Kaplan GRE & GMAT Exams Writing Workbook

Kaplan GRE & GMAT Exams Writing Workbook

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Kaplan GRE & GMAT Exams Writing Workbook includes:

  • 8 priciples of writing effective essays
  • Strategies for outlining and organizing your essays
  • Writing basics, including grammar, mechanics, style, and word choice
  • Methods for managing your time on test day
  • 50 GMAT and 50 GRE sample prompts for extra writing

Overview


Kaplan GRE & GMAT Exams Writing Workbook includes:

  • 8 priciples of writing effective essays
  • Strategies for outlining and organizing your essays
  • Writing basics, including grammar, mechanics, style, and word choice
  • Methods for managing your time on test day
  • 50 GMAT and 50 GRE sample prompts for extra writing practice
  • 20 sample high-scoring essays

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781419552175
Publisher:
Kaplan Publishing
Publication date:
08/05/2008
Edition description:
Workbook
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Kaplan GRE & GMAT Exams Writing Workbook


By Kaplan

Kaplan

Copyright © 2005 Kaplan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0743262018

Chapter One: About the Analytical Writing Section

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are produced and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) as tools to assist in the screening of applicants for graduate schools (GRE) and business schools (GMAT). ETS introduced the Analytical Writing sections of the GRE and the GMAT in response to the perception that many otherwise well-qualified applicants lack adequate writing skills to cope with the demands of their degree programs. The score is intended to provide admissions personnel with a measure of an applicant's ability to read analytically, reason logically, and write persuasively.

It is important to understand that, although the GRE and GMAT are used by a diverse group of institutions where students face a broad array of reading and writing tasks, the Analytical Writing section actually assesses a rather specific set of skills. Analytical reading entails the ability to critique an argument, isolating and evaluating the evidence as well as the unstated assumptions on which that argument is founded. Logical reasoning involves marshalling evidence to support your own argument, as well as evidence to refute alternative arguments underconsideration. Persuasive writing means formulating complex ideas in a coherent, well-organized, and well-written essay of four to six paragraphs. Other kinds of reading, reasoning, and writing may be useful -- even indispensable -- in your field, but they are not tested by the Analytical Writing section.

General Description of the Analytical Writing Section

For both the GRE and the GMAT versions of the Analytical Writing section, you are required to write two essays. In one, you will be asked to present your perspective on an issue of a very general nature; in the other, you will be asked to critique an argument. Each prompt can be answered without the need for specialized knowledge of any particular subject, and great care is taken to ensure that the difficulty level of the prompts is consistent.

All of the prompts currently being used for both GRE and GMAT Analytical Writing sections are published on the ETS website. The GRE offers approximately 245 prompts for each essay type, while the GMAT offers approximately 130 Argument prompts and 170 Issue prompts.

GRE Essays

The two writing tasks for the GRE Analytical Writing section are called "Present Your Perspective on an Issue" and "Analyze an Argument." You will have 45 minutes to complete the Issue task and only 30 minutes to complete the Argument task.

Present Your Perspective on an Issue Task

The Issue task is presented as a brief statement of opinion expressed in one to three sentences -- most often one. The accompanying instructions require you to give your views on the issue in question. As the name of the task suggests, your assignment is to "present your perspective on the issue." You may agree, disagree, or take a position somewhere in between. You are also told to support your view with "relevant reasons and/or examples."

Essentially, you will not be graded on your position or on the nature of the evidence you marshal in support of that position -- as long as that evidence clearly supports your conclusion.

While the Issue task gives you quite a bit of freedom in shaping your response, do not presume upon the humor or good nature of the graders. Even if you may find the presented opinion completely inane, restrain yourself. At all costs, avoid frivolity. Dreams, gossip, and conjecture may be part of your "experience," but they are not appropriate evidence for a serious discussion of an issue.

Remember, you will have a choice of two different prompts. Because the prompts are already posted online, you should not spend much of your time on test day deciding which prompt you will answer. Also, be sure to follow test instructions on identifying for readers to which essay you're responding.

Analyze an Argument Task

The Argument task is presented as a passage of three to seven sentences (usually four or five) that is generally preceded by a single-sentence "contextualizer" which defines the source of the text. (Some of the GRE prompts do not provide context.) Here are some typical contextualizers:

· The following appeared as a memo from...
· The following appeared in a press release issued by...
· The following appeared as part of an article published in...

