Princeton Review Essay Grading Mcat

You've probably heard about the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) essays on the GRE. They're nothing to fear, but you should know that the way they are graded is different from what you're used to.

The best way to prepare for the GRE essay is to write one and have it graded by an expert, using the same guidelines that are used for the real GRE. GRE EssayLiveGradersm helps you to do just that.

LiveGrader sm is a tool that we've developed to help you prepare for the GRE. All Princeton Review classroom, online, and tutoring students can submit their GRE essays which will then be graded by one of our GRE experts. Not only will our expert grader score your GRE essays, but he or she will also provide personalized feedback that will help you maximize your score on the AWA portion of the GRE.

Frequently Asked Questions about GRE Essay LiveGradersm

How is my GRE essay graded?

After you submit your GRE essay, one of our expert graders will score it using the same guidelines that are used for the GRE. Essays will be scored holistically, which means that your GRE essay will be judged as a whole, not just on the basis of particular traits.

Who will grade my GRE essay?

A trained and certified Princeton Review expert grader will grade your GRE essay. Our experienced graders know what makes a strong GRE essay; many have graded thousands of essays.

Do I have to write about a specific topic for my GRE essay?

Yes. The essay "prompts" ask you to write on specific topics; one will ask you to analyze an argument, the other will ask you to analyze an issue. Your GRE essay must address the issues presented in the prompts. GRE essays written on any other topic will receive a score of zero.

How are the GRE essays different from the essays I wrote in school?

Unlike many essays you write in school, you'll only have 30 minutes, and you won't be able to use reference materials. Graders won't be expecting perfection; they will be judging your GRE essay for what it is: a first draft. Furthermore, the person grading your GRE essay will only spend 2–3 minutes evaluating your writing.

When I use LiveGradersm, will I receive just a score, or will I get comments too?

Your GRE essay will be given a score ranging from 0–6. LiveGrader will also provide you with personalized feedback. Your report will tell you what worked well on your GRE essay and how you can improve it to earn a higher score on the real GRE AWA.

How do I get my score?

We will e–mail your score and personalized feedback within 3–5 days after you submit your GRE essay. You can also access your score on the website, once it has been posted.


You get 40 minutes to write, but ACT graders have to grade each essay in less than five.

The way to get a great ACT writing score is to make the graders’ jobs easy. So, don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on the big picture: a clear position, logical organization, and strong examples.

ACT Writing Rubric

Your essay will be read by two graders, each of whom will assign it a series of four subscores, each from 1 to 6. Their scores will be combined and then scaled into a score of 1–36.

The scores will be based on how well you can do the following:

SubscoreWhat It IsHow to Score Big
Ideas and Analysis Can you build an argument and assess the argument of others? You won’t be graded on whether you pick the “right” answer. Instead, you’ll be graded on how complex and sophisticated your answers are.
Development and Support Can you support your ideas with examples?Graders want to see that you can justify your position. Nothing damages the opposing argument like a killer counterexample.
Organization Can you make your points in an order that makes sense?Make sure your essay is organized. Must-haves: introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion.
Language Use and Conventions Can you write clearly?Graders will forgive a few stray errors, but if your grammar and spelling get in the way of what you’re trying to say, those mistakes could cost you.

More ACT Writing Tips

Your argument, organization, and supporting examples are the most crucial pieces of your essay, but these four writing tips can help boost your score.

1. Go Long

Yes, ACT graders really do tend to reward longer essays. Try to write at least four paragraphs spanning two to three pages. If your handwriting is large, make sure you write an extra page to compensate!

2. Keep It Interesting

Vary your sentence structure to improve the rhythm of your essay. If you write a really long sentence with lots of modifiers and dependent clauses, it sometimes helps to follow it with a shorter, more direct sentence. It really works.

3. Watch Your Word Choice

Sprinkle some nice vocabulary words throughout your essay (make sure to spell them correctly!). If you’re uncertain about the meaning or spelling of a word, it’s best just to pick a different word. Using a big word incorrectly makes a worse impression than using a smaller word correctly.

4. Practice Your Best Handwriting

Though graders shouldn’t take neatness into consideration when determining your ACT writing score, the bottom line is that a neat, legible essay is easier to read. And a happy grader is a good thing! For an essay that's truly easy on the eyes, make sure you ident each paragraphs and avoid messy cross-outs


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The Staff of The Princeton Review

For more than 35 years, students and families have trusted The Princeton Review to help them get into their dream schools. We help students succeed in high school and beyond by giving them resources for better grades, better test scores, and stronger college applications. Follow us on Twitter: @ThePrincetonRev.

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