One of the most widely accepted graduate admission exams in the USA and Canada is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE is a standardized test similar to the SAT and ACT, which are taken before college, but unlike the ACT and SAT, it is not necessarily accepted by all graduate programs. Several business schools recognize the GRE. It is also for management and life sciences disciplines.
The GRE test is administered and owned by Educational Testing Services. It is a unique exam because it can be a part of postgraduate programs’ admission requirements in various subject areas. It comes in two different forms; the GRE general test and the GRE subject-specific tests.
The GRE seeks to measure the test taker’s verbal reasoning, analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking skills acquired over some time. The test can be taken at any place in the world. It is available on the computer at more than 1,000 Prometric test centres worldwide in 160 countries. For areas where the computer-based test is not available, the GRE is available on paper.
The test consists of six sections. The first segment is the analytical writing section that involves two writing tasks: the issue tasks and argument tasks timed at 30 minutes each. The other five sections are the two verbal reasoning sections and two Quantitative Reasoning sections. There is also a dummy section known as the experimental section, in which scores do not count.
The analytical writing section tasks are delivered on a computer, and the essays must be typed. For the issue task, the test taker is given a pool of topics to select one and analyze the issue. For the argument task, the test taker chooses an argument from a collection of issues published by the GRE program and writes an essay that critiques the view. A word processing program designed by the ETS that allows only essential functions such as insert, copy and paste, delete, etc., but does not contain a spell checker, is used for the analytical writing section.
Tasks in the analytical writing section require focused responses that seek to measure the examinee’s ability to; sustain a logical and transparent discussion, support complicated ideas with relevant reasons and examples, good communication skills, and articulate complex ideas.
The writing tasks section is graded on a scale of 0–6, in half-point increments. Two readers score each essay. If the two scores are within one point, the average of the scores is taken. If the scores differ by a point, a third reader examines the essay. The tasks are scored on a six-point holistic scale.
This is the point that prospective test takers begin to ask what is an excellent analytical writing score GRE? Since writing scores are reported on a scale of 0-6, in half-point increments, it is essential to list all the scores that a test taker might receive, how it can be graded and described;
- Scores 6-5.5:–
Scores within this range are considered an excellent score. It shows that the test taker essay is well-focused and organized, corroborates insightful, in-depth analysis of complex ideas. It also indicates superior dexterity with sentence structure and language usage develops and sustains the main point’s logically coherently and highly persuasive examples. Demonstrate facility using sentence variety and accurate vocabulary to convey meaning effectively, but the essay contains minor errors that do not interfere with purpose.
- Scores 5.0-5.5:-
This is an excellent score. An essay scored within this range provides a generally thoughtful analysis of complex ideas, supports and maintains main points with logically sound reasons and well-chosen examples skillfully illustrate reasonable control of sentence structures and language usage. The essay also is generally focused and well organized but may have minor errors that do not interfere with meaning. With a score like this, the admission officers will be impressed.
- Scores 4-3.5:-
With a score like this, the test taker doesn’t need to worry; this is a good score. This essay is adequately organized, coherent, and not vague; it provides a suitable analysis of ideas. It shows a satisfactory control of sentence structure and language usage but may have some errors that reduce clarity. The ETS website describes this score as adequate and sufficient.
- Scores 3.0- 2.5:–
This score is ‘Okay,’ but you should be worried. The flaws considered in this essay are; weak organization, weak control of sentence structure and eloquence, vagueness, and errors that affect clarity. However, the essay demonstrates some competence in analytical writing,
- Scores 2-1.5:-
This is an average score, not good at all. The essay written here is gravely flawed in either one or more ways, including weak organization, errors resulting in vagueness or lack of clarity, lack of analysis or development, severe and recurring problems in sentence structure or language usage. This essay displays severe weakness in analytical writing.
- Scores 1.0 -0.5:-
This score is very low. The contents of the essay are very confusing or mostly irrelevant to the assigned tasks. There are severe, frequent, and passive errors that cause the essay to be incoherent—essays within this score range display fundamental deficiency in analytical writing.
- Score level 0:-
This shows that the test taker’s analytical writing skills cannot be evaluated because the essays do not address any assigned tasks in a foreign language or illegible.
- Score NS:-
The examinee did not even write anything at all.
What is an excellent analytical writing score GRE? – A good score is between 6.0 to 3.5. It is important to note that a high analytical writing score will not aid in your admission to a top graduate school, but a below-average score can keep you out of one. It insinuates at least one major flaw in your analytical writing skills, and that is a red flag.
Hopefully, we have been able to make it clear that only certain scores are good for analytical writing, so you know what to aim for when you take the test.