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Last Updated: March 08, 2021


Good communication is a sign of a highly organized mind. The GRE Issue Essay tests the ability of the student to think on the spot and organize thoughts in a manner that could be communicated effectively through words. It also examines sentence forming capabilities, grammatical competency, and the command over the English language.

Being able to communicate information and being able to communicate content in an organized fashion are two different skillsets out of which the Issue essay focuses on the latter. Unlike the Argument Task, this task focuses on the student’s take on the subject provided. But it is to be noted that the student must provide opinions only on the questions that have been asked instead of writing about everything they know related to the topic. Wandering away from the topic at hand gives the impression that the student cannot focus on what is important or follow direct instructions.

The student is allowed to agree or disagree with the topic as long as they provide an explanation regarding their standpoint. Providing proofs and pieces of evidence to assert the opinion will guarantee a higher score than just mentioning the opinion. These proofs and pieces of evidence can be taken from personal experiences that the student might have learned from books or other media as long as it is relevant to the information they are trying to convey. Understand that there is no perfect or right answer to this question. The grades will entirely depend on the reasoning skill and the level of articulation the student has in delivering an instruction-specific answer.

What is a GRE Issue Essay?

Tips to Ace the GRE Issue Essay

The GRE Issue Essay requires a lot of practice and preparation based on published topics before taking the test. Apart from managing time to write the entire essay within 30 minutes, one should also focus on providing a well-structured answer for a high score.

GRE Issue Essay Time Management

Time Management for the Issue Essay is nearly the same as managing time for the Argument Essay in GRE. Given that there is only a 30-minute window to read the content provided to figure out the different perspectives, gather evidence and information, and create an essay from scratch, time is the biggest variant students will have to prepare according to.

Ideally, one should follow the mnemonic RITE which can be expanded into Read, Ideate, Type, and Edit. In this method, there are clear time divisions that one can follow to create the perfect essay and still have time to edit.

It is recommended that the test-taker spends only 2 minutes reading the content provided, 5 minutes for brainstorming ideas and perspectives, 20 minutes for typing out the notes from the scratch paper in the form of an essay, and a final 3 minutes to edit the work and remove all grammatical inaccuracies and other inconsistencies in the language.

DO’S in GRE Issue Essay

DONT'S in the GRE Issue Essay

The GRE exam focuses on a certain nuanced way of thinking the student may possess. It is for this reason that the question/ prompt will often contain instructions requiring the examinee to look at both sides of the claim they have made. In such an instance, it is imperative that the student focuses on their own perspective while giving equal weightage to the opposing viewpoint. Asserting that one point is right does not essentially make the opposing view wrong. It is essential that the student reaches a concession point where they mention the opposing viewpoint also. But at the same time, their essay should not appear to be a confusing mess between the opposing views. The student should take extra care to conclude by emphasizing whatever they were focusing on throughout the essay.

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