The Analytical Writing measure of the GRE General Test tests your critical thinking and analytical writing skills by assessing your ability to:
- articulate and support complex ideas
- construct and evaluate arguments
- sustain a focused and coherent discussion
It doesn’t assess specific content knowledge.
The Analytical Writing measure consists of two separately timed analytical writing tasks:
- The "Analyze an Issue" task presents an opinion on an issue and instructions on how to respond. You’re required to evaluate the issue, consider its complexities and develop an argument with reasons and examples to support your views.
- The "Analyze an Argument" task requires you to evaluate an argument according to specific instructions. You’ll need to consider the logical soundness of the argument rather than agree or disagree with the position it presents.
The two 30-minute tasks are complementary. The Issue task requires you to construct your own argument, while the Argument task requires you to evaluate someone else's argument.
You’ll use a basic word processor developed by ETS to type your essay responses. The word processor contains the following functionalities: insert text, delete text, cut-and-paste and undo the previous action. Tools such as a spellchecker and grammar checker are not available.