GRE test takers are typically a little wary about the Analytical Writing section of the exam. Armed with the right strategies, test takers can easily obtain a good score in this section. The section requires students to write two essays – issue and argument. Test takers are given 30 minutes each for both the essays and are scored on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments.
The issue-based essay can be related to religion, politics or other such issues. You have to take a position on this topic, analyze and respond to the given statement. You have to agree/disagree with the statement along with supporting reasons.
The argument-based essay warrants you to write a response about the evidence needed to evaluate the argument. You have to also write about strengthening/weakening the argument based on the evidence. Essentially, you have to discuss the logic behind the position you take in the essay.
When you are writing the essays, make sure that you write in a clear manner. Clarity of thought is more important than flowery language. The ideas should flow in a logical fashion and offer evidence to support your thesis. While a good writing style will certainly stand out, it is more important that the essays should be grammatically correct containing properly framed sentences. Organize your and articulate your information in the best manner possible.
Students often wonder about the length of the essay. This is not crucial to the essay at all. As long as you can write essays which are well articulated, logically ordered and error-free, you will do well in this section. We suggest five paragraphs – an intro, three body paragraphs and a conclusion.
Make sure that you practice well for the essays. Many students leave the essay for the actual GRE. By doing that, they are not giving themselves a chance to get accustomed to writing essays. Write atleast a couple of issue and argument essays to be confident about this section. Take practice tests and write these essays under strictly timed conditions. Think about a structure before you start writing the essay. In your free time, go through a lot of essay samples. These essay samples will give you an insight into your own level of writing.
Follow these strategies to stay on the right side of the 0-6 scale in the GRE essay section.