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Master GRE AWA Writing With These Sample Essays

Updated on 24 May, 2023

Shivangi Mishra

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

AWA GRE examples are essential resources for test-takers preparing for the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a standardized test for many graduate schools in the United States, Canada, and other countries. The AWA section measures your ability to effectively articulate complex ideas in writing, a skill that is highly valued in many academic and professional settings.

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To excel in the AWA section, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of the format, structure, and content of effective AWA essays. In this article, we will provide you with several GRE analytical writing examples & GRE analytical writing samples to help you master the AWA section of the GRE. By studying and practising these AWA GRE examples, you will be better equipped to handle the challenges of the AWA section and achieve a high score on the GRE.

Types of GRE AWA Essays:

The GRE AWA consists of two tasks that are designed to measure different aspects-

Task 1 of GRE AWA: 

The first task is the "Issue" essay, which requires test-takers to respond to a given prompt by taking a position on a particular issue and supporting that position with reasons and examples. 

Task 2 of GRE AWA: 

The second task is the "Argument" essay, which requires test-takers to analyse a given argument, identify its strengths and weaknesses, and then critique the argument by presenting their own logical reasoning and evidence.

In the GRE Exam Pattern, each essay is allotted a 30-minute time limit, and the test-taker is expected to produce a well-written, well-organised, and well-supported essay. Two trained readers score The AWA section on a scale of 0-6, with half-point increments. The two scores are averaged to determine the final score for each essay.

GRE Issue Essay: Overview

In this task of GRE Preparation, test-takers are presented with a prompt that presents an issue or topic and are asked to take a position on the issue and support that position with reasons and examples. The Issue essay prompts are typically broad and abstract, and they may cover a wide range of topics, including social, political, cultural, and philosophical issues. Some prompts may be specific to particular fields, such as education or science, while others may be more general.

When writing the Issue essay, test-takers are expected to analyse the prompt, develop a clear and specific thesis statement that takes a position on the issue, and provide supporting reasons and examples that demonstrate the validity of their position. The essay should be well-structured, with an introduction that sets up the argument, body paragraphs that provide evidence and support for the thesis, and a conclusion that restates the thesis and summarises the main points of the essay.

GRE Issue Essay: Samples

Here are some sample GRE analytical writing samples:

Issue 1: Governments should focus more on solving problems within their own countries rather than trying to solve the world's problems.

Essay points: 

Governments have a responsibility to address both domestic and global issues, but domestic problems should receive more attention. Solving domestic problems is crucial for fulfilling a government's primary obligation to its citizens and can serve as a model for other countries to follow. Attempting to solve global problems is complex and requires extensive resources and international cooperation. However, some global issues, such as climate change and nuclear proliferation, require international cooperation to address. Governments should prioritise solving domestic problems but also work with other countries to find solutions to global issues.

Issue 2: In today's society, it is becoming more important for individuals to think independently and to challenge authority.

Essay points:

In a free-thinking society, it is essential to think independently and challenge authority when needed to develop unique perspectives and hold those in power accountable. However, it is vital to respect authority in some situations, such as emergency responses, workplaces, and the military. A balance between independent thinking and respect for authority can create a society that values accountability and critical thinking.

Issue 3: The best way to teach is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones.

Essay points: 

Ignoring negative actions is not an effective way to promote growth and development in individuals. Negative behaviours must be addressed, and constructive feedback and criticism should be provided to help individuals improve. Praising positive actions is important, but negative actions cannot be ignored, especially if they have consequences. By addressing negative behaviours, teachers can help individuals develop the skills and habits needed to succeed.

GRE Argument Essay: Overview

In this task, you will be presented with a short passage that argues for or against a particular claim. Your task is to analyse the argument, identify any flaws or weaknesses in it, and then write an essay in which you discuss these flaws and explain how they weaken the argument.

The purpose of the Argument Essay is to evaluate your ability to understand, analyse, and critically evaluate arguments. You will need to be able to identify assumptions, evaluate evidence, and recognize logical fallacies. You will also need to be able to write clearly and coherently, supporting your analysis with specific examples and evidence.

GRE Argument Essay: Samples

Here are some GRE Argument essay prompts, along with sample essays that respond to each argument:

Argument 1: The following appeared in a memorandum from the manager of WWAC radio station.

"To reverse a decline in listener numbers, our owners have decided that WWAC must change from its current rock-music format. The decline has occurred despite population growth in our listening area, but that growth has resulted mainly from people moving here after their retirement. We must make listeners of these new residents. We could switch to a music format tailored to their tastes, but a continuing decline in local sales of recorded music suggests limited interest in music. Instead, we should adopt a news-and-talk format, a form of radio that is increasingly popular in our area."

Essay points: 

The argument to switch to a news-and-talk format to address a decline in listener numbers at WWAC radio station is not well-supported. The manager's assumption that the decline is due to a lack of interest in rock music and that new residents prefer news-and-talk is not backed by evidence. The decision to switch formats should be based on a thorough analysis of the station's strengths, weaknesses, and audience preferences.

Argument 2: The following appeared in a memorandum from the vice president of a manufacturing company.

"During the past year, workers at our newly opened factory reported 30 percent more on-the-job accidents than workers at nearby Panoply Industries, where the work shifts are one hour shorter than ours. A recent government study reports that fatigue and sleep deprivation among workers are significant contributing factors in many on-the-job accidents. Therefore, we should adopt shorter work shifts and give our employees time to rest."

Essay Points: 

The argument to adopt shorter work shifts to reduce on-the-job accidents is well-supported. The vice president of the manufacturing company cites a government study and data from a nearby company to support the claim. Shorter work shifts can not only reduce accidents but also lead to other benefits such as increased productivity, job satisfaction, and better business outcomes.


In conclusion, reviewing GRE AWA samples can be a helpful way to prepare for the Analytical Writing section of the exam. By analysing the structure and content of well-written essays, test-takers can gain a better understanding of the expectations and standards of the test. Additionally, practising writing essays using sample prompts can help test-takers hone their writing skills and develop strategies for tackling different types of essays & arguments. While the samples provided here are just a few examples, there are many more available through official GRE resources and other test prep materials. With practice and preparation, test-takers can feel confident and well-prepared for the AWA section of the GRE.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the format of AWA in GRE?

AWA consists of two tasks: the Issue task and the Argument task. Both tasks must be completed within 30 minutes each. Each task is scored on a scale of 0-6, with half-point increments, and the scores are averaged to determine the test-taker's overall AWA score.

Is GRE AWA 3.5 good?

A score of 3.5 on the GRE Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) is considered an average score, falling in the 41st percentile. This means that 59 percent of test-takers scored higher than a 3.5 on the AWA.

Is GRE 320 easy?

The GRE score of 320 is a respectable score, falling in the 83rd percentile, which means that 83% of test-takers scored lower than 320. However, whether the score of 320 is easy or not depends on the individual test-taker's abilities, preparation, and expectations.

Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

PTE Eligibility

PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam Pattern

The PTE exam pattern is designed to test whether candidates can study at international institutions that have English as the main language for instructions.

PTE Exam Pattern

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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