Analyzing an Issue on the GRE

Analyzing an Issue on the GRE

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Share on social media

Apply for Course

Analyzing an Issue on the GRE

Analyzing an Issue on the GRE: Key Strategies and Context

The “Analyze an Issue” task in the GRE assesses your critical thinking skills and ability to express your thoughts clearly in writing. Here are key strategies and insights to help you excel in the Analyze an Issue task, which is part of Analytical Writing :

Task Analysis:

Understand the Claim:

  • Carefully read the provided Issue statement, which presents a claim that can be discussed from multiple perspectives.
  • Identify the central claim and the complexity of ideas associated with it.

Consider Multiple Perspectives:

  • Before writing, consider the issue from various points of view. Acknowledge the complexity of the ideas related to those perspectives.

Take Notes:

  • Make notes about the position you want to develop. List the main reasons and examples that can support your position.

AW Sample issue Task download

Task Instruction Sets:

Addressing Specific Instructions:

  • Each task comes with specific instructions that guide your response. Pay close attention to whether you need to agree/disagree, discuss advantages/disadvantages, or evaluate claims.

Structuring Your Response:

  • Organize your response with a clear introduction, body paragraphs presenting your main points, and a conclusion summarizing your position.

Types of Instructions:


  • State your position and provide reasoning, considering ways the statement might or might not hold.


  • Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation. Provide specific circumstances supporting your position.

Challenge a Claim:

  • Address the most compelling reasons/examples challenging your position and explain your reasoning.

Compare Views:

  • Discuss which view aligns more closely with your position, addressing both presented views.

Evaluate a Claim and Its Reasoning:

  • Analyze a claim and its reasoning, discussing the extent to which you agree or disagree.

Discuss a Policy:

  • Express your views on the policy, considering possible consequences and explaining how these consequences shape your position.

Understanding the Context for Writing:

Critical Thinking and Persuasive Writing:

  • The task assesses your ability to develop and communicate a compelling argument persuasively in writing.


  • Your audience consists of GRE raters trained to apply specific scoring criteria. Understand the expectations outlined in the scoring guide.

Review Sample Responses:

  • Examine scored sample Issue essay responses and rater commentary. Learn from successful strategies: organization, development, language fluency, and word choice.

Remember, there is no “right” answer, and raters evaluate your ability to address instructions, articulate an argument, and effectively communicate your evaluation of the issue. Practicing with sample responses and understanding the scoring criteria will enhance your performance in the Analyze an Issue task.

Preparing for the GRE Issue Task: Strategies and Tips

The GRE Issue Task evaluates your persuasive writing skills and critical thinking abilities. Here’s a guide to help you effectively prepare for and excel in this task:

Understanding the Task:

No Specific Course of Study Required:

  • The Issue task doesn’t demand any specific course of study. It is designed to assess your general persuasive writing skills.

Accessible Advice:

  • While college textbooks on composition offer advice, the task doesn’t require specialized knowledge. You won’t be expected to know specific critical thinking or writing terms.

Practice with Published Topics:

Explore Published Topics:

  • Utilize the published topic pool provided—practice writing responses or sketching ideas for a few issues, considering different perspectives.

Practice Approaches:

  • Experiment with practicing without time constraints initially, then transition to timed practice to simulate test conditions.

Planning Your Response:

Careful Reading:

  • Read the claim and instructions carefully. Discuss any unclear points with peers or teachers.

Connect to Personal Experiences:

  • Relate the issue and instructions to your ideas, experiences, events you’ve read or observed, and people you’ve known. This forms the knowledge base for your argument.

Position and Evidence:

  • Decide on a clear position and gather compelling evidence (reasons and examples) to support your stance.

Critical Thinking:

  • Ask critical questions about the issue, instructions, assumptions, conditions, and interpretation of terms. Develop a well-rounded argument.

Considering Alternate Perspectives:

Acknowledge Opposing Views:

  • Consider perspectives that refute your position. Plan how to acknowledge or defend against those views in your essay.

Planning and Timed Practice:

Summary and Organization:

  • Summarize your position and make notes on how you’ll support it. Decide on the organization of your response.

Time Management:

  • Practice writing responses within the 30-minute limit to gauge how to effectively use your time during the test.

