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Hi all,

I wrote a few practice essays today to prepare for the GRE. I don't have anyone in my personal life who could critique my essays and provide a rough score. Is there someone on this forum who would be willing to read through both my essays and provide some feedback?

I would greatly appreciate it!



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I don't want to take on actually trying to score your essays (traveling, not much time generally), but I'll share an anecdote here I've shared elsewhere about GRE writing, the short version.

Took the GRE twice.  The first time I was like, "I'm an english major, I got an A on every paper I did in college, I don't need to prep."  I had the Princeton Review GRE guide so I got to take practice tests through their website (you should do this, they pay people to evaluate practice tests and the book doesn't cost much), I was scoring respectably without prepping.

So I get to the actual GRE, and I get like a 4.5, which felt pretty lame to me. I was pretty annoyed.  I'd already decided to take the GRE again because my quant score, it seemed to me, was humiliating enough to matter (it probably wasn't).  This time I decided I'd breathe out my ego and look at the section in the Princeton Review book on the writing section to.  Their instructions are essentially to write the most formulaic essay imaginable (largely because they're paying unemployed PhDs to grade these things in less than 120 seconds). I followed Princeton Reviews instructions to the letter and got a perfect score.

Long story short. I'll always endorse Princeton Review's GRE book. They know what they're talking about.

Edited by jrockford27
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On 6/26/2018 at 3:42 PM, jrockford27 said:

Long story short. I'll always endorse Princeton Review's GRE book. They know what they're talking about.

Seconded. I didn't write a single practice essay; I just memorized the form that the Princeton Review book proposed and made sure I knew how to adapt it to any question thrown at me. On test day, I thought my essays were pretty weak but I got a perfect score as well.

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@jrockford27 and @indecisivepoet are right - lean hard on the Princeton Review and it'll get you where you need to be. 

Also, I didn't get a perfect score but I had success with apps.

I've heard (from profs who sit on adcoms, profs who don't, and others tuned into application life) that the verbal score - out of all 3 - matters the most. You may be required to have a baseline Quant score (part of a cumulative score of 311 or whatever they want), but the AS score is, like, whatevs. 

A kick-ass SOP and WS outweigh all 3 by leagues, so don't fret if you've a decent AW score (my $0.02).

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