7 Expert Tips to Ace Analytical Writing in GRE


A lot of students find GRE analytical writing assessment quite intimidating. Finishing a GRE essay in just 30 minutes in general topics might sound like a doable task unless it’s done. And not just one, but two in the list that appears one after the other. So, how do you deal with these essays? How to start? What to include? How to score more? If these are some of the questions you are asking yourself, these six tips can help you right away. These tips are also necessary during your GRE online preparation.


1. Patterns, Patterns, Patterns!


There is a pattern for everything. In AWA, definitely yes. So, the first thing that you might want to do before you start with the official exam is finding some GRE sample essays on the ETS website. Then, find out what other students have written to give you a glimpse of insights about how you may incorporate some of those by yourself. Of course, no one’s perfect with essays or the topics you come across, so try to develop examples that assure to address the AWA prompts. This will help you in establishing a set cohesion for your essay.


2. Instructions are Everything.


You know why students lose marks. Not just because they have lousy writing skills. Some students who usually ace essays also end up with fewer marks because of naive ignorance during the exam. You need to understand that each essay in AWA comes with a specific set of instructions expected to be followed by the student. So, make sure that before starting the essay, do take some time to understand the AWA’s instructions.

For instance,

Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasons for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.

Although the first line of the instructions is similar, it slowly deviates towards the end by providing additional or rather more specific information that you would require to furnish the essay (remember that the instructions are always in Italic).


3. Hurry! The time is Ticking.


If you aren’t clear about how much time you spend on each paragraph, then the pacing may be entrapped with different thought processes, and you are simply wasting your time. Managing time in AWA is one the most crucial things in the exam, and if you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail. So, ensure that you are well reasoned in providing dedicated time for the required paragraphs. For instance, we asked a student, and here is how he managed his time.

  • Understanding the prompt and directions – 2- 3 minutes
  • Brainstorming and response plan – 3 minutes
  • 20 minutes for the body paragraphs [ Introduction, body of Analysis, and conclusion]
  • 3-4 minutes of proofreading (spell check, grammar check, vocabulary, punctuations, etc.)

You must also note that your typing speed must match with the 20-minute body pacing. That way, you will be able to write the answer quickly.


4. Are 400 Words Enough?


So, the question many students ask is how many words they are supposed to write. While some say 350, others say 400, 500, and above. So, is there any official limit for AWA? The answer is no. There is no official limit for the essays, so you must take time in writing as much as you can. However, the more quality content that you write, the more marks you get. Because in GRE AWA – it’s Quality + Quantity. So, if one gets high and the other compromises, then the scale also compromises. So, ensure that you balance both Qs, and you are sure to get a good score.

Are you planning to prepare for GRE?
Click Here to Book Your Free 1-On-1 Session with Experts

5. Your Examples Strengthen the Essay.


When you are writing AWA- Analysis of an issue, it’s essential that the examples are concrete to the topic. On the other hand, if the examples are generic and don’t bolster the claims stated in the essay, there is pretty little to wrap both. For instance, let’s look at these two sentences.

A. In the past, humans had to seek out information in many different environments and aspects of life. Now humans can sit in a chair and type anything into a computer and get an answer.

B. During the workday, chances are high that the employee will interact with a computer that processes information on silicon bridges that are .09 microns wide. In addition, upon leaving home, family members will be reached through wireless networks that utilize satellites orbiting the earth. Each of these common occurrences could have been inconceivable at the turn of the 19th century.

Between A and B, which one do you find more specific? The second one, right? While the former addresses the concerns of the technology, it doesn’t produce qualitative illustrations. So, this makes the difference between getting a low score and a high score.


6. Rule! – Do Not Disagree With the Argument.


In the Analysis of an argument, or the GRE argument essay, if you decided to agree with the argument, it’s the first step towards the most significant blunder. Does it mean that you must disagree? That’s untrue, either. So, what is expected from the Analysis of the argument? – Evaluate. You must evaluate the argument and not agree or disagree. By evaluating the argument, the validity and cogence of the argument will be brought up. Your task is to identify the logical fallacies which the author has made in the argument.

You need to evaluate how the argument must be in a position to strengthen with the right evidence. Yet, it doesn’t happen because arguments that appear in AWA are always biased. So, by evaluating the argument, the loopholes become more apparent. In simple words, you need to challenge the argument with your evaluation.


7. Don’t Cheat the Reader.


How did you feel about Avengers Infinity War Part 1 when you found out that the ending wasn’t going to be happy? The question that begged everyone” what just happened?” Do you feel that? The same can be said about the GRE AWA essays if you fail to provide a conclusion. Students write and produce excellent quality writing to lose marks because they thought the conclusion wasn’t necessary. In a way, you lured the reader with your engaging content and cut him or them off. So, if you want to avoid that, make sure that you compose a small conclusion at the end of the essay. This acts as an indicator that you finished your essay with a certain set of assumptions and conclusions.

These are the big six tips that are sure to take you ahead in your AWA. With consistent practice from the ETS website, you will surely be able to deliver the best. So instead of preparing for the essays before the exam, make sure that you spend some quality time practising. This way, you’ll be able to comprehend the topics in advance. This way, you can improve more in GRE analytical writing scores. Remember, the more GRE mock tests one takes, the more competent one is.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q1. Do we get an analytical writing score on the same day?

No! We don’t get the Analytical writing score on the same day. You have to wait for a minimum of 15 days to get the official GRE score report, where the Analytical writing score will be displayed.

Q2. What is an acceptable analytical writing score in GRE?

While some universities are okay with 3.0, it is advisable to get a score above 3.5 which is a good score.

Q3. What happens if I get less score in Analytical Writing in GRE?

AWA is one of the criteria for getting admission in the US. If the score falls below 3.0, then you might be cut off due to the criteria unless you show some valid credentials to suffice the gap.

Q4. Can I submit the GRE score without analytical writing?

You can simply enter the details of both verbal and quant in the space provided and keep the AWA section blank during the application process. This is only with few universities where they prioritize the quant and verbal sections more than AWA. You shall receive the full scores after 10 – 15 days that you can submit later.

Q5. How important is GRE analytical writing?

This is always a debatable question. However, since it’s there in the exam, universities will surely see through it. So yes! It is important.


Find Your Dream University

If you are planning to study abroad and searching to match your profile with the best suited university, experts at Manya – The Princeton Review have gathered important information of top Universities from abroad. Surely, this information will help you narrow down your quest for universities.

You can access accurate & authentic information related to rankings, application fees, average tuition fees, cost of living, scholarships, latest updates, and much more from more than 1000+ universities. You may also search for universities by name, country, or courses in common specializations, such as Physics, Finance, Business, Language and Culture, Agriculture, Environmental Science, Computer and IT, Media and Communication Marketing.

Manya – The Princeton Review offers end-to-end study abroad services encompassing admissions consulting services, test preparation, English language training, career assessment, and international internship opportunities to study abroad aspirants.

For more information, call our Study Abroad Helpline 1800 102 4646.

Book your Free Counselling Session now!

Planning to study abroad?
Get free 1-on-1 counselling with our experts

Subscribe to this blog