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Top GRE Issue Essay Tips: How to Write GRE Issue Essay?

Yocket Editorial Team
Top GRE Issue Essay Tips: How to Write GRE Issue Essay?  Image

Many GRE aspirants are good at Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning, but a few of them excel at GRE issue/argument essay writing. However, to achieve an advantage over other candidates by scoring a perfect six on the writing test, it is essential to know how to write GRE issue essay

But how can one attain a perfect score? One needs to showcase their critical thinking by creating a compelling and effectively communicated argument. What if someone is not good at writing? Are there any GRE issue essay tips that can be of help?

Of course, let’s go through this article and become competent enough to organise, develop, and communicate your ideas on the GRE issue essay.

  Table of Contents

  1. What is the Importance of GRE Issue Essay Section?
  2. How to Prepare for GRE Issue Essay?
  3. Tips for GRE Issue Essay
  4. Do’s and Dont’s During GRE Issue Essay Preparation
  5. Frequently Asked Questions on GRE Issue Preparation

What is the Importance of GRE Issue Essay Section?

GRE issue task determines how well a student can develop and write a compelling argument, supporting their evaluation of the given topic. It has to be written in 30-minutes. A student can incorporate particular writing strategies learned in English composition or writing-intensive college courses.

In the GRE issue essay, raters do not rank a development strategy or mode of writing. Besides, they are trained enough to go through a highly diverse form of content, displaying similar levels of critical thinking, control of grammar, and persuasive writing.

Therefore, follow these tips for GRE issue essay — briefly summarise your position on the issue, announce the main pointers, describe an example or scenario in support, and create a new paragraph when the discussion shifts to distinct clutter of ideas.

Is the GRE issue essay score important?

A good GRE issue essay score provides validation to your critical thinking, logical reasoning, and cogency of your idea about the issue. Besides, it acts as the best or second-best predictor of a student’s success. Many universities and programs use it as a significant parameter. In fact, a poor GRE issue writing score can withdraw your chances of selection.

Suggested: How to Write GRE AWA Essays?

With its importance in mind, let’s check out how to write GRE issue essay and study plan.

How to Prepare for GRE Issue Essay?

There is no particular approach to preparing for GRE issue essay, but usually, the students either start practising considering the 30-minute time limit or without any. Besides, they can pick topics from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) prompts or online/offline GRE study material. Following are the issue essay GRE tips / study plan to be considered while preparing.

  • Before writing an essay, carefully read the claim/prompts and instructions to understand them properly.
  • Give a thought to the claim and instructions concerning your ideas, experiences, events you have attended, people associated, etc. This information will help you develop compelling reasons and examples in your argument.
  • Always decide the position you have to take and defend.
  • Define the compelling evidence to support your decision.
  • Consider important questions like what is the central issue? What are the instructions? Do I agree with all or any part of the claim? How to explain certain terms or concepts? And more.
  • Get feedback on your response from an instructor who teaches critical thinking/writing or from another student.
  • Determine each point that missed the score criterion in the guide and take measures to improve it.

You can also check out this “Writing the GRE Issue Essay—Step-by-step Guide” Yocket Video to get more tips for GRE issue essay.


Now you know the steps on how to write issue essay GRE. Let’s explore a few tips for the GRE issue essay. These tips will surely help you achieve a 6 overall score in the GRE issue essay exam.

Tips for GRE Issue Essay

You can use the following tips on how to start issue essay in GRE. Include them and communicate your ideas with clarity to the academic raters.

1. Practice GRE Issue Essays

Practice is the key to improvement. You must study for the GRE issue essay by checking the AWA prompts and practising a few among them. The only way to get comfortable with a GRE issue essay is by completing a crisp write-up in time, following the given instructions, and getting the information across clearly. 

Suggested: GRE Analytical Writing Topics

2. Do Not Flip Sides

Pick a side. You don’t get to present your views on both sides of a GRE issue essay. Even if you are unsure about the view, try to present it effectively in a single light. Besides, if you decide to present both ends, this may make you look confused or unsure. Remember, it’s not about the side you pick; instead, more about the way you present your opinion.

3. Real-world Examples Work Well

Don’t mention hypothetical examples to support your opinion; rather use specific examples from personal experience, pop culture, war, politics, current affairs, etc. However, ensure that a particular example doesn’t take up your complete essay. It should be used precisely to explain your point.

4. Avoid Self Reference and First Person

Never use first-person pronouns like “In my opinion”, “I believe”, etc, in your essay as the reader already knows that you have provided a particular viewpoint in writing. However, first-person words can only be used while explaining a personal experience.

5. Write Strong and Declarative Statements

Be direct with your sentences, opinion, and viewpoint, as one of your graders is a human while the other is a computer. So make strong and declarative statements to avoid miscommunication.

6. Proof False the Opposing Side

Don’t leave the opposing viewpoint in your conclusion. You can introduce it in the last paragraph, mention its negatives, and conclude how your opinion is right.

7. Be Aware of the Score Assessment

The GRE issue essay is scored on a 0-6 scale with a half-point increment. In this section, first, two graders score the issue and argument essay. However, if their scores variate by more than 1 point, the third-grader also scores it. Then the ETS reports a single score (the average of the two; issue essay + argument essay) rounded up to the nearest half-point.

Suggested: How to Calculate GRE Score?

With these tips for issue essay GRE, let’s go through the do’s and dont’s as well.

Do’s and Dont’s During GRE Issue Essay Preparation

It is crucial for a student to know the do’s and dont’s of a GRE issue test. The following can be thought-out.



Check the previous year's GRE tests to know about the type of topics asked in the issue essay.

Do not write about the pros of both sides of a given issue.

Read the instructions and topic thoroughly.

Don’t forget to relate the examples to the thesis.

Manage the 30-minutes well by taking

  • 2 min to read the directions
  • 3 min to brainstorm/outline
  • 20 minutes to write the body paragraph/example
  • 2 min to edit mistakes
  • 3 min to write the introduction

Don’t forget to identify the topic assumptions and finding logical fallacies.

Now you know everything about how to write issue essay GRE. To further determine your strengths and weaknesses in the issue essay, you can opt for Yocket Prep and take a quick GRE diagnostic test. This adaptive prep test will surely help you strategise your GRE preparation journey!

Frequently Asked Questions on GRE Issue Preparation

Ques. How long should the issue essay be on GRE?

Ans. The essays that receive maximum GRE scores are the ones with good length. Therefore, it should be from 600 to 700 words with 4-5 paragraphs.

Ques. Can I prepare for the GRE issue essay in 10 days?

Ans. 10 days are more than enough to prepare for the GRE issue essay. You just need to practice at least 5 to 6 essay topics. Follow all the instructions, get the write-up reviewed, and make improvements in the next.

Ques. What is a good GRE issue essay score?

Ans. GRE issue essay is scored between 0-6. However, a good score varies from 4.5 to 6.

Ques. What is the “ScoreItNow!” online test practice service for GRE?

Ans. ScoreItNow! is one of the most important GRE issue essay tips. It is a web-based tool provided by ETS that helps sharpen a candidate’s writing skills. This automated scoring system provides immediate essay scoring/diagnostic feedback in a confidential and risk-free environment.

Ques. Is the GRE issue essay similar to the TOEFL essay?

Ans. Yes, the “issue task” on GRE is quite similar to the “independent task” on TOEFL.

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