GRE Analytical Writing

GRE Writing Section

The writing section of the GRE, which is always administered at the very beginning of the test, is 75 minutes long. It consists of two writing topics. You are instructed to write concise responses to open-ended questions.

Two trained readers trained by ETS assign each essay a score between 1 and 6, where a score of 0 is reserved for essays that are blank, off-topic, or non-English. The readers will grade the essay as a whole, taking into account its organization, succinctness and the general quality of argument put forth by the writer.

High scores result from an answer that is well-organized, logical and strategic in the manner that the question is addressed. If the scores are within one point of one another, they are averaged to produce a final score from 0 to 6. If the two readers' scores differ by more than one point, then a senior third reader decides. Scorers prefer responses that directly answer the question, and note carefully any wavering, deviating or rambling in the response.

This section tests:

  • Grammar
  • Argument Formulation
  • Writing Ability
  • English Usage
  • Examples chosen to support an argument
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