The Analytical Writing section requires test takers to demonstrate their ability to think critically and write analytically. This section is designed to test how well you can (1) articulate and support your ideas, (2) construct and support an argument, and (3) express your thoughts clearly in written form. The essay section is NOT meant to test how many big vocabulary words you know, how much you know about a specific topic, or really even how creative you are.
1. The Analytical Writing Tasks
The Analytical Writing section consists of two writing tasks:
- One 30-minute “Analyze an Issue” task
- One 30-minute “Analyze an Argument” task
For the Analyze an Issue essay, you will be presented with an opinion on a specific issue and asked to respond to that issue. You must evaluate the issue and develop an argument supported by reasons and example.
For the Analyze an Argument task, you will be presented with an argument and asked to evaluate it. You must consider the logical soundness of the argument and discuss how well it is reasoned.
2. How is it Graded?
You will receive a grade from 1 to 6, which will be sent with your GRE scores. Your essay will be graded by a human grader and an “e-rater ®” computerized grading program. If they disagree, it will be sent to a third human grader. If you do not write your essay in the proper format for the E-rater, it could lead to a lower score. Throughout this guide, we have tips on how to cater your writing towards the E-rater.
3. How to Prepare
The good news is that the Analytical Writing section can be beaten. The essay topics are available for you to (argument topics) and (issue topics). The structures for the Analytical Weriting answers are simple and can be learned. In addition, while some GRE preparation may appear “pointless” and without any merit beyond test day, the skills, reasoning tools, and techniques you learn for the GRE Analytical Writing may be applied to any essay or persuasive writing. These skills will help you throughout business school and beyond.
The guide is divided into these sections:
- Chapter 1: Introduction (current page)
- Chapter 2: Analysis of Issue
- Chapter 3: Analysis of Argument
- Chapter 4: Improving Your Writing
- Chapter 5: GRE Essay Questions
- Chapter 6: 10 Most Common Errors
You can take practice essays and send them in for grading at: www.800score.com/gre-takeessay/