General Tips for GRE Analytical Writing (Video)

General Tips for GRE Analytical Writing (Video)


This video offers some general tips to consider when tackling the analytical writing section of the GRE. Here are the most important ones:


Keep your essay simple

This is important for several reasons. First, the computer programme that scores your essay is comparing it with other essays on the same topic, so this is not the time to get overly creative with poetic quotes or humour. Second, the person who scores your essay will spend an average of two minutes reading it, so you don’t want to confuse him or her with complex writing. Finally, a simple essay is just easier to write.

General discussion points

Do not begin writing your essay until you know how it’s going to unfold. So be sure to spend sufficient time brainstorming discussion points, before you begin writing. Spend 5 to 7 minutes generating discussion points, 20 minutes writing the essay and 3 to 5 minutes proofreading.

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Use transition words

Be sure to use them generously. For example, starting your paragraphs with first, second and third will help the reader follow the overall structure of your essay. Use also transition words within your sentences. They help with connecting your thoughts.


It is perfectly fine to use quotes like “I believe that...” or “In my opinion...” when it comes to the issue essay. However, you cannot do that in the argument essay, since this essay has nothing to do with your opinion. It has to be a logical analysis of an argument.


No matter how good you might think you are at writing, it’s a good idea to write at least one essay for each type prior to the exam. If you also want to receive feedback, you can post your essays to GRE discussion forums or you can use ScoreItNow! – a paid service, in which your essay is scored by the official GRE scoring engine.

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