GRE - SPLessons

GRE Analytical Writing Scoring Strategies

Home > > Tutorial
SPLessons 5 Steps, 3 Clicks
5 Steps - 3 Clicks

GRE Analytical Writing Scoring Strategies

shape Introduction

The GRE Analytical Writing (AWA) is the first section of the GRE General Test. The GRE Analytical Writing (AWA) consists of two separately timed analytical writing tasks: GRE Analyze an Issue task and GRE Analyze an Argument task. The GRE Analytical Writing section measures the critical thinking and analytical writing skills of the test-takers. The test taker's ability to articulate and support complex ideas, construct and evaluate arguments, and sustain a focused and coherent discussion is assessed in the GRE Analytical Writing section. GRE Analytical Writing does not assess specific content knowledge. This article describes the GRE Analytical Writing Scoring Strategies for enhanced performance in the GRE Analytical Writing section.
Although the GRE Analytical Writing measure contains two discrete analytical writing tasks, a single combined score is reported because it is more reliable than a score for either task alone. The reported score ranges from 0 to 6, in half-point increments.

shape Elements

GRE Analytical Writing Scoring Strategies - Grading Elements
Following are the 7 elements which graders look for while grading the test takers essay.

shape Score Ranges

The statements below describe, for each score level, the overall quality of analytical writing demonstrated across both the Issue and Argument tasks. The test assesses "analytical writing," so critical thinking skills (the ability to reason, assemble evidence to develop a position and communicate complex ideas) are assessed along with the writer's control of grammar and the mechanics of writing (e.g., spelling).
✦ Outstanding (score of 6)
A paper with a score of 6 holds a potent, well-segmented critique of an argument, in addition, fetches meaning competently.
A paper with this score:
  • Recognizes important aspects of the argument and studies or examines them accurately.

  • Develops new ideas potentially, logically and relates them to some clear transformation.

  • Effectively supports the major points of the analysis.

  • Shows the control of language, which includes the proper choice of word and sentence formation.

  • Signifies fluency in the grammar, usage, and mechanics of standard form of written English, however, it might have some minor errors.

✦ Strong (score of 5) A paper with a score of 5 signifies generally meaningful, the well-developed argument as well as conveys the meaning clearly. A paper with this score clearly recognizes the important features of the arguments and examines all of them in a perceptive way. It also
  • Develops new ideas clearly, synthesizes them logically moreover connects them to proper transformations.

  • Logically supports the major points of the analysis.

  • Signifies the control over the language, choice of word and sentence formation.

  • Signifies fluency with the protocol of standard form of writing English, but might have small errors.

✦ Good (score of 4) A paper with a score of 4 presents a complete examination of the argument and presents sufficient meaning
A paper with this score identifies in addition to examining important aspects of the argument. It indicates that the candidate:
  • Improves and manages ideas which are acceptable, but may not connect them with transformations.

  • Supports the major points of the analysis

  • Has enough control over the language necessary to present the ideas in a crisp and clear manner.

  • Describes control of all protocols of standard written English, however, may have minor errors.

✦ Limited (score of 3) Paper with a score of 3 describes some competence in its analysis of the argument moreover in conveying the meaning, although is clearly flawed.
A paper with this score has these specific characteristics:
  • It does not identify and examine important aspects of an argument even though the content is provided.

  • Mainly examines tangential or unrelated matters, or reasons poorly

  • Has limited knowledge in the logical formation of sentences and organizing of ideas

  • Lacks clarity while expressing ideas

  • It seldom has major errors and frequent minor errors in the grammar, usage, and workings that could change the complete meaning.

✦ Flawed (score of 2) Paper with a score of 2 describes that there is no analysis and the content is totally flawed
A paper with such a score value has few of these characteristics:
  • Never presents an analysis of the topic assigned. On the contrary, it presents personal views on the content.

  • The content is not developed based on analysis, is not organized and not logical.

  • It provides only little reasonable support for the analysis.

  • Poor in the use of language and sentence formation that is frequently related to the meaning

  • Poor grammar and makes some mistakes, usage or mechanics that frequently misled the meaning.

✦ Deficient in fundamental (score of 1) A paper with 1 mark proves that the person is very poor in analytical writing.
A paper which comes under this category has the following characteristics:
  • Presents very little or no perception of ability to understand and examine the argument

  • It provides little or no perception capacity to build an organized response.

