GRE Analyze an Argument is one of the two tasks included in the Analytical Writing section of the GRE exam. The argument task measures your ability to access and evaluate a given argument based on specific instructions. Unlike the Analyse an Issue task — that requires you to present a claim and support that with evidence — here, you have to check the logical soundness of an argument made by the author, and craft a response by carefully evaluating the arguments and evidence presented. You’ll get 30 minutes to complete the task.

Now that you know what the Analyze an argument task is, here are some factors to consider while doing this task. We’ll also provide some strategies to answer this section as well in the article. So, read on!

Factors to Consider While Attempting the Analyze an Argument Task

  • Pay attention to the examples or proof given to support the author’s claim
  • Thoroughly check the claim made by the author
  • Check for the claims or assumptions without proof
  • Understand the hidden meaning (what the author expects you to know from what is stated)

A good score in this section demonstrates your critical thinking and analytical writing skills — both important for your higher degrees and future job opportunities. However, these skills can only be improved by constantly practicing GRE Analyze an Argument sample essays. The clarity with which you convey your thoughts, the analytical skills displayed in your writing etc., carry great weightage in determining your overall score in this section. The GRE essay raters look for variety in sentence structure, clarity of meaning, vocabulary, and conventions of usage to arrive at a final decision regarding the scores.

Time Management Strategies for AWA Argument Essay

One of the best time management strategies for your GRE essay is creating a structured plan for your writing process. To begin with, here’s a sample plan that will give you an idea of how to divide your 30-minute GRE AWA Analyze an argument writing task:

  • Devote the first 2 minutes in reading the passage – Spend the first two minutes reading the passage carefully. Read the prompt two-three times. Make sure you are reading it carefully so that you get an idea on how to address the claims discussed in the task. This will help you get the exact idea of the problem addressed in the passage and bring your thoughts in the right direction. 
  • Use the next 5 minutes for creating a draft outline – In the next 5 minutes, think and note down the ideas for your essay. Note down the main points you want to include in the essay, the examples that support response, etc., and create a rough outline based on these points. While creating an outline, think in terms of a paragraph-wise structure, i.e., introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. A well-structured outline will help you write the essay more quickly.
  • Start writing the essay – Once you have created the outline, you can start drafting your essay, based on the points you’ve noted down. Maintain a sentence structure throughout the essay, and write grammatically correct and clear sentences.

Having a templatized outline will help save your time. To begin with, here’s a table that’ll help you organize your essay. 

ParagraphPoints to add (Argument Essay)
IntroductionSummarize the ideas in the argument.Introduce your assumptions about the argument.Present your thoughts about the logical correctness of conclusion.State your thesis clearly. 
Body paragraph 1Explain the flaw or write a critique of the argument.Mention what is missing in the evidence part, and state what information is needed to improve the argument.
Body paragraph 2Explain the other flaws in the argument.Write a paragraph on why the assumption or argument are illogical.Describe how the flaws can be improved.
ConclusionState the argument is flawed once again and summarize the ways to improve the logical correctness of argument.

Strategies to Ace the AWA Argument Task

The GRE Analyze an Argument task requires you to understand the hidden inadequacies from a given prompt and identify whether it is logically correct. For eg., take the following GRE Analyze an Argument prompt from the official GRE website. 

“Over the past year, the Crust Copper Company (CCC) has purchased over 10,000 square miles of land in the tropical nation of West Fredonia. Mining copper on this land will inevitably result in pollution and, since West Fredonia is the home of several endangered animal species, in environmental disaster. But such disasters can be prevented if consumers simply refuse to purchase products that are made with CCC’s copper unless the company abandons its mining plans.”

In the above GRE Analyze an Argument example, your task is to evaluate  the passage and write whether the argument and supporting evidence is logically sufficient or not. Constant practice is the only way to craft a response and critically analyse a passage correctly. 

Given below are some tips that’ll help you craft a good response. 

  • Write a short intro – Start with a short, powerful introduction. Never try to use more attention-grabbing words. This will convolute your writing and make it hard to understand. Hence, use the correct vocabulary and write a short, to-the-point introduction.
  • Disagree with the author’s claim – In most cases, the Analyze an argument presents a claim that is flawed. Logically thinking, the goal of this task itself is to analyze the argument and check its correctness. Hence, you are not supposed to agree with the author’s claim. Remember, the evaluators don’t expect you to write about how perfect the argument is, but why the claim and the evidence are wrong and how you can prove it.  
  • Pay close attention to logical fallacies – The Argument task is often filled with logical fallacies. The author might have made claims without proof. It’s your duty to identify those fallacies and prove the argument is incorrect. 
  • Focus on two or three faults – You might have identified several faults in the task prompt. However, getting carried away by all the inconsistencies could make your essay hard to grasp.  Hence, focus on the glaring assumptions and write a well-crafted response describing why the argument is incorrect and what are the ways to correct it. Likewise, you can choose upto three fallacies and construct a response. 
  • Follow a structure – An essay without a proper structure yields poor results. Hence, maintain a proper structure for your essay. Start with a short introduction, divide your main body of the essay into meaningful paragraphs, use transition words to hook the readers, and conclude the essay by summarizing the essay.

The AWA section doesn’t contribute to the overall GRE score. It is scored separately on a scale of 0 and 6 in half-point increments. For this reason, most applicants consider the section easy to crack. However, a below-average score in the section can affect your admission, especially if the colleges you apply to have an AWA score cut off. Hence, it is essential that you give equal importance to AWA, just as the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. 

We hope the above information helps you in preparing and practicing GRE Analyze an Argument essay questions.

FAQs

  1. What is the time duration for AWA Analyze an Argument task?

You’ll get 30 minutes to complete the Analyze an Argument task.

  1. What does the AWA Analyze an Argument test?

The task measures your ability to access and evaluate a given argument based on specific instructions.

  1. Does ETS consider AWA scores to calculate the final GRE score?

No. AWA scores are not included in the overall score. However, the colleges you apply to may consider these scores, based on the field of the study you choose.

Good luck!

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