Free Gre Essay Scoring

Given the sheer number of students who ask me this question, I am surprised that there are so few resources that offer such a service. So what do you do when you’re desperate? Well you have a few options to consider.

 

ETS ScoreItNow!

For $13 dollars, the ETS ScoreItNow! Essay Grader will grade two of your essays. While I have never used the service myself—nor, for that matter known anyone who has—I’m sure the score is pretty accurate. The only downside is that’s all you get—ETS does not provide any feedback on the essays themselves. Nonetheless, if you feel that you are not improving on the essay, then you should definitely consider the service offered by ETS.

For those who don’t necessarily want to part with their money, or who actually want more than just a score, here are a few other options.

 

Find a friend

I know, I know, this may seem like a cop out answer. But the truth is that having a second pair of eyes, even untrained, can be really beneficial to finding your flaws. First, you need to have a friend with a pretty strong essay writing skills. Next, you need to ask them nicely, or at least offer them a cup of coffee. You should let them know that you only had 30 minutes to write your essay, and so the GRE people aren’t expecting Pulitzer Prize-winning material.

You should also tell them to pay attention to the following: structure, logical flow of ideas, and persuasiveness of examples. They should not be looking for fancy-sound GRE words. At the same time, your writing should be relatively sophisticated and should vary up the sentence structure so it doesn’t sound choppy.

 

Compare your work

I have a mock essay on our blog. There are a few essays in our product as well. Many test prep books have mock essays out there. Usually these essays cover the spectrum of grades, from a ‘2’ to a ‘6’. (A ‘0’ is essentially passing out and drooling on the keyboard; or typing away in Swahili).

See which essays your essays are similar to in terms of score. Since mock essays usually have an explanation for their respective scores, you should see if your essay is lacking in similar ways.

 

The kindness of strangers

Urch.com is a popular GRE forum, which thousands of GRE aspirants visit each day. If you post your essay and ask for some feedback, someone may provide some (I’ve seen this happen before). While this someone may not be an expert, often a second pair of eyes can be helpful.

 

Other resources

One way to check your writing is to cut and paste the text into a Word doc. Are there many green lines (Word’s only slightly intrusive way of indicating that something may be grammatically awry)? By going into ‘Tools’ on the menu bar, you can get an explanation for what is wrong with your sentence.

Of course such analysis will tell you nothing of structure or logical flow of your ideas. Still, knowing that your grammar and spelling are not up to snuff can help you work to improve your score by as much as a point.

 

Takeaway

Though getting feedback on your AWA essays may be tough, don’t lose heart. Most likely one (if not more!) of the resources above will pan out. And don’t forget: nothing makes you a better writer than practice, feedback, practice, feedback.

 

Most Popular Resources

For tests taken before August 1, 2011

Each "Analyze an Argument" essay will be scored on a 6-point holistic scale according to the criteria below. Although the GRE® Analytical Writing measure contains two discrete analytical writing tasks, a single combined score is reported because it is more reliable than either task score alone. The score reported will represent the average of the scores for the two tasks.

Score of 6 Outstanding

A 6 paper presents a cogent, well-articulated critique of the argument and conveys meaning skillfully.

A typical paper in this category:

  • clearly identifies important features of the argument and analyzes them insightfully
  • develops ideas cogently, organizes them logically and connects them with clear transitions
  • effectively supports the main points of the critique
  • demonstrates control of language, including appropriate word choice and sentence variety
  • demonstrates facility with the conventions (i.e., grammar, usage and mechanics) of standard written English but may have minor errors

Score of 5 Strong

A 5 paper presents a generally thoughtful, well-developed critique of the argument and conveys meaning clearly.

A typical paper in this category:

  • clearly identifies important features of the argument and analyzes them in a generally perceptive way
  • develops ideas clearly, organizes them logically and connects them with appropriate transitions
  • sensibly supports the main points of the critique
  • demonstrates control of language, including appropriate word choice and sentence variety
  • demonstrates facility with the conventions of standard written English, but may have minor errors

Score of 4 Adequate

A 4 paper presents a competent critique of the argument and conveys meaning adequately.

A typical paper in this category:

  • identifies and analyzes important features of the argument
  • develops and organizes ideas satisfactorily, but may not connect them with transitions
  • supports the main points of the critique
  • demonstrates sufficient control of language to express ideas with reasonable clarity
  • generally demonstrates control of the conventions of standard written English, but may have some errors

Score of 3 Limited

A 3 paper demonstrates some competence in its critique of the argument and in conveying meaning, but is obviously flawed.

A typical paper in this category exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • does not identify or analyze most of the important features of the argument, although some analysis of the argument is present
  • mainly analyzes tangential or irrelevant matters, or reasons poorly
  • is limited in the logical development and organization of ideas
  • offers support of little relevance and value for points of the critique
  • lacks clarity in expressing ideas
  • contains occasional major errors or frequent minor errors in grammar, usage or mechanics that can interfere with meaning

Score of 2 Seriously Flawed

A 2 paper demonstrates serious weaknesses in analytical writing.

A typical paper in this category exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • does not present a critique based on logical analysis, but may instead present the writer's own views on the subject
  • does not develop ideas or is disorganized and illogical
  • provides little if any relevant or reasonable support
  • has serious problems in the use of language and in sentence structure that frequently interfere with meaning
  • contains serious errors in grammar, usage or mechanics that frequently obscure meaning

Score of 1 Fundamentally Deficient

A 1 paper demonstrates fundamental deficiencies in analytical writing.

A typical paper in this category exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • provides little or no evidence of the ability to understand and analyze the argument
  • provides little or no evidence of the ability to develop an organized response
  • has severe problems in language and sentence structure that persistently interfere with meaning
  • contains pervasive errors in grammar, usage or mechanics that result in incoherence

Score of 0

A typical paper in this category is:

  • off topic (i.e., provides no evidence of an attempt to respond to the assigned topic), is in a foreign language, merely copies the topic, consists of only keystroke characters, or is illegible or nonverbal

Score of NS

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