GRE Snacks 21 – Train for the GRE Essay section with the ‘free write’ technique

Tyler York
gre snacks podcast

The GRE essay section is not what you think it is. Spelling, grammar, and even an airtight argument aren’t as important as – you guessed it – word count! Wait, ok, so you didn’t guess that? Well have no fear, in this episode, Orion explains what the key metrics for the GRE Essay Section are and how to train yourself to hit the word count goal in 30 minutes or less.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive course to maximize your score on the GRE exam, check out Achievable’s GRE course.

GRE Snacks 21 – Train for the GRE Essay section with the ‘free write’ technique

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Welcome to GRE snacks and a couple episodes of at the GRE exam and graduate school admissions. I'm Tyler, found it with you people and I'm a Ryan achievable. GRE course you can check out our course at achievable. Me. And the code podcast will get you 10% off at checkout. Now let's get started. So today we're going to talk about the GRE essay section on specifically as a tactic that you found really affected for this what you called a free right tactic. Do you want to explain that all in our podcast? So let me Begin by saying that the writing section is kind of the redheaded stepchild of the GRE in that. A lot of programs don't even know that it exists mostly verbal. Quan gets a lot of the spotlight some programs. However it's the only thing that matters so there's a great deal of variability with respect to how

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Graduate programs, treat the writing score, anything from Total indifference to. This is the only thing that we really care about that. It's important for students to really understand the relative importance of the writing section, for the specific programs that are applying to. So we just put that out there. So the main thing about the writing section is,

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the goal of the writing section is it to basically write a well-crafted thesis based five paragraph essay in 30 minutes or less and research has indicated that

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Word, count and score correlate at the point eight level, which basically means that about 80% of the score variants of the writing section of the test, is directly proportional to the number of words that you write. Okay. So, what's the correct number of what I say is that, if you can write 800 words in recognizable English about something that kind of has to do with the prompt, you're probably going to get up five, which is the 92nd percentile is really good. The issue is that it's actually very hard for the vast majority of students to write 800 words on a subject and never seen before, under duress in 30 minutes or less.

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So when I come students on how to approach the reading section, it's really about how can we treat this? Like the text production exercise that it really is. And what I've discovered is that, there's too many things that get into students way when they attempt to write more content for the essays on the GRE where we talked about the first one today. And then, the first way that students are extracted in producing content, on the running section is their own perfectionist. Tendencies.

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Now we've got protection their useful, in certain contexts like in a job interview on a first date. When you really want to make a strong first impression, cuz you're going to have that chance again.

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But the pictures you couldn't see her side on the writing section of the GRE. Because that little perfectionist is going to want to make sure that everything is spelled correctly. And that the issue the whole essay internally consistent, in the logic is coherent and none of those things actually get you points on the writing section of the GRE as incredible as that may seem at first blush. So the perfectionist is actually prioritizing things that you think are important that actually run counter to the grading rubric of the test. And so, basically, we, we need to help students to find ways to silence their inner perfect, sister inner critic, their sensor that basically blocks the free flow of content before it even gets produced, right? You've experienced this before yourself. Correct. Tyler

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Yeah, I have, but I also for better for worse, if kind of gotten trained on how to write us is like I usually will just like throw out a bullet, a bullet it out, like in the, in the text program, the text editor, I like put in a just an outline of like what I want to write and I'll just like, take the easiest one to just like like you literally like you said, just put down words about and like start there and then kind of like banging that sometimes you do it in order. Sometimes it's easier to do the body for some, you know, whatever works reading under a time limit, especially a very short time limit of 30 minutes. I do recommend students. Write their thesis statement first, which should serve kind of as an outline fix. It should lay out your three major arguments inside of that that statement. So you kind of decide a little bit about what you're doing right now. But I really like that you didn't overthink it and you go with what's easiest the goal.

