Dr. Karp, an anthropologist.

"Twenty years ago, Dr. Field, a noted anthropologist, visited the island of Tertia and concluded from his observations that children in Tertia were reared by an entire village rather than by their own biological parents. However, my recent interviews with children living in the group of islands that includes Tertia show that these children spend much more time talking about their biological parents than about other adults in the village. This research of mine proves that Dr. Field's conclusion about Tertian village culture is invalid and thus that the observation-centered approach to studying cultures is invalid as well. The interview-centered method that my team of graduate students is currently using in Tertia will establish a much more accurate understanding of child-rearing traditions there and in other island cultures."

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.


Topic - 10

According to a recent report, cheating among college and university students is on the rise. However, Groveton College has successfully reduced student cheating by adopting an honor code, which calls for students to agree not to cheat in their academic endeavors and to notify a faculty member if they suspect that others have cheated. Groveton's honor code replaced a system in which teachers closely monitored students; under that system, teachers reported an average of thirty cases of cheating per year. In the first year the honor code was in place, students reported twenty-one cases of cheating; five years later, this figure had dropped to fourteen. Moreover, in a recent survey, a majority of Groveton students said that they would be less likely to cheat with an honor code in place than without. Thus, all colleges and universities should adopt honor codes similar to Groveton's in order to decrease cheating among students.

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.


Topic - 11

The following appeared in an article written by Dr. Karp, an anthropologist.

"Twenty years ago, Dr. Field, a noted anthropologist, visited the island of Tertia and concluded from his observations that children in Tertia were reared by an entire village rather than by their own biological parents. However, my recent interviews with children living in the group of islands that includes Tertia show that these children spend much more time talking about their biological parents than about other adults in the village. This research of mine proves that Dr. Field's conclusion about Tertian village culture is invalid and thus that the observation-centered approach to studying cultures is invalid as well. The interview-centered method that my team of graduate students is currently using in Tertia will establish a much more accurate understanding of child-rearing traditions there and in other island cultures."

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.


Topic - 12

A recently issued twenty-year study on headaches suffered by the residents of Mentia investigated the possible therapeutic effect of consuming salicylates. Salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headaches. Although many foods are naturally rich in salicylates, food-processing companies also add salicylates to foods as preservatives. The twenty-year study found a correlation between the rise in the commercial use of salicylates and a steady decline in the average number of headaches reported by study participants. At the time when the study concluded, food-processing companies had just discovered that salicylates can also be used as flavor additives for foods, and, as a result, many companies plan to do so. Based on these study results, some health experts predict that residents of Mentia will suffer even fewer headaches in the future.

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the prediction and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the prediction.


Topic - 13

The following was written as a part of an application for a small-business loan by a group of developers in the city of Monroe.

"A jazz music club in Monroe would be a tremendously profitable enterprise. Currently, the nearest jazz club is 65 miles away; thus, the proposed new jazz club in Monroe, the C-Note, would have the local market all to itself. Plus, jazz is extremely popular in Monroe: over 100,000 people attended Monroe's annual jazz festival last summer; several well-known jazz musicians live in Monroe; and the highest-rated radio program in Monroe is 'Jazz Nightly,' which airs every weeknight at 7 P.M. Finally, a nationwide study indicates that the typical jazz fan spends close to $1,000 per year on jazz entertainment."

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.


Topic - 14

The following appeared in the summary of a study on headaches suffered by the residents of Mentia.

"Salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headaches. Although many foods are naturally rich in salicylates, for the past several decades, food-processing companies have also been adding salicylates to foods as preservatives. This rise in the commercial use of salicylates has been found to correlate with a steady decline in the average number of headaches reported by participants in our twenty-year study. Recently, food-processing companies have found that salicylates can also be used as flavor additives for foods. With this new use for salicylates, we can expect a continued steady decline in the number of headaches suffered by the average citizen of Mentia."

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.


Topic - 15

The following appeared in a letter to the editor of a local newspaper.

"Commuters complain that increased rush-hour traffic on Blue Highway between the suburbs and the city center has doubled their commuting time. The favored proposal of the motorists' lobby is to widen the highway, adding an additional lane of traffic. But last year's addition of a lane to the nearby Green Highway was followed by a worsening of traffic jams on it. A better alternative is to add a bicycle lane to Blue Highway. Many area residents are keen bicyclists. A bicycle lane would encourage them to use bicycles to commute, and so would reduce rush-hour traffic rather than fostering an increase."

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.

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Solved GRE Analytical Writing Topics

Simply providing the pool of GRE essay topics is not enough. We at shiksha.com have taken our GRE AWA preparation strategy one step further by providing graded GRE Analytical Writing Assessments for candidates to understand the structure of the essay that needs to be followed and the accompanying grade for the same along with an explanation. Check out our solved GRE AWA essays for both topics - Analyze an Issue and Analyze an Argument - topics.

GRE AWA Sample Paper for Analyze an Issue - topics - solved

GRE Sample Essay 1

GRE Sample Essay 2
GRE Sample Essay 3 GRE Sample Essay 4
GRE Sample Essay 5 GRE Sample Essay 6
GRE Sample Essay 7 GRE Sample Essay 8
GRE Sample Essay 9 GRE Sample Essay 10

GRE AWA Sample Paper for Analyze an Argument -  topics - solved

GRE Sample Essay 11

GRE Sample Essay 12
GRE Sample Essay 13 GRE Sample Essay 14
GRE Sample Essay 15 GRE Sample Essay 16
GRE Sample Essay 17 GRE Sample Essay 18
GRE Sample Essay 19 GRE Sample Essay 20

GRE Analytical Writing Study Material

In this section, we are going to talk about the best books and resources to ace your GRE Analytical writing section. 

