How Long Should GRE Essays Be? All Your Queries Answered!

It can be quite strange how you can answer the same question in 50 or 50,000 words. The GRE essays are remarkable proof of this. The writing portion of the GRE demands you to demonstrate profound subject knowledge and impeccable analytical ability.

For students anxious about writing or test-taking specifically, the GRE essay length can be one of the most frustrating and baffling aspects.  They often tend to ponder over “How long should GRE essays be? How many resources are adequate to offer a completely developed argument?”

The ETS hasn’t defined any specific word count, making it more challenging for test-takers to know what works. To aid you, we will walk you through certain crucial GRE writing strategies so that you submit impeccable essays with sufficient depth and an accurate length.

 GRE Essay: A Quick Overview

Before you delve deep to comprehend how long the GRE essays should be, it becomes significant to develop an in-depth knowledge of the GRE essay.

The GRE essays, often known as AWA, stands for the GRE Analytical Writing Section. The name already informs us that the GRE essay assesses two aspects- analytical writing and critical thinking skills. In total, you have 60 minutes to craft your essay. The time gets split between two analytical writing tasks that are an integral part of the GRE essay section-

  • Analyze The Issue- 30 minutes
  • Analyze An Argument- 30 minutes

The Ideal GRE Essay Length

There is no official length requirement for the GRE essays. According to research, GRE essays with 500-600 words will score the highest points. You must always aim to craft an essay of five paragraphs and roughly 500 words. These five paragraphs should incorporate-

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2
  • Body Paragraph 3
  • Conclusion

The Scoring Process Of GRE Essay

Two graders initially score the GRE essay- a human reader and a computer system known as E-Rater. The E-Rater score your essay from zero to six. The human reader also provides the score within a similar range.

If both the human reader and E-Rater scores your essay similarly, then the average of their two scores becomes the essay’s score.  If the scores were different, a second human would go through your essay diligently to grade it. In such a circumstance, the final score for that essay will be the average of two human readers’ scores.

Golden Strategies To Craft An Exemplary GRE Essay

  • Use Clarity And Reasoning

Undeniably, the most crucial overarching goal of the AW segment is to craft a coherent and well-reasoned essay with supporting points and unique examples. After going through the prompt, ensure to develop your positions fully and organize the essay coherently. Always provide well-reasoned arguments to back it up.

You have a time limit for every section on the GRE, and AWA is no exception. To make the most out of your GRE tests, divide up the writing segment like this-

  • 2 minutes to read the prompt and directions thoroughly
  • 3 minutes to brainstorm, outline, and write a thesis statement
  • 20 minutes to craft the body paragraph and examples for your essay
  • 2 minutes to edit minute errors
  • 3 minutes to write the intro
  • Choose Specific Real-World Examples

Do not be general. Hypothetical arguments can be refuted easily. Always use specific examples. For instance- The War of 1812, an anecdote about your Aunt Susan, the Keynesian Economic theory, etc., are all concrete examples that you can use to drive home a point.

  • Make Strong And Declarative Statements

Being direct will never leave any room for miscommunication or misinterpretation. It is mainly as one of your graders is human, the other is a computer. If you have ever communicated with Siri, Alexa ,or GPS, you must have experienced miscommunication from time to time. Try avoiding this on your GRE issue essay by making declarative statements.

  • Do Not Use First-Person And Self-Reference

Generally, you must always refrain from writing in the first person on the issue essay. Do not make statements like ‘I believe’ or ‘in my opinion’ since the reader is already aware the issue essay is crafted from your perspective. First-person pronouns should appear only in the body paragraphs.

You simply do not have the time to argue both sides of an issue on the GRE essay. Even if you don’t believe in the side you pick, you only have time to argue one side effectively. If you take the middle-of-the-road approach, you won’t be sounding as confident or as clear. Always remember, which side you choose to defend is less significant than how you defend it!

  • Improve Your Diction & Sentence Variety

Toss the thesaurus out of the window. There is no need to use large, fancy words or scientific terminology on the GRE to score better. Try using smart and to-the-point vocabulary. Mix in punchy sentences and various sentence structures. This will help you keep your writing intriguing.

Final Words

Most students believe that their final grade depends on how brilliantly they write. Though your writing skills will help you secure a better grade, your score will ultimately depend on how well you have prepped up for the GRE essay.

Keep in mind the length is only one of the crucial aspects of the essay. It is definitely not the most important one. If you have well-developed arguments, varied sentences, and no such glaring grammatical errors, the length will ultimately not matter much.

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