If you are a GRE taker, you already know the importance of the Analytical Writing Assessment, which requires you to write two essays. Issues and Argument both need you to make a convincing thesis and you have 30 minutes for each of them.
You are graded between scores 0-0 to 6.0 with 0.5 increments. Your final score is the average of both the essays rounded up to the nearest 0.5.
Save your essay with the three “C”s:
There are three primary things graders look for in your GRE analytical writing essay – clarity, coherence and an overall convincing statement. Your ideas should be expressed clearly. Different ideas you have should follow logically. After all you got to be convincing the grader of your thesis.
Now all this might seem tricky at first but the good news is that there are simple steps you can follow to ace the GRE analytical writing essay test. Here are a few of them that you can focus on as you prepare for your GRE.
- Remember there are no right or wrong answers here; and that should automatically take some pressure off your back. Take a few minutes to build a position for your thesis in your head before you start writing it out.
- Stay simple and avoid complicating things. Let your inner Shakespeare be, for another time. The GRE essay tests your basic writing skills and clarity of thought. Three to five simple paragraphs of a well thought-out thesis can do the wonders.
- Stand your ground. Whatever position you choose to take, stick to it because you don’t want to waste precious time oscillating between stances. Offer evidence to back your position and organize the paragraphs with topical sentences.
- Assumptions are an integral part of the essay, especially for Argument. Generalizations, issues with statistics, false causes are some of them and you need to spot them and attack (or may be, defend) with gusto.
- Diverse sentence structure can go a long way in making the right impression with the reader. If your sentences are of varying lengths, then you know you are on the right track. Transitional words and phrases like However, For instance can be used to good effect.
- If you don’t know the numbers, don’t use the numbers. It is a major put off for graders when they see students putting incorrect statistics and numbers to make a point. Avoid using numbers if you are not completely convinced of their authenticity.
- Stay relevant and do not meander too much. Of course providing examples is important but don’t let it come in the way of the big picture that you are trying to present.
- Using active voice is usually appreciated when it comes to the tone of the essay.
- GRE graders respect grammar Nazis. Good grammar will only add to the quality of your essay. Try proofreading what you wrote before putting the final period.
Go through sample essays, especially those that are graded and keep practicing to do well in the crucial essay test.