  • The person is very poor in language as well as sentence framing that will affect the meaning

  • It contains more grammatical errors, usage, and mechanics that result in no logic.

A score of 0: A paper with 0 marks: Demonstrates that a person has no idea about analytical writing. The paper has content that has a foreign language, nonverbal, copies the subject and illogical analysis.
Score of NS This score shows that person has no idea in analytical writing and does not qualify the paper.

shape Do's & Don'ts

Do’s Don’ts
Finish off Introduction and Conclusion First-
This is a good technique which not only saves time for test takers but also relieves the pressure of writing something in reply.
First, finish off writing the introduction and the conclusion paragraphs. Because you will have already figured out what you want to write in the introduction, how you want to start off, and how you want to end the conclusion. So, it becomes rather easy for you to get started. Try to finish the paragraphs in 5 minutes and the rest paragraphs can be written in the left over 20 minutes.
Writing mixed-up paragraphs-
Do not mix up the paragraphs, this can cause confusion for graders and as well as you. Discussing more than one point in a single paragraph is not at all recommended which shows poor organization so, try not to mix up the paragraphs.
Always Be Negative-
This technique can be applied to both the Issue and the Argument essays. One should be in the negative state of mind, and be ready to counter the given essay with lots of criticism and should trust that whatever the author has written is false without searching any logic. This kind of thinking can help the test taker brainstorm the suitable points quickly.
Giving away too much in the intro-
Try not to give too much of introduction in the very beginning itself. The main key while writing an essay is to keep the reader intrigued until the last word. So, try to implement the same strategy, not to give the main points or ideas in the first paragraphs.
Attack the Assumptions-
In both the easy questions, sometimes the other will have made multiple assumptions for making a particular conclusion, these assumptions may be true or false and it is the job of a test taker to attack the assumption by supporting or by saying wrong, but one can always say that the assumption is wrong. So before writing the response read the question and make sure that where the author made assumptions and attack them as you like.
Using irrelevant examples-
Try not to give the irrelevant examples, and it would be better to put your own examples, so try to give the strong and relevant example to support the issue.
Don’t Be a Perfectionist-
Being a perfectionist is a bad idea while writing a response, though this is a good practice in normal life, but this will hit badly on the test day. So, the better idea is to keep writing even though you make mistakes. Once after completing the response, start proofreading the copy for errors.
Not summarizing effectively-
Conclude the essay properly. A good conclusion paragraph not only projects the main idea but also express the view chosen by a test taker. Connect all the points that have been discussed in the previous paragraphs briefly like a quick conclusion.
Use the Scratch Paper-
Using the scratch paper is one of the best idea while writing a response, scratch papers not only used for solving the quant problems but also can be used for analytical writing.
Introducing new points in the conclusion-
Do not try to include the new points in the conclusion paragraph, when introduced a new point and haven’t backed it up properly anywhere in the essay the entire point sounds irrelevant or insufficient. So, try not to introduce any points while concluding.
Practice Keyboard Shortcuts-
Learn the keyboard shortcuts, and can be really helpful on the test day. All the basic keyboard functions like cut, copy, paste, select and undo are the main shortcuts to be remembered.
Writing immediately-
Do not write the response immediately after reading the question, take 5 minutes of time plan accordingly and try to follow the step by step procedure.
Practice! Practice! Practice!-
“Practice makes man perfect”, so practice as much as you can before taking the exam.
Not sounding confident enough-
Don’t use the words ‘I think’, ‘in my opinion’, ‘perhaps’, ‘Maybe’. These words may give an impression to the grader that you are not confident enough in putting your thoughts or ideas.
Read the Entire Analytical writing Question Pool-
If the test day is months away, try to read or practice Analytical writing questions as much as possible.
Using the word ‘I’ very often-
Try not to use the word ‘I’ very often which may put the reader off. The reader already knows that it is you who wrote the essay, so there is no meaning in saying ‘I think’, ‘I May’, ‘I would’ all the time isn’t good for scoring.

shape Key Points

GRE Analytical Writing Scoring Strategies - Advice or Tips

  • Write 3-5 paragraphs and use complete 30 minutes.

  • First plan, spend 5 minutes and plan the outline accordingly and do not change the opinion halfway through.

  • There is only well-argued and poorly argued and no right answer.

  • Use the topic sentence to organize the paragraphs.

  • Choose unique real-world examples and make sure that the examples are relevant to the topic.

  • Make strong and declarative statements.