GRE essays



Candidates appearing for GRE have to write two essays in the Analytical Writing section. The analytical Writing section analyses the critical thinking and writing skills. It tests the ability of a candidate to articulate and support complex ideas, construct and evaluate arguments, and sustain a focused and coherent discussion. It doesn’t test any subject related knowledge of the candidate.

Analytical writing is scored on a scale of 0 to 6, in 0.5 increments. This section has two tasks, namely analyse an issue task and analyse an argument task.

  • Issue analysis task

This task gives the candidate an idea about a general issue. Candidates are also provided with instructions about the way, in which they can respond to that issue. You must analyse the issue, evaluate its shortcomings and provide reasons to support your argument.

  • Argument analysis task

In this task, a candidate has to analyse the given argument as per the instructions. The candidate has to check the aptness of the given argument and determine if it is logically apt or not. He will have to take a stand whether he agrees or disagrees with the argument.

Sample topics

The topics asked in the test will be based on the lines of these topics which are mentioned on the ETS website. ETS has published both Issue topics and Argument topics on its website.


Candidates need to be thorough in their preparation for Analytical Writing section. The tasks given in the analytical writing section can be based on any topic. So the syllabus for this section is quite vast, The topics could be related to fine arts, social sciences etc. So, be more socially aware. Read newspaper editorials which will not only improve your understanding of current issues, but will improve your analytical abilities as well.

Get the basics right

The students are provided with a basic software in the exam, which they can use to type in their answers. The software does not support spell check and grammar check options. These features have not been provided, to ensure that the offline test takers do not face any disadvantage. So, it is very important that candidates get used to typing without any help from spell check software.

Getting the grammatical skills right is very important. It will help you to score good marks in Verbal Reasoning section as well. You must study the eight parts of speech (nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections). But, in order to form sentences with a right structure, you must also learn proper usage of these basic rules. By doing so, your ability to analyse the given passages will also get better.

Here are a few books, which can help you to be ready for the analytical writing in GRE and get the maximum score:-

  1. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis:

     You can create an exceptional article if you have a good vocabulary. Writing an essay is all about proper usage of words. This book will introduce you to some new words. The words listed in this book are based on the etymology of the words. Hence, playing with words will become easier and fun as you would know the parent words.

  2. GRE Analytical Writing:

    Solutions to the Real Essay Topics –Vibrant Publishers: This book contains over 25 samples for both analyse an issue and analyse an argument topics. There are also prewriting activities, which would assist you with why the writers opted for a particular point of view and used evidence to support his responses. Expert strategies and scoring guides for both the Issue and Argument tasks, make this a must buy for any GRE aspirant.

  3. Read lots of standard Novels:

    These novels will help you in understanding the correct way of presenting your ideas and thoughts.

Things to remember

  • Strategize –

    Having a proper strategy in place for tackling this section can be quite beneficial. Go through the sample topics provided on ETS website. Check out GRE mock test to analyse your preparation strategy. It will also enable you to understand the aspects, on the basis of which the essays are rated. Check your progress by making some changes to your writing style. Make sure that you incorporate any rewarding changes in your writing. Do more practise to refine your writing style. The mock test will also help you to analyse your level of preparation in other sections as well.

  • Efficient time management –

    The time management factor also needs to be assessed before you take the actual test. You will get 30 minutes to complete each task. Therefore, it is very important that you manage your time properly. Analysis of an issue and formation of an opinion takes some time. Improve upon your typing speed through rigorous practise, in order to ensure that you able to express your ideas in an efficient manner.

  • Review –

    Save some time at the end of both tasks, to review the articles that you have written. Doing so will help you to ensure that you avoid committing any silly mistakes. Avoid doing any spelling and obvious grammatical errors, as they could lower your score.

It is also important to have a good mentor, who can bring a certain ease to the entire learning process. Experts at BYJU’S come up with innovative ways of learning, through years of experience. These methods aim at making learning easy and fun. Take mock tests provided by BYJU’S and get an in-depth analysis of your performance. Find out your weak sections and go through the video lessons delivered by the experts to improve upon your weak areas.




BYJU’S will be glad to help you in your GRE preparation journey. You can ask for any assistance related to GRE from us by just giving a missed call at  +918884544444 , or you can drop an SMS. You can write to us at