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Tips to score high in the GRE essay

Posted on July 14, 2020
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The GRE essay can be the easiest part to tackle in your exam provided you prepare well for it. Here are some tips to help you with the GRE essay writing part that will help you tackle both the argument essay and the long essay with ease.

General tips

Pay attention to the structure of the paragraphs

Keep the structure and the rhetoric simple. Your essay should have a clear, separate introductory paragraph where you include your main point. Every subsequent paragraph should have one clear and simple key point, clearly provided somewhere in the article.

 Aim for a clear transition from one paragraph to the next and also in the transition of ideas within the paragraph.

Aim for a grammatically correct essay

The test graders know you get to plan and write your GRE essay for only 30 minutes. So, they ‘re not expecting quality writing at the graduate level! Your writing should be grammatically accurate and descriptive. As far as possible avoid misspelling and punctuation errors. You can definitely score a 6 on the GRE essay even with a few errors.

GRE argument essay tips

Make a point to read the entire essay prompt

GRE prompts for argument essays are all similar: they ask you to test the logic in an argument. They aren’t all alike though, so the distinctions matter.

To answer either of these GRE essay questions, you may need to address problems with the argument and add your own thoughts about how to strengthen the argument of the author.

Adopt a critical approach

The easiest way to get your brainstorming argument started is by getting critical of the argument. It is valid even though the question does not explicitly request that you weaken the statement! After you have read the argument, think about every way the scenario in the argument could go wrong.

GRE long essay tips

Longer essays are better

Usually, longer essays get higher scores from the automated e-rater grading program. There’s a major caveat to that though. We don’t know if these essays receive higher scores because they are longer (probably not), or if they simply go into more depth and contain more interesting concepts, leading naturally to a higher number of words.

You should not focus on the word count while you are writing your GRE problem essay. Instead, concentrate on describing and implementing all your ideas in full, and clearly moving from one idea to another. Don’t just mention a point and abandon it, rather explain how it supports your main argument.

Your GRE essay will naturally end up being longer by doing so, even though you have brainstormed the same number of main points. Naturally, it will also get a higher score.

 Learn to brainstorm

For the GRE issue essay, brainstorming isn’t easy, especially when the issue is very broad or something that you haven’t given much thought to in the past. One crucial part of writing a successful GRE issue essay is to endorse one side of the problem simply and consistently, rather than moving back and forth between them or making an unclear argument. You will want to have two or three strong points to do this, which clearly support the same side of the issue.

Supporting one side of the issue could be simpler than the other. The easiest side to endorse is always the one you identify with personally, but that isn’t always the case! Before you start writing think through your points. If you don’t, you could run out of points and it could be too late to change.

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