Is Essay Required for GRE?


Graduate Record Examinations is an exam that tests math, analytical, and language skills. The GRE test is taken by those who want to enter universities in the USA, Canada, Australia, and some countries in Europe and Asia. This exam is the same for both foreigners and native speakers. GRE results are valid for 5 years. And in many universities, they are a decisive factor for admission.

The GRE test supports and fosters diversity as it is available to candidates from all over the world, regardless of gender, nationality, cultural, or educational background. Moreover, it advocates for equality in education and helps candidates with disabilities and special needs.

Structure of the GRE Test

This test is divided into six sections. There are two types of the exam — general and subject (specialized). Most universities require a general test. It consists of three parts: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.

The test always starts with the Analytical Writing section. And this section is rightfully considered the most difficult. Here, first of all, the applicant’s ability to reason and critical thinking is assessed. And, of course, language skills, the ability to use thematic vocabulary, and make complex sentences are also taken into account. This part of the test is divided into 2 blocks of 30 minutes each.

  1. Issue Task — it is always a controversial, ambiguous statement. The test taker is invited to present a reasoned opinion in English, supported by examples. The very attitude of the test taker to the question is never taken into account. Only the sequence of thought, the relevance of examples and facts, the proficiency of the academic language, and the breadth of views (how well the test taker understands the question and whether several points of view are taken into account) are assessed;
  2. Argument Task — this is a short text that outlines a situation and draws conclusions or makes recommendations. The task is indicated immediately after the text — this can be an assessment of the offered argumentation, a search for logical mistakes and inaccuracies (they always exist), a search for possible alternative causes of the original problem, or hypothetical conditions with the most effective recommendation. This part of the test assesses the ability to think critically, distinguish arguments from conjecture, and evaluate the situation comprehensively.

In both parts of the test, one of the key points is the correct interpretation of the task. The student has to read the instructions for each of the writing blocks very carefully and thoughtfully and follow them exactly. Otherwise, you might lose points for answering off-topic. This is a fairly common mistake among examiners. So, someone who is just preparing to take the GRE test should pay special attention to this point.

The essay must be logical, have examples, relevant information, and evidence. And you have to demonstrate your good English. The entire block is estimated at 6 points maximum. In the writing part of the GRE test, you earn points for:

  • The quality and depth of judgment or reasoning
  • The logical sequence of judgments/reasoning
  • Using correct as well as effective grammatical structures

6 Tips for Writing a Good GRE Essay

A good GRE essay is about preparation and practice. Now you know what skills are evaluated in the analytical writing section, so you can structure your essay accordingly. So, how to write a good essay?

1. Don’t complicate it

Simplicity is the embodiment of sophistication. Make sure you can express your ideas in a direct, clear, and understandable way. Don’t try to impress reviewers with unnecessary complexity in the sentence structure. They are primarily looking for clarity and comprehensibility in your essay. And it immediately adds points to your work. At the same time, the use of an advanced GRE-level vocabulary is also strongly encouraged.

2. Add convincing statements to your essay

Reviewers are looking for strong, compelling arguments on your part. To get points, you have to use strong evidence in your essay and specific examples to make it convincing. The main trick is to find a way to express persuasiveness with complex reasoning while using clear and accessible language.

3. Use official ETS materials

To practice working with exam questions that are very close to the real tasks from the test, you need to go back to basics. The official website of ETS (the creators of GRE) offers many sample topics for essays. It also provides a sample essay with reviewer comments and a basic curriculum for the AWA section. All of these free online resources are invaluable for understanding, practicing, and improving your GRE essay.

4. Think logically

The various ideas and opinions expressed in the essay, as well as the arguments and examples that you provide to substantiate them, should be logically related to each other. Ideas should “flow” from one another. And the same applies to paragraphs.

5. Learn to control time

Many students say that the main problem they face during the written exam is the lack of time. Time management is extremely important. The quality of your essay depends on it. Allocate correctly the time you are given.

6. Work on vocabulary and grammar

Reviewers are looking for complex, advanced, and GRE-appropriate grammar and vocabulary in your essay. Review topics such as subjects and predicates, active and passive voice, conjunctions, verbs, and the correct use of commas, semicolons, etc.

So, preparing for the GRE requires a responsible approach and a thoughtful strategy. It is important to carefully study the features of the test, gain the necessary knowledge, and develop useful skills. With this, students will be helped only by proven online companies that provide professional essays done for you. They will help you not only to get all the necessary skills to successfully pass the test but also to assess your knowledge.

Remember that you will have to spend a lot of time and effort to achieve the fast effect. After all, practice should make up a large part of all preparation so that you can get all the skills you need to successfully pass the GRE exam.  


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