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Not to think of like what's the best argument and what's the best position? Where what's the best example? It's like, is this good enough? Can I sell this for five or six sentences to make a, a reasonably coherent paragraphs out of it? If so go for it and don't second-guess yourself, it just needs to be done. Doesn't have to be good. Yeah, so we're talking about getting over but one thing that it's important is to sort of a line with the perfectionist goals of the perfectionist wants to get a perfect score and so you can I have to have a discussion with your inner Perfection, you have to say, okay little guy so you want to get a six you when I get a perfect score on a test

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Okay, well, what I need you to do is to be perfect at the hell up right now, for the next hour because if you do that, we're going to get back. If he's going to do it, when she's going to do it because it's in the service of their ultimate goal, which is the perfect for us, but it's helpful to understand the outcome and can often be flexible in the means of achieving that out. Okay, so how do we actually reduce this blockage? Will there's a technique that I don't know if I can use it with all the 5-minute free, right? It's so simple. It's so easy to do is you open up a blank Word document, and you set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes and you are not allowed to

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Stop typing. You have to keep your fingers moving for five straight minutes and what happens is you very quickly run into the wall of what you had intended to write and you're forced to continue to produce. Content would be like, here I am on demonstrating moving my fingers up and down the Tyler can see them on typing. A way to demonstrate for everybody about the free flow as I say. And I are studying already, but I got to keep moving and it's not going to be perfect. But that's a great example of not being perfect. Perfect! I really hope it doesn't have to make sense.

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I'm not judging what I'm saying at all. It's probably good enough and it's practicing this like it's like a muscle in her muscle that you can loosen and allow the content to just flow out when you need to. And then let me tell you this is going to be a really useful skill to have when you're in grad school when you're forced to write dozens and dozens of pages per week, actually working on my dissertation, that can spend hundreds and hundreds of pages. You have to learn how to produce content.

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This is something that students can do before they take one of the practice essays in the achievable app. It's also something that students can do before the actual exam they can bring their laptop with them. Whip it out in the parking lot and Bam do a 5-minute free, right? Right there. So anything to kind of get the juices flowing before the actual examination experience is essential. As I say all the time, we don't want to warm up with the test. We want to warm up before the test. Begin coach doesn't listen to the game Cole. We run up and down the sidelines. Before we're in the action itself, you don't want the first questions of the day. You don't want to be the first paragraph that you write to be the ones that actually matter. This is something that is cost, nothing. It doesn't take a lot of time, and the more that you practice it, the easier it gets too. Kind of loosen that free flow of content.

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Got it.

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And in this is important because you're the hardest part about the essay is getting 800 words. That kind of that kind of thought.

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For most people would say that.

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Eighty-two 90% of students cannot hit 800 words on a novel prom in 30 minutes or less on their first attempt. Most people can do it into the three attempts. You don't have to do with dozens and dozens of times but you should train with this technique and practice writing GRE level essays at least until you can get to the point that you can produce eight on it. That's how you know, you're ready for the exam with respect, the writing section. So, would you would you say that's one of the more advanced version of like just free, right? Anything for 5 minutes is like free, right? Jerry prompts.

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Like maybe even out of five is is long enough to like if it if the goal is to get 800 words down in 15 minutes and they don't have to make a ton of sense, just get get it out there and then you send the next 15 minutes I didn't yet to actually make them like is that a good exercise for practice or kind of how would you Orient that I generally? Don't think about it that way. I don't counsel students to go back and polish their writing. A lot of students. They stop writing at 20 minutes or 25 minutes to try to reserve those final five to 10 minutes to edit and polish their prose. And I don't think that's really in the students best interest. And here's why is that, you correct? Some spelling errors or you fix up a grammatical mistake where you Addison since you rephrase the sentence that the run on her, something like that. All those things spelling, grammar syntax punctuation, you don't.

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Which were the GRE writing section. What you do get points for is the number of words that you're writing. So, polishing is actually a covert servant of the inner perfectionist that wants to make sure that everything is a sterling reflection of the person's writing ability.

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What I say is you want to come and embrace your inner be student, good and perfect a level Pros because that will always lose to be level riding if it's twice as much. So, I usually write all the all the way up until the time limit. And if I if I make some spelling mistakes, so be it is not the end of the world, the greater of these Jerry essays is a computer program according to ETS, educational testing service,

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It can only really perceive that which can be counted. So, the main drivers of student scores are quantifiable parameters. So, they can't be counted. It's kind of invisible to the e-reader. So, what can be counted. These are things like, total number of words, average, number of words. In a sentence, I remember sentences for paