The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test administered by the Educational Testing Service to assess individuals before they apply for graduate school. It consists of three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Of the three, the Analytical Writing section can be intimidating—but it doesn’t have to be! A perfect score in this section is possible with practice and dedication. Let’s explore what it takes to get a perfect score on the GRE writing section.
What Does it Take?
The GRE analytical writing section consists of two essays—an “Analyze an Issue” essay and an “Analyze an Argument” essay—and each will be scored on a scale of 0-6 points by two readers. To get a perfect score, you must receive a 6 from both readers. So, how can you make sure your essays are good enough to get top marks?
The key is knowing what exactly is being graded on these essays. The scoring criteria includes several categories: content/ideas/analysis, organization, development/support of ideas, language usage/grammar/syntax/mechanics, and overall impression. To get that perfect score in both essays, you must demonstrate excellence in all five areas.
Practice Makes Perfect
Now that we know what is required from us to get that perfect score in the GRE writing section, let’s look at some ways we can practice with this goal in mind. Here are some tips for making sure you are well-prepared for test day:
• Read sample essays online and analyze their scores—what did each essay do well? What could have been done better? How did it meet or not meet the criteria outlined above?
• Spend time studying grammar rules and mechanics so you can easily identify common errors when proofreading your own work.
• Write often! Practice makes perfect; aim to write one or two full-length practice essays per week leading up to test day. When practicing your writing skills, consider using different topics than those provided on the actual exam so that you can become comfortable with any prompt given and quickly come up with ideas no matter what topic you’re given on test day!
• Have someone else read over your work; even if they don’t know much about grammar rules or essay structure, they may still catch mistakes or provide helpful feedback about clarity and flow.
• Finally—and most importantly—read through your work carefully before submitting it! Don’t rush through this step; take your time to make sure everything looks correct and flows smoothly from start to finish before hitting submit on either essay.
When it comes down to it, getting a perfect 6/6 score on both the Analyze an Issue and Analyze an Argument sections of the GRE writing portion takes dedication and practice but isn’t impossible if you approach it properly! If you keep these tips in mind as you prepare for test day – namely understanding scoring criteria thoroughly while also regularly reviewing grammar rules – then success should be just around the corner! Remember, though, that there are other sections you’ll need to be prepared for on the GRE. Achievable offers comprehensive GRE test prep to prepare you for the GRE. Check out Achievable’s website to get started. Good luck!