The "argument" in the Argument prompt is a theory, proposal, or prediction, with supporting evidence. Some of the prompts are proposals to improve the performance of a commercial enterprise; others relate to community development, educational policy, and health or safety. You are not expected to have any specific expertise in any of these fields. The instructions only ask you to "discuss how well reasoned you find this argument."

A primary consideration in scoring is "focus": you will be penalized if you stray from the task of critiquing the given argument. Do not be tempted by a provocative prompt to give your own opinions on the topic, or to offer alternative proposals, or to raise other (more important) questions. Absolutely everything in your essay must bear directly on the strength or weakness of the argument presented in the prompt.

GMAT ESSAYS

The two writing tasks for the GMAT Analytical Writing section are called "Analysis of an Issue" and "Analysis of an Argument." You will have 30 minutes to complete each of the essays.

Analysis of an Issue Task

The Issue task is presented as a brief statement of opinion expressed in one to three sentences -- most often one. The accompanying instructions require you to give your views on the issue in question. The GMAT instructions specify that you may draw your "reasons and/or examples" from your personal "experience, observations, or reading." You will not be graded on your position or on the nature of the evidence you use in support of that position -- as long as that evidence clearly supports your conclusion.

While the Issue task gives you quite a bit of freedom in shaping your response, do not presume upon the humor or good nature of the graders. Even if you may find the presented opinion completely inane, restrain yourself. At all costs, avoid frivolity. Dreams, gossip, and conjecture may be part of your "experience," but they are not appropriate evidence for a serious discussion of an issue.

Analysis of an Argument Task

The Argument task is presented as a passage of three to seven sentences (usually four or five), generally preceded by a single-sentence "contextualizer" which defines the source of the text. Here are some typical contextualizers:

· The following appeared as a memo from...
· The following appeared in a press release issued by...
· The following appeared as part of an article published in...

The "argument" in the Argument prompt is a theory, proposal, or prediction, with supporting evidence. Most of the prompts are proposals to improve the performance of a commercial enterprise; others relate to community development, educational policy, and health or safety. You are not expected to have any specific expertise in any of these fields.

The instructions first ask you to "Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument." They elaborate on this requirement with the following points:

1. You must analyze the line of reasoning, evaluating the pertinence and effectiveness of evidence that is presented in support of the argument's conclusion or recommendation.

2. You must point out the unstated assumptions that underlie the argument. If those assumptions are questionable, you should explain why.

3. You must cite alternative explanations, facts, counterexamples, or other evidence that would weaken the argument's conclusion.

4. You must discuss what kinds of additional evidence or changes in the line of reasoning would make the argument stronger as well as those that would make it weaker.

The instructions do not actually state that "you must" do all of these things: most are presented as suggestions. However, if you want to achieve a top score you should consider these points non-negotiable.

Not only must you attend to all four of the advisory points, but you must also rigorously avoid any other considerations. A primary consideration in scoring is "focus": you will be penalized if you stray from the task of critiquing the given argument. Do not be tempted by a provocative prompt to give your own opinions on the topic, or to offer alternative proposals, or to raise other (more important) questions. Absolutely everything in your essay must bear directly on the strength or weakness of the argument presented in the prompt.

The Next Step

At this point you may be feeling reassured and confident. After all, the analytical writing tasks are relatively simple and straightforward. Strategically, this confidence is ill-advised. Simply writing a grammatically correct essay on a topic does not guarantee you a top score.

By reviewing the chapters in this book you will learn how to deal with the Analytical Writing tasks. You will be well prepared enough that you will feel comfortable with the time limits and secure in the knowledge that you know precisely what is expected of you.

Copyright © 2005 by Kaplan.

Continues...


Excerpted from Kaplan GRE & GMAT Exams Writing Workbook by Kaplan Copyright © 2005 by Kaplan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Kaplan Publishing is one of the nation's top publishers of academic and professional development resources. We publish titles on topics such as test preparation, college and graduate school admissions, academic and career development in the legal, medical, education, and general business fields. Kaplan Publishing is the leading provider of test prep materials for a variety of standardized tests, including the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, SAT, PSAT, MCAT, TOEFL, and more.

Our mission is to help individuals achieve their educational and career goals. We build futures one success story at a time.

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