GRE Analytical Writing Books

Candidates can check the official ETS website for the best GRE Analytical Writing books and resources for acing the GRE section. Candidates should understand that practising with these GRE analytical writing tips can cut exam day frustration. 

GRE Analytical Writing Practice Test Online

Candidates are also advised to study for the GRE online test by looking up the AWA topics as provided above and practising writing several of them within the 30-minute guideline. The only way to get comfortable with the time constraints is to practise them, so set up test-like conditions and get to work.

GRE Analytical Writing Score Guide

The score scale for this section is on a range of 0-6 with half-point increments. Though you have to write two different essays, a single score will be given for both. When your essays are being scored, the ‘ETS detection software’ and two to three different examiners check your essays for any content that has been copied or any similar content found in comparison to other examinees’ essays. Along with general scores, a percentile score is also provided to compare your scores with other examinees who have taken the test in the past three years.

GRE AWA Score Interpretation Response Type
Score 6 Outstanding
  • clearly identifies aspects of the argument relevant to the assigned task and examines them insightfully
  • develops ideas cogently, organizes them logically and connects them with clear transitions
  • provides compelling and thorough support for its main points
  • conveys ideas fluently and precisely, using effective vocabulary and sentence variety
  • demonstrates superior facility with the conventions of standard written English (i.e., grammar, usage and mechanics), but may have minor errors

Score 5

Strong

  • clearly identifies aspects of the argument relevant to the assigned task and examines them in a generally perceptive way
  • develops ideas clearly, organizes them logically and connects them with appropriate transitions
  • offers generally thoughtful and thorough support for its main points
  • conveys ideas clearly and well, using appropriate vocabulary and sentence variety
  • demonstrates facility with the conventions of standard written English, but may have minor errors

Score 4

Adequate
  • identifies and examines aspects of the argument relevant to the assigned task, but may also discuss some extraneous points
  • develops and organizes ideas satisfactorily, but may not connect them with transitions
  • supports its main points adequately, but may be uneven in its support
  • demonstrates sufficient control of language to convey ideas with reasonable clarity
  • generally demonstrates control of the conventions of standard written English, but may have some errors
Score 3  Limited
  • does not identify or examine most of the aspects of the argument relevant to the assigned task, although some relevant examination of the argument is present
  • mainly discusses tangential or irrelevant matters, or reasons poorly
  • is limited in the logical development and organization of ideas
  • offers support of little relevance and value for its main points
  • has problems in language and sentence structure that result in a lack of clarity
  • contains occasional major errors or frequent minor errors in grammar, usage or mechanics that can interfere with meaning

Score 2 

Seriously Flawed
  • does not present an examination based on logical analysis, but may instead present the writer's own views on the subject
  • does not follow the directions for the assigned task
  • does not develop ideas, or is poorly organized and illogical
  • provides little, if any, relevant or reasonable support for its main points
  • has serious problems in language and sentence structure that frequently interfere with meaning
  • contains serious errors in grammar, usage or mechanics that frequently obscure meaning

Score 1 

Fundamentally Deficient
  • provides little or no evidence of understanding the argument
  • provides little evidence of the ability to develop an organized response (e.g., is disorganized and/or extremely brief)
  • has severe problems in language and sentence structure that persistently interfere with meaning
  • contains pervasive errors in grammar, usage or mechanics that result in incoherence
Score 0 Off-topic
  • is in a foreign language, merely copies the topic, consists of only keystroke characters, or is illegible or nonverbal.
Score NS  
  • The essay response is blank.

source: ETS

Tips and Tricks for the GRE

When you're preparing for the GRE, it can feel like you're awash in a sea of advice. Some of it's good, some of it's bad, and some of it's just plain unhelpful. So, let's narrow it down. What can you do now to ensure you get the best score before your exam? There are ten tricks and tips that will actually help.

  1. Plan ahead. Whether because of sudden decisions or new information, some students don't have a lot of time to plan for the GRE Exam. Can you still get a good score on the GRE? Absolutely. Is it harder? Absolutely. No matter what your situation is, though, make sure that registering for your GRE test date is the first thing you do. Spots fill up early (sometimes months in advance!), and if you're at your mental best on weekends, afternoons, or have any other special requirements, lock the date down now.
  2. Know what you're getting into. It may be too late to turn back now, but familiarize yourself with both the exam and your own strengths and weaknesses by taking a GRE diagnostic test. There's no time like the present…
  3. Take lots of practice tests. A lot of students prepping for the GRE think that taking/reading lessons and doing practice sets is sufficient. Not so! The GRE is a marathon, and staying alert for almost four hours takes practice. Taking at least one practice test a week, for a total of around ten in all, is ideal.
  4. Start studying vocabulary. GRE Verbal is extremely vocab heavy, and (particularly if you're applying to humanities or social science programs) will be important to master. This isn't SAT/ACT-level stuff, either. These are some hard words!
  5. Focus on your subject. Well, broadly speaking. This is a little blurrier for those in the social sciences, but if you're applying to an English grad program, your Quant score will have little bearing on your application. Similarly, Engineering admissions committees won't care too much about your English scores. Continue Reading: 10 Tips and Tricks for the GRE

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Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

With over 8 years of experience in overseas education, Rahul Singha has been previously associated with prominent education houses. He is also responsible for keeping a sharp eye on education policies of major study... Read Full Bio

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