Last Updated: March 04, 2021
HOW TO ACE THE GRE ARGUMENT ESSAY?
The GRE Argument Essay is crucial as it tests the ability of the student to take part in a presented argument, analyze it critically without letting their opinions get in the way. It also checks the reading and writing proficiency of the student by testing whether they are quick on grasping the underlying inadequacies, or can present their discussion on why the argument is wrong with supporting examples flawlessly.
What is a GRE Argument Task?
The Argument Task in the GRE test is a task that requires the student to analyze, understand and assess the arguments provided according to the instructions provided. The assessment that has been made by the student is to be conveyed in the format of an essay without passing judgment on the content.
Students are required to evaluate the logic behind the argument provided by examining the method of reasoning and the evidence provided by the author. One can focus on the content that has been stated or claimed and what has been offered as a piece of evidence or proof to support those claims by the author. This may also include content that has been assumed, that is, without any concrete evidence or justification provided for the same. The student may also infer content that has been implied through the text though not explicitly stated in the content that has been provided. Another important factor to be analyzed is the structure of the argument made by the author to understand the line of reasoning made.
While writing the essay, the student must take care to not offer personal opinions regarding the discourse provided. One should avoid mentioning whether the arguments stated by the author are true or accurate, nor whether they agree with the statements provided. Avoid stating any personal opinions in the critical analysis of the content and structure of the text.
Some Points to Note for the GRE Argument Task
- The validity of the argument and the analysis of its logical authenticity is the required objective of this section.
- The author will present an argument with his supporting evidence, and the task assigned is to check how well or how poorly the given argument has been reasoned.
- The candidate does not mention their views and opinions as in the case of the GRE Issue Essay.
- The candidate does not pass personal judgments regarding the arguments given.
- The time allotted for this section is 30 minutes, and it is scored on a scale of six.
- Analyze the structure of the argument made to identify the form of reasoning used.
How to Attempt the GRE Argument Essay?
- Read the essay provided and note down the main claim along with supporting factors mentioned.
- Figure out what the author is claiming and what the line of reasoning is. Get acquainted with the thought process of the author and the supporting information provided.
- Identify pieces of evidence and proofs offered to support the claim.
- Analyze the given argument with the eye of a critique while giving importance to the following:
- The evidence used by the author to help support the claim made in the essay.
- Find the assumptions hidden between the words. These may not be explicitly stated but identifying them proves the deeper insight you have in deciphering texts.
- Identify false generalizations and analogies.
- Look out for inadequate and missed out evidence.
- Avoid misleading surveys and statistics.
- All arguments provided in the GRE are imperfect in some way or the other, the task is to identify these flaws and inadequacies and present them appropriately in the essay.
- Come up with alternative explanations to the presented argument without proving the conclusion to be wrong.
- Note down the changes which, if made, would make the argument provided stronger, make a claim made more believable and logical.
- Arrange all of the above points from the introduction to the conclusion in the scratch paper before typing out the original answer
How to get a High Score in the Argument Task?
An argument task does not require the student to explain his/her views regarding the text provided. But it is essential that the student must critically analyze the text provided based on the logical nature of the argument, the pieces of evidence provided, and the structure of the argument given. It is imperative to understand that only a total of 30 minutes will be provided to complete the task. This will include reading the essay, identifying arguments, proofs, claims, etc., and creating an essay critically analyzing the same. Time, then, is the most important factor to consider to receive a high score. Other factors include:
- Increase the pace of reading and make notes on the go to save time.
- Identify false generalizations and pieces of evidence that are inadequate for the argument.
- Start with a brief introduction explaining the arguments and the underlying evidence, followed by three to four body paragraphs focusing on the possible alternative explanations which overrule the identified flaws. An essay that concludes on a note of ambiguity claims that the argument has one or more valid points but lacks adequate information which would have made a claim more believable.
- Mention 2-3 assumptions made by the author. Evaluate the 3 assumptions in detail rather than mention all the assumptions that have been identified.
- Write in the third-person. Never write the argument essay in the first-person.
- Use declarative sentences to sound confident.
- Once the essay is complete, proof-read it to check for possible spelling errors and grammatical mistakes.
Additional Tips to Ace the GRE Argument Essay
- A lot of practice on various published topics is an absolute must to a perfect score.
- Focus on developing critical thinking skills.
- Learn to organize arguments in a certain structure which can even include a short summary of the content mentioned by the author.
- Reading skills could be improved through daily newspaper skimming and various books.
- Always begin a new paragraph for a new perspective or idea. This may imply having very few or a lot of paragraphs both of which are fine.
- Vocabulary and sentence formations could also be enhanced through preparative materials such as Barron's wordlist, flashcards, and continuous revision.
Hard work never fails, and with all these guidelines one cannot fail to score high on this part of the GRE.