Evaluate Your Response:

Seek Feedback:

  • Obtain feedback from instructors specializing in critical thinking or writing—exchange essays with peers for a comparative review.

Use Scoring Guide:

  • Refer to the scoring guide for the Issue task. Evaluate how your essay aligns with the scoring criteria for each score point.

Tips for the Issue Task:

Organizational Freedom:

  • You have the freedom to organize your response in a way that effectively communicates your position.

Incorporate Writing Strategies:

  • Use writing strategies learned in English composition or writing-intensive college courses.

Diverse Developmental Strategies:

  • GRE raters value diverse approaches. Essays can differ in content and form but should display high levels of critical thinking and persuasive writing.

Clarity Over Quantity:

  • Clarity of ideas and effective communication are crucial. The skill of conveying your thoughts is more important than the number of examples or paragraphs.

Review Sample Responses:

  • Explore a sample Issue task, including strategies, responses, and rater commentary. Pay attention to successful strategies for organization, development, and persuasive argumentation.

Preparing effectively and understanding the nuances of the GRE Issue Task will enhance your ability to craft a compelling and well-argued response on test day.

FAQs: GRE Analytical Writing (Issue Task) Preparation

A1. The Analytical Writing (Issue Task) assesses your ability to think critically, develop persuasive arguments, and express your thoughts in writing

A2. No, the task is designed to evaluate general persuasive writing skills. It doesn’t require specific courses of study or specialized knowledge.

A3. Practice by exploring published topics provided by the GRE. Sketch out responses and consider different perspectives. Experiment with both untimed and timed practice.

A4. Carefully read the claim and instructions, relate the issue to personal experiences, decide on a clear position, gather supporting evidence, and ask critical questions about the issue.

A5. Yes, each task comes with specific instructions, such as agreeing/disagreeing, discussing advantages/disadvantages, or evaluating claims. Follow these instructions in your response.

A6. Consider perspectives that might refute your position and plan how to acknowledge or defend against those views in your essay.

A7. Yes, the Issue Task has a 30-minute time limit. Practice writing responses within this time frame to prepare effectively.

A8. Seek feedback from instructors or peers. Exchange essays with others and discuss responses about the scoring guide for the Issue Task.

A9. Clarity of ideas and effective communication are more important than the number of examples or paragraphs in your essay.

A10.Explore sample responses and rater commentary, including strategies, in the official GRE materials. Review the Sample Issue Task PDF for detailed insights.

A11: Yes, you can organize your response in any way that effectively communicates your position.

A12: You can incorporate writing strategies learned in English composition or writing-intensive college courses. GRE raters value diverse approaches.

A13: Clarity of ideas and effective communication are more important than the form of your argument or the number of examples.

A14: GRE raters assess critical thinking and persuasive writing. Review the scoring guide to understand the criteria for evaluating Issue Task responses.

A15: Using examples from personal experiences can strengthen your argument, but ensure they align with and support your position on the issue.

A1: MKS Education is a comprehensive resource for GRE preparation, offering expert guidance, tailored study plans, and a supportive learning environment.

A2: MKS Education provides specialized Verbal Reasoning strategies, vocabulary-building sessions, and practice materials to enhance skills in this GRE section.

A3: MKS Education offers targeted quantitative reasoning preparation, including problem-solving techniques, a review of mathematical concepts, and extensive practice exercises.

A4: Yes, MKS Education tailors study plans to individual strengths and weaknesses, ensuring a customized approach to GRE preparation for each student.

A5: MKS Education stays vigilant about GRE format changes, ensuring study materials are up-to-date to align with the latest test trends and requirements.

A6: Yes, MKS Education fosters a supportive learning community, encouraging peer interaction among GRE aspirants for shared insights and motivation.

A7: MKS Education guides critical thinking and persuasive writing, key components of the Analytical Writing Measure. Strategies for the “Analyze an Issue” task are covered.

A8: Yes, MKS Education conducts mock tests to simulate the GRE experience. Performance analysis helps students identify strengths and areas for improvement.

A9: Recognizing diverse needs, MKS Education personalizes study plans, ensuring each student receives targeted preparation based on their unique requirements.

A10: Yes, MKS Education provides opportunities for feedback. Instructors can review practice responses, offering valuable insights and suggestions for improvement.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *