GRE Analytical Writing Measure Scoring Rubric

دوره: GRE Test- Practice & Study Guide / فصل: GRE Analytical Writing- About the Analytical Writing Measure / درس 2

GRE Test- Practice & Study Guide

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GRE Analytical Writing Measure Scoring Rubric

توضیح مختصر

Learn how you'll be scored on the Analytical Writing measure on the GRE revised General Test. The Analyze an Issue and Analyze an Argument essays are both discussed.

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GRE Analytical Writing Measure Scoring

If you write a poem or a story, you might be worried about writing something with carefully developed artistic elements and themes. But on the GRE, what you probably care about more is getting a high score.

That’s what you’ll be learning to do in this lesson - it’s not so much about writing a ‘good’ essay as it is about writing to a specific set of standards. In this lesson, you’ll learn the grading standards for GRE essays, so you can tailor your responses to hit all the points that the graders are looking for.

The Analytical Writing measure on the GRE has two tasks. First, we’ll go over the basic rubric for both types of tasks; then, we’ll take a look at the individual requirements for each type of task.

The Basic Rubric

The GRE Analytical Writing Measure is a 1-hour writing test with two different essay tasks. Both tasks ask you to make an argument based on information presented on the test, and that’s basically what the grading rubric is based on: How well do you make and support an argument in response to the prompt?

More specifically, you’re graded on:

Relevance to the prompt

A clear position clearly supported with arguments and evidence


Sentence structure and language usage

The GRE essays are each scored on a scale from zero to six, in half-point increments. Zero is the worst, and it’s almost impossible to get - you’ll only get a zero if you leave the paper blank, type gibberish, write in a foreign language, or write something completely unrelated to the prompt.

If you’re making any effort to take the test seriously, you won’t get a zero. So, let’s look at the other categories.

0.5-1: Fundamental problems - If you score a one or below, your essay was very confusing, incoherent, or mostly irrelevant to the assignment.

1.5-2: Serious problems - An essay at this level fails to support your argument, is badly organized, or has so many language and mechanics errors that it’s hard to tell what you’re saying.

2.5-3: Getting there - This score indicates that your essay doesn’t have enough analysis or that the reader had trouble understanding your organization or sentence structure.

3.5-4: Okay, but not great - Essays in this range respond to the task with basically adequate arguments, evidence, organization, and language use. They’re not fantastic, but they’re understandable, and they get the job done.

4.5-5: Well done - This score is for essays that might have minor spelling and grammar errors but are basically clear and well organized and provide effective support for the author’s claims.

5.5-6: Excellent - Essays in this range have interesting insights into the issue at hand and express them well with logical development of ideas. The organization and focus are on point, and the language use is excellent.

You can get a high score even with some small spelling and grammar mistakes, as long as they don’t interfere with understanding what you’re trying to say.

Specific Tasks

That was the overall rubric; now, let’s move on to the differences between the two tasks. The GRE Analytical Writing measure asks you to complete two separate tasks:

The Analyze an Issue task asks you to take and support a position on an issue presented in a short reading passage. You’ll read the passage and respond to a prompt about the issue. All the information you need to respond to the prompt will be given in the passage; you don’t have to know anything about the issue beforehand.

The Analyze an Argument task asks you to analyze how an argument is structured. You’ll read a short passage and answer a question about how the author organizes or supports his or her argument. This task is about the argument, not the content or topic of the passage.

You’ll get 30 minutes for each task. For the most part, the general scoring guidelines apply to both of the tasks equally. In both tasks, you’re required to take a position in response to the task, support it with well-organized arguments and evidence, and use language correctly and effectively. The only difference between the two types of tasks is what it means to address the task.

In the Analyze an Issue Task, ‘addressing the task’ means that you must take a clear position on the issue in response to the question in the task. Do not just give your opinion on the issue in general. Respond to the specific question in the prompt.

In the Analyze an Argument Task, ‘addressing the task’ means addressing the author’s argument, not the topic of the passage. You’ll have to analyze the author’s argument in response to the prompt. You do not need to state or support your position on the issue presented in the passage.

You’ll lose major points for not addressing the task, so make sure to give the graders what they want in each task.

Lesson Summary

In this lesson, you took a look at the grading rubric for the Analytical Writing Measure on the GRE revised General Test. On this part of the test, you’ll write two 30-minute essays. They’re graded on a scale from zero to six, in half-point increments. Your score is mainly based on:

Response to the task: Did you take a position in response to the specific task?

Support: Did you support your position with reasons and evidence?

Organization: Is your essay well organized, or is it confusing?

Language and usage: Are your sentences easy to understand? Are they grammatically correct?

On both the Analyze an Issue and Analyze an Argument tasks, make sure to respond to the task - don’t just write about your general thoughts on the topic, and don’t focus your essay on the issue if you’re asked to write about the author’s argument.

Now, try the quiz questions to make sure you got all that.

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