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GRE AWA sample essays to help you score high!

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Edvoy
Published on: Mar 13, 202311 min read
GRE AWA sample essays to help you score high!

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section of the GRE is designed to test your ability to analyse and evaluate complex arguments and communicate your ideas effectively in writing

To score high on the AWA section, it's important to have a good understanding of what the graders are looking for and to practice writing sample essays.

In this article, we will explore some GRE AWA sample essays to help you score high on this challenging section of the test.

Also read: How to prepare for the online GRE exam: Tips and strategies

GRE writing tasks

The writing tasks on the GRE are essential components of the test that assess your analytical and writing skills. The two writing tasks are the Analyse an Issue essay and the Analyse an Argument essay. Both tasks require you to think critically and write persuasively, with the goal of demonstrating your ability to analyse complex topics, develop a clear and compelling thesis, and support your arguments with evidence and examples.

Also read: Understanding the key differences between the GRE and GMAT

GRE issue essay

The GRE Issue Essay requires you to write an essay that takes a position on a given issue and supports it with evidence and reasoning.

You are provided with a brief quotation or statement on a social, political, or cultural topic and are asked to develop a response that presents a clear and compelling position on the issue.

Also read: How to understand your GRE results and score chart 2023?

The goal of this essay is to assess your ability to analyse complex topics, develop a position, and support it with clear and compelling evidence.

Sample essay 1: Analysing an issue

Prompt:

Governments should focus on solving the immediate problems of today rather than on trying to solve the anticipated problems of the future.

Response:

While it is certainly important for governments to address the immediate problems facing their citizens, it is equally important to plan for the future. Anticipating and preparing for future problems is the hallmark of effective leadership, and it is essential for governments to consider the long-term implications of their policies and actions.

To be sure, there are many pressing issues that require immediate attention, from healthcare and education to environmental protection and economic development. However, if governments focus solely on these issues without considering the long-term consequences of their decisions, they risk creating even more problems in the future.

For example, if a government invests heavily in fossil fuels to meet immediate energy needs without considering the long-term impact on the environment, it may exacerbate the problem of climate change and create even greater challenges for future generations. Similarly, if a government neglects investing in education and workforce development in favor of short-term economic gains, it may find itself facing a shrinking and unskilled workforce in the future.

In short, governments must balance the need to address immediate problems with the need to plan for the future. By doing so, they can ensure that they are making decisions that benefit their citizens both now and in the years to come.

Sample essay 2: Analyzing an issue

Prompt:

The best way to teach is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones.

Response:

While positive reinforcement can certainly be a valuable teaching tool, it is not always the most effective approach. Ignoring negative actions may give students the impression that such behavior is acceptable or even desirable, leading to further problems down the line.

Furthermore, negative actions often require immediate intervention and correction. If a student is engaging in disruptive behavior, for example, ignoring it may only serve to undermine the learning environment and make it more difficult for other students to concentrate and engage with the material. In such cases, it may be necessary to provide clear and direct feedback in order to correct the behavior and ensure that everyone in the classroom can benefit from a positive learning experience.

Positive reinforcement can be effective in certain contexts, but it is important to use it in combination with other teaching tools, such as clear expectations, consistent feedback, and appropriate consequences for negative behavior. By taking a comprehensive approach to teaching, instructors can create an environment in which positive actions are encouraged and negative actions are addressed in a constructive and effective manner.

GRE argument essay

The GRE argument essay requires you to analyse and evaluate a given argument and then develop a response that critiques the argument and presents a more compelling alternative.

You are provided with a brief argument that presents a conclusion based on premises, and are asked to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the argument, provide evidence to support their critique, and propose an alternative conclusion that is more logically sound.

The goal of this essay is to assess your ability to critically evaluate arguments and develop your own reasoned response

Sample essay 1: Analysing an argument

Prompt:

The following memorandum was sent by the principal of a high school to the school's teachers: 'Research has shown that the best way to improve student performance is to praise them for their effort, not their intelligence. Therefore, in all future assignments, please praise students for their effort rather than their intelligence.'

Response:

While praising students for their effort can certainly be a valuable motivational tool, it is not the only factor that contributes to academic success. The principal's memo oversimplifies the complex interplay between effort, intelligence, and achievement, and it may lead teachers to overlook other important factors that can influence student performance.

First and foremost, intelligence is a critical factor in academic success. While hard work and perseverance are certainly important, some students may simply have greater intellectual capacity than others. Praising students for their effort rather than their intelligence may inadvertently discourage those who are truly gifted from pursuing more challenging work and achieving their full potential.

Moreover, the principal's memo overlooks the fact that different students may respond differently to different types of praise. For some students, praise for their intelligence may be more effective in motivating them to continue working hard and striving for excellence. By imposing a one-size-fits-all approach to praise, the principal risks ignoring the individual needs and preferences of his or her students.

In conclusion, while praising students for their effort can be an effective motivational tool, it is not a panacea for improving academic performance. Teachers and principals must consider a range of factors, including intelligence, individual needs and preferences, and the specific demands of different assignments and assessments, in order to help their students achieve their full potential.

Sample essay 2: Analysing an argument

Prompt:

The following article claims that technological advancements are making traditional skills and knowledge obsolete: 'As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, many traditional skills and forms of knowledge are becoming obsolete. For example, the rise of artificial intelligence means that many jobs that once required human expertise can now be performed by machines. In light of these developments, it is essential for individuals and organisations to prioritise technological skills and education in order to remain competitive in the job market.'

Response:

While it is certainly true that technological advancements are transforming the job market, it is a mistake to assume that traditional skills and knowledge are becoming obsolete. Rather, these skills and forms of knowledge are evolving alongside technological change, and they continue to play a vital role in many sectors of the economy.

For example, while artificial intelligence may be able to perform certain tasks more efficiently than humans, it cannot replicate the creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills that are essential in many fields. Similarly, while automation may be able to streamline certain production processes, it cannot replace the craftsmanship, attention to detail, and quality control that are required in many areas of manufacturing.

Moreover, it is important to recognise that technological skills and knowledge are not the only factors that determine success in the job market. Soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability, are also essential in today's workplace, and they cannot be easily replaced by machines. In order to remain competitive, individuals and organizations must cultivate a diverse range of skills and knowledge, including both technical and soft skills.

In conclusion, while technological advancements are certainly transforming the job market, they are not making traditional skills and knowledge obsolete. Rather, these skills and forms of knowledge are evolving alongside technological change, and they continue to play a vital role in many sectors of the economy. By recognising the importance of a diverse range of skills and knowledge, individuals and organisations can position themselves for success in the 21st century job market.

Conclusion

The Analyse an issue and Analyse an argument writing tasks on the GRE can seem daunting, but with practice, preparation, and a solid understanding of the task requirements, you can score high on the exam. The sample essays provided here can serve as a valuable resource for understanding how to approach the writing tasks effectively. By analysing the structure, argumentation, and writing techniques of these essays, you can gain a better understanding of what makes a strong essay and develop your own skills accordingly.

Frequently asked questions

How can I use the sample essays to improve my writing skills?

By analysing the structure, argumentation, and writing techniques of the sample essays, you can gain a better understanding of what makes a strong essay. They can then apply these techniques to your own writing practice.

Are the sample essays indicative of the types of prompts that will be on the actual GRE?

The sample essays provide a good idea of the type of prompts that you can expect to encounter on the GRE. However, it is important to note that the actual prompts may differ in content and tone.

How long should I spend analysing the sample essays?

The amount of time spent analysing the sample essays will depend on your needs and goals. However, it is recommended to spend enough time to thoroughly understand the structure, argumentation, and writing techniques used in the essays.

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