PUBLISHED BY Mayank UPDATED: 22 Sep 2023

Can't find the perfect way to achieve success in GRE analytical writing? Today, we present to you this ultimate guide which will provide you with our secret recipe to get excellent scores with quality analytical paragraph writing. But first, let us serve you with the basic concepts that are imperative for you to understand!

What Is GRE Analytical Writing (AWA)?

GRE analytical writing Assessment (AWA), also known as the GRE essay section is the primary section of the Graduate Record Examination also known as GRE! It has three sections in total, out of which AWA is referred to as the first one. The duration of this test is 1 hour and is conducted at the beginning of the examination itself.

The analytical writing paragraph is included to understand the analytical and critical thinking skills of an individual. With the help of this analytical writing paragraph, your ability to express complex ideas in a clear manner while taking part in a coherent discussion is assessed. The test consists of two tasks and is given 30 minutes each to accomplish the objective. One is to analyse the issue and the other is to analyse an argument.

What Is The Difference Between The Issue and The Argument Essay (GRE Analytical Writing Sample Essays)?

As discussed above, in GRE analytical writing there are two different essay requirements one is The Issue essay and the other is the Argument Essay. But, what is the difference between the two? Let’s explore with the help of some GRE Analytical writing sample essays!

  • The Issue:

When it comes to the Issue Essay, you are always given a statemet that talks about a general issue and your task is to write an essay on that issue. The prompt will always be a debatable topic like education, technology society etc. Your answer has to be for or against the issue, having a look at some previous years' samples will surely give you a hand in GRE Analytical writing practice.

Ensure to analyze the statement properly and establish your position on the matter to support it with multiple analytical writing paragraph. This particular section is based on the thought of assessing your critical thinking and analytical thinking skills along with understanding the perspective of clarity in your writing.

Let’s take a quick look at the GRE Analytical writing sample essay for the issue:

  • The Argument:

This GRE General Test Analytical Writing section is designed to evaluate your ability to perceive, assess and analyse the arguments deeply. You will be required to curate an essay that revolves around the analysis of the argument presented in the question. You are not required to present your own views while writing so ensure to keep this in mind while you perform GRE analytical writing practice before the final day of examination. The test entirely requires you to dissect the argument and present brief paragraphs that help the examiner understand whether the argument is logically sound or not.

Let’s take a quick look at the ets gre analytical writing sample:

GRE Analytical Writing Score Structure and Evaluation

If you are unaware of the score structure and evaluation of the GRE Analytical writing section then, you must know that the examiners take four aspects in order to evaluate your test results namely:

  • Content
  • Organisation
  • Grammar
  • Language

The GRE Analytical Writing section contains 6 points in total where a perfect “6” is considered as the best and a “0” is considered poor and the topic discussion. The factors that might get you a “0” can mostly be off-topic discussion, illegible or nonverbal character utilisation along with poor utilization of the four aspects mentioned above.

Once a human evaluates your performance and scores, a software known as E-rater double checks to produce the right GRE analytical writing percentile. If the scores do not match then, the test is run by another human evaluator before finalising on the test percentile.

GRE Analytical Writing Percentile Board

Score Evaluation Remarks
Perfect 6 Outstanding
5.5 Strong
5 Very Good
4.5 Good
4 Adequate
3.5 Below Average
3 Limited
2.5 Poor
2 Seriously Flawed
1.5 Severely Deficient
1 Fundamentally Deficient
0.5 Completely Off Topic/Incoherent/Written in a Foreign Language
0 No Response/Not Scorable

GRE Analytical Writing Tips for You To Get A Perfect “6”!

GRE analytical writing can be a little overwhelming, especially when it's your first attempt. But, don't worry! We are here to help you with our secret ingredient. So, hold on tight and have a look at our GRE Analytical Writing tips below.

  • Understand Why GRE Analytical Writing Is Imperative

Students often think that they are excellent in English proficiency and often tend to skip the GRE analytical writing section during practice. The first thing in order to excel and get a perfect “6” in analytical paragraph writing is understanding why you need to attend it in the first place.

GRE is not an ordinary test that you encounter every day in your school or college. It is a legitimate test that is 3 hours and 45 minutes long that you are not used to! Practice is the key to winning this marathon and taking all the points you deserve! If you think you are perfect, we say try taking a GRE Analytical Writing Practice test once to figure out where you stand.

  • Know How Long Your Essay Should Be

Another aspect that will help you get a perfect “6” is analysing what the examiner wants from you and they surely are not expecting a super long essay in a 30-minute race! As we all know it's impossible to cover all the aspects of an argument in just 30 minutes, how long an essay should precisely be?

Although ETS has not mentioned anything regarding papers we realised the longer your essay, the better your score. So, anywhere between 500-600 words is the right length to score what you deserve and this has been tested by us with a sample of more than 600 students. So, don't ask us why!!

  • Know GRE AWA Topics Beforehand!

