GRE Essay Writing / Analytical Writing (AWA)
The GRE Assessment of Writing is used by the graduate schools for evaluating one's writing skills. The essay writing section has two essay questions assessed by the GRE essay graders who are normally graduate students. The two essays require a totally different and unique strategy:
Give Your Perspective on a Particular Issue (a 30 min test)
- Present your opinion or view on a contentious issue.
Analysis of the Argument (a 30 min test)
- You need to study the reasoning in the particular argument and then find the logical flaws.
The 1st essay is related with analyzing an issue, while the 2nd essay is about analyzing an argument. In the case of analyzing an issue, the examinee would be given two topics, and they would have to pick one out of the two. The question here will present to you the opinion of the issue in brief. You'll need to analyze the same and then give your opinion/view in a very convincing manner, under 45 minutes.
The 2nd essay would be related to the argument analysis. There's only one topic here, which is mandatory and there's no additional choice. The examinee would have to analyze the given argument presented in a critical way and give in ideas, opposing the author's views by giving a counter observation, which is valid, under 30 minutes. You'll be judged here, on your ability to think as well as oppose critically, the given views. You don't have to give out your personal views on this topic. The topics would be related to the normal issues. Thus one does not need to have a prior knowledge of the same.
Why is Essay important?
The whole idea of having this section in the paper is judging the candidate better. Essays give a good insight into one's way of thinking, understanding, reasoning, analyzing & presenting their opinions that cannot be judged in any better way. This is a section for which learning things by heart won't help as one has to scratch their very brains to get into the matter's depth to write well and clever. The essay section in the GRE also is a language test for a student appearing this test. The essays, in fact, are long passages which are written for expressing one's views/ideas, so one has to write it in a very good English format. Your command of English has to be good, meaning, it ought to be not only grammatically correct but the language was written should be very impressive.
It will be a huge mistake if you try and attempt the given essays in this section in a way you've been writing essays before in the classes. The issue essay in GRE needs a sufficient amount of prep before the real test. When preparing for this issue essay, you need to understand and know as to what all can be asked in an issue essay. You also ought to know the essay's total word limit; the time allotted as well as the maximum marks you can score in this writing section.
- You need to type in your response in this Essay test, so there obviously isn't a grammar check or spell-check available.
- These essays are all marked by one computer program called the 'e-rater' and one human reader.
- The scores of this test range between 1 and 6
A score '4' out of '6' is considered 'competent.' Although it's nice being efficient, you should always strive for good or the best, so it's equally important to put in a little more effort, just like to do for the other sections, for this section as well.
Preparing for the Analytical Writing Section:
Many students under-prepare themselves for this writing section. It's ironic as it's one of the GRE sections where even a small preparation can create a huge difference on the day of the test. To tackle this GRE's essay section, one must know about writing in a concise and a disciplined manner:
- Divide the essay into an introductory paragraph, 2-3 content paragraphs along with a nice conclusion.
- The issue of the essays is fraught normally with some political implications; however, don't go ranting or a fulmination stating your views. Don't delve into your personal life too deeply; be trammeled when writing the essay, keeping it balanced and professional.
- You can use transitional phrases like 'first,' 'because,' 'on the other hand, etc. for helping the reader identify conceptions within and between the paragraphs.
- Some GRE graders who are overworked might not be in their best mood for appreciating your poetic inspiration or eccentric humor so - play it safe.
- Put your critique clearly in the section of analyzing the argument of the essay.
- The best thing is to keep practicing and preparing under real-time conditions and within the 30-45 min time frames.
Scoring and Evaluation by the GRE Readers
As soon as you give the test, the GRE essays are electronically sent to a centrally based processing location and shortly thenceforth, each of the 2 GRE essays is read and then evaluated. There are two readers who read and then score the Issue essay. Also, there are two different readers to read and then score the Argument essay. Both of the readers evaluate your essay writing independently. No reader is informed of the score of the other reader. The GRE readers are university or college faculty members, and most of them are either from the field of Communications or English.
To rightly prepare for this Issue Essay in GRE, one has to make an effort for attempting those GRE issue essay's sample questions. Learning as well as reading is crucial, but also is writing as well as applying the knowledge you have. It will give you the practice and you'll also know as to how the real test could be, apart from knowing what the test pattern is, ascertaining if you can complete the given test in the time allotted, etc. and more than anything, it will make you very familiar and easy with the actual test. All this will help you gain confidence plus remove all your inhibitions.