Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is among the most widely accepted exams that graduates take all over the world after college to apply for various educational programs in top universities. It is highly popular in Canada, the UK, and the USA. Each GRE follows strict standards and procedures. It makes this exam similar to other assessments of analytical skills such as GMAT.
Many graduate programs do not require GRE, but most business schools and top universities such as Harvard or London School of Economics may ask you to provide your GMAT or GRE results. GRE may be necessary for those students who want to pursue an academic or professional career in management, HR, life sciences, and business studies. Companies may also review the results of this test since it reflects valuable skills.
General information about the test
Graduate Record Examination is a comprehensive and complex test assessing students’ skills such as verbal reasoning, analytical writing, critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning. Though the test is administered only by Educational Testing Services, it may be taken almost in any country. About a thousand test centers exist in 160 countries providing students access to this exam. Tests are taken online using computers with particular software. The procedure of taking the GRE is strict and universal for all students. Administrators in test centers control and supervise the process of taking the test and prevent cheating and other misbehavior that may affect the taker’s result of other students taking this exam.
The exam has six sections and lasts about three hours and 45 minutes. The first section evaluates the analytical writing skills requiring takers to complete two tasks. They take 30 minutes each. The next two sections evaluate verbal reasoning skills. They also last 30 minutes each. After the third section a student may take a break for ten minutes. Quantitative reasoning sections take 35 minutes each and assess student’s logic, reasoning, and math knowledge. The last section is called a dummy section, but it is not counted in calculating the ultimate score of the test.
The Analytical Writing Section
The most controversial and difficult aspect of GRE is the analytical writing section. It is challenging for all students who face issues with writing skills. Takers write all the tasks in this section by typing essays on a computer. The student needs to choose a topic for the essay and discuss it. The argument task requires the taker to choose an argument and evaluate it from different perspectives criticizing or supporting it. Students cannot use any grammar or spell checkers and other outside sources. Using this assistance on websites or online research is considered cheating.
How can students prepare for the analytical writing section?
While working on the analytical writing tasks students should be highly focused and use critical thinking skills to effectively evaluate the arguments and issues from the chosen topic. The discussion provided by the writer should be comprehensive, informative, and supported by valid and relevant evidence and logical arguments. It requires supportive reasons, examples, and complex ideas. Good communication skills ensure high scores. In practice, students do not have spare time for constructing a good structure for their writing pieces or choosing the right constructions and expressions. While preparing for this section of GRE, students may get assistance from professional writing services like CustomWritings.com and see how expert writers organize logical custom writing sections from scratch. It may be a wise decision to buy relatively cheap samples from such a company and look through essays reviews. Personalized service from an expert will help a customer to write quality and original papers.
A scale of writing scores
After reviewing the structure and requirements of the Graduate Record Examination many students Google “what is a good analytical writing score GRE?”. The takers can get scores from 0 to 6. Generally, the scores are divided into seven levels.
- The lowest level. Students earn this score if their writing pieces fail to meet at least minimum requirements and do not address the tasks. The analytical writing skills section with a zero score shows that the taker has extremely low command of English or their work is not eligible for assessment.
- 0.5 to 1.0. This score shows that the taker has a poor command of English, but the writing pieces submitted for evaluation meet the minimum requirements and address in part the given assignment. It also shows that the student makes many errors that are too severe and make the essays illogical and incoherent.
- 1.5 to 2.0. Some individuals working in an academic field say that it is an average score, while others consider it below the average result. This score shows that essays lack good organization and have many mistakes. The arguments provided in these essays are weak and incoherent.
- 2.5 to 3.0. If the analytical writing section in GRE is evaluated with this score, the taker has an average level of analytical writing skills. Still, many elements of a paper are weak. Big problems may be identified with arguments, organization, or clarity.
- 3.5 to 4.0. It is a threshold from which good scores for the analytical writing section start. Students who have got this evaluation have sufficient analytical writing skills and can write well-organized essays with relevant ideas and arguments. Some flaws, mistakes, and errors may be present in these pieces of writing, but they are not significant.
- 4.5 to 5.0. It is an impressive score. Students who have achieved this result have sound analytical writing skills and can convey complex ideas and arguments and support them with strong examples and diverse evidence. These written essays may include some minor errors and mistakes.
- 5.5 to 6.0. This score is excellent. It is the best possible result reflecting high analytical writing skills with a sound command of English and rich vocabulary. Students with this score show an in-depth understanding of free of error essay writing, word order, and logical presentation of ideas and evidence.
While some universities may not have minimum requirements for the analytical writing section, students should strive to earn an average or good score. 3.5 and higher is considered a good analytical writing score that will be acceptable for almost any graduate program.