Practising the GRE AWA topics mentioned on the ETS website is the golden rule to find a win-win situation. This might sound fascinating but, what you receive in the GRE analytical writing test is already somewhere on the ETS website! This might sound crazy but, we are not wrong and you can check it for yourself. But, with more than 200 topics to assess and practise, it's practically impossible to get what you are looking for. But, scanning through them will surely help you get an excellent idea of the types of questions that can be asked during the time of your final test.

Remember, most of the topics that you will receive will be based on five categories:

  • Education
  • Politics/government
  • Arts
  • Science and technology
  • Philosophy
  • Practise, Practise, Practise!

When you begin to practise, ensure to first go through a few sample questions and how others have curated their analytical writing paragraph to get good grades. Also, keep an eye on those 5 categories (philosophy, arts, science and tech, education, politics) and ensure to practise at least one sample on each one of them. Keep a few related examples for each of the categories so that you don't panic sitting in the exam room when trying to comprehend a question you barely understand.

Also, while practising never miss the ETS website go through a session. This will help you in every way possible and trust us you will come back here later to thank us after you have your GTE analytical writing results in your hand.

  • Get an Evaluation Done From Your Friends and Family

Now, after you have done everything in your power to make the best way to high scores, how do you get what you have written evaluated? Well, the best way to get unbiased scores for your GRE Analytical writing practice is via the help of your family, friends and neighbours. Simply hand them over your essay and tell them to score it from 0-6. This will easily help you understand where you stand and how you performed in your trial by fire!

  • Self-Evaluation Is Also a Must!

After getting it assessed by your relatives, try and take out time to self-evaluate what you have written. With immense knowledge and understanding of several GRE analytical writing sample essays, we are sure you will figure out your own mistakes and get better every day!

  • Take Help from an Online Preparation Website

If you have a doubt and still lack perfection, we suggest you seek help from the best consultants around you. Being experts with knowledge and training, they can surely give you the wings you desire in order to score a perfect “6” in your GTE analytical writing test section!

Which Is The Best GRE Analytical Writing Book?

If you don't want to pay a professional to get perfection, the support of books will never let you fail. A good recommendation for a GRE analytical writing book can be of adequate help to get you good grades. It will have a number of GRE AWA Topics, and essay samples along with unique answers to take an idea from and a true idea of how the actual paper would look like.

List of Best GRE Analytical Writing Practice Books

GRE Analytical Writing BookDescriptionPriceSource
On GRE Analytical Writing II: Issue Topics that Matter: Issue Pool SolvedThis book focuses on issues topics that are relevant and significant. It offers solutions to help you tackle complex issues effectively, making it an excellent choice for honing your argumentative writing skills.INR 2817Amazon
Manhattan Review GRE Analytical Writing Guide: Answers to Real AWA TopicsThis guide provides answers and explanations to real AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment) topics. It's a practical resource for understanding how to construct well-structured and persuasive essays in response to GRE prompts.INR 749Online
GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics - Book 1 (Test Prep Series)This book provides you with real GRE essay topics and detailed solutions, helping you practice and improve your analytical writing skills. It's a valuable resource for understanding how to approach various essay prompts.INR 2690Amazon
GRE Prep Book: Official GRE Super Power PackThe Official GRE Super Power Pack includes official test prep materials from ETS, the organization that administers the GRE. It features authentic GRE questions and essay prompts, making it an essential resource for comprehensive GRE preparation.INR 195Amazon

Hope you had a great time finding out the best way to crack your GRE analytical writing test with the help of our blog post above. For more latest information and updates on GRE feel free to contact our experts today!


How Hard Is The GRE Analytical Writing?

The level of difficulty depends on the amount of preparation you do for the GRE analytical writing test. Although you have 1 hour to attend to two questions, if not prepared properly, all the time can pass by in analyzing and comprehending the meaning of the question.

How To Write An Analytical Paragraph?

Below are a few tips to crack the best scores with analytical paragraph writing:

  • Write your main idea connecting to the thesis statement
  • Ensure to support your essay with evidence
  • Analyse your writings before final submission
  • Never forget to conclude analytical paragraph writing
  • Don't use first person
  • Practise writing before the final day
  • Get feedback from an outsider

How To Improve Analytical Writing Skills For The GRE?

Follow these pointers to get a perfect GRE analytical writing score:

  • Be on one side of the argument
  • Practise at least three samples before he final exam
  • Don't focus on being general
  • Ensure to stay on the topics
  • Never use self reference
  • Make declarative statements
  • Try to include the refute statement in your conclusion

What Is A Good GRE Analytical Writing Score?

Somewhere between 4.5- 5 is referred to as a good GRE analytical writing score.

Do AWA Scores Matter?

In general AWA score is not that important to affect your overall GMAT score.

Can I Skip Analytical Writing On The GRE?

If you are thinking it's not worth investing your time in something like this while working on your GRE, you are wrong! Most graduate institutions want the applicants to provide their GRE scores and not just a few parts but the whole assessment score.


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