Score Level Descriptions for the Analytical Writing Measure
Although the GRE® Analytical Writing measure contains two discrete analytical writing tasks, a single combined score is reported because it is more reliable than a score for either task alone. The reported score ranges from 0 to 6, in half-point increments.
The statements below describe, for each score level, the overall quality of analytical writing demonstrated across both the Issue and Argument tasks. The test assesses "analytical writing," so critical thinking skills (the ability to reason, assemble evidence to develop a position, and communicate complex ideas) are assessed along with the writer's control of grammar and the mechanics of writing.
Scores 6 and 5.5
Sustains insightful, in-depth analysis of complex ideas; develops and supports main points with logically compelling reasons and/or highly persuasive examples; is well focused and well organized; skillfully uses sentence variety and precise vocabulary to convey meaning effectively; demonstrates superior facility with sentence structure and usage, but may have minor errors that do not interfere with meaning.
Scores 5 and 4.5
Provides generally thoughtful analysis of complex ideas; develops and supports main points with logically sound reasons and/or well-chosen examples; is generally focused and well organized; uses sentence variety and vocabulary to convey meaning clearly; demonstrates good control of sentence structure and usage, but may have minor errors that do not interfere with meaning.
Scores 4 and 3.5
Provides competent analysis of ideas in addressing specific task directions; develops and supports main points with relevant reasons and/or examples; is adequately organized; conveys meaning with acceptable clarity; demonstrates satisfactory control of sentence structure and usage, but may have some errors that affect clarity.
Scores 3 and 2.5
Displays some competence in analytical writing and addressing specific task directions, although the writing is flawed in at least one of the following ways: limited analysis or development; weak organization; weak control of sentence structure or usage, with errors that often result in vagueness or a lack of clarity.
Scores 2 and 1.5
Displays serious weaknesses in analytical writing. The writing is seriously flawed in at least one of the following ways: serious lack of analysis or development; unclear in addressing specific task directions; lack of organization; frequent problems in sentence structure or usage, with errors that obscure meaning.
Scores 1 and 0.5
Displays fundamental deficiencies in analytical writing. The writing is fundamentally flawed in at least one of the following ways: content that is extremely confusing or mostly irrelevant to the assigned tasks; little or no development; severe and pervasive errors that result in incoherence.
The examinee's analytical writing skills cannot be evaluated because the responses do not address any part of the assigned tasks, are merely attempts to copy the assignments, are in a foreign language or display only indecipherable text.
The examinee produced no text whatsoever
- "Analyze an Issue" Topic Pool
- "Analyze an Argument" Topic Pool
- "Issue" Task Scoring Guide
- "Argument" Task Scoring Guide
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