How to Write Well-turned GRE Essay

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Author: Ben Parker

GRE Essay Writing Tips

If you are brave enough to enter Master’s or Doctoral Program sky is your only limit now. You had four great years to obtain skills in the subject, develop critical and analytical thinking, improved your abilities of fast and qualitative learning and unlock your academic and personal potential. GRE test is a new step in your academic career university was preparing you for all these years.

In this article, we gathered the key point you should refresh to pass the GRE essay successfully. The more you know about the structure and requirements, the safer you will feel during the test.

The Test Structure

A lot of people get scared and bewildered when they see the test for the first time. As Sun Tzu truly stated: “Know your enemy”. So, let’s look at the structure and find out what to expect from the test.

A GRE essay is a part of the Analytic Writing section. In fact, there are two essay tasks waiting for you.

  • The first one is an Issue task. You’re given 30 minutes to write an essay on a proposed topic. Luckily, you can find the list of issue topics on the ETS web site. You will be asked to give your opinion on some issues. You are well familiar with the structure of an opinion essay, so it shouldn’t be hard for you to accomplish. We recommend refreshing key moments about this type of writing. However, the best way to prepare is to write a couple of these. Here is an example of the GRE essay task.

You may find more examples at ETS website to practice your writing skills.

  • The second task is an argumentative essay.  You get 30 minutes as well.  In the prompt, you get a statement, followed by arguments and reflections that lead to a certain conclusion. Yet, the task is to argue it and prove the opposite. It doesn’t matter what is your own opinion on this statement.  Your goal is to analyze the logic of the reflection and reasoning in the given prompt and identify the ways of purifying it – find gaps in argumentation and illogic points. Here is an example of an argumentative essay task for GRE from ETS webpage.

Both essays are written on the computer in a special ETS software that doesn’t have the spell-check function and other Word great tricks. Each essay is checked by two referees. The highest score you can get is 6. In case points from referees are different, they are added and subtracted by 2. However, if the mark differs for more than one point, the work is checked once again by the third referee.

Final Instructions

As a rule of thumb – avoid essay clichés for introduction and conclusion. It means do not use rhetorical questions. They do not sound as impressive on the paper as they would in public speech. Be a bit more creative and think of a better hook.

It is undoubtedly clear that you are the one writing the essay. So stay away from overusing constructions such as: “I think” or “I assume”. It’s better to stick to the third person.

The main target is to keep the essay logically connected and coherent. We strongly recommend not writing irrelevant data or illustrations. Make sure each paragraph has a purpose and states something meaningful.

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