The Analytical Writing section is always the first section of the test to be administered and consists of two 30-minute essay-writing tasks, a task to "Analyze an Issue" and a task to "Analyze an Argument".
The Issue task presents an opinion on an issue along with specific instructions on how to respond to the issue, constructing an argument with reasons and examples to support your views.
While it is important to be able to write quickly and clearly, drawing on the critical thinking abilities that you have developed throughout your undergraduate education or professional life, it is equally important to remain completely focused on the task at hand, and to ensure that every part of your essay reflects and contributes to the progression of your analysis and argumentation.
As a resource for students preparing for the GRE, ETS has published the entire pool of essay prompts that may be used for all Issue and Argument tasks.
Final scores on the two essays are averaged and rounded up to the nearest half-point interval; Analytical Writing scores are reported as a combined score for both writing tasks.
The ETS recommends that even superior writers spend time preparing for the Analytical Writing tasks, because it is important to understand how the skills are measured and how the tasks are scored.You can read the scored sample essays on the ETS website here: We also have a bunch of resources on our blog, including an entire section dedicated to the GRE essays.Spend time reading the articles in the Writing section of the blog as well as actually writing essays on your own.You should also practice writing a few essays, under timed or untimed conditions, to gain familiarity with how to analyze the types of essay prompts used on the GRE, and to gain an understanding of what sort of essay length and argument complexity to strive for on test day.You should analyze your own writing style and develop a systm of approaching and unpacking the sorts of prompts that will be presented on test day, so that you can reliably perform at the peak of your ability under test conditions.The prompts you will see on test day are drawn from these pools!Write practice essays in response to some of these prompts.The ETS word processor contains the following functionalities: insert text, delete text, cut-and-paste and undo the previous action.Tools such as a spell checker and grammar checker are not available in the ETS software, in part to preserve fairness with those examinees who must handwrite their essays at paper-delivered administrations.Even though the prompts you will see on test day are in those lists, don't try to memorize all the prompts.It's more important to practice the process of brainstorming, writing, and editing an essay in response to a brand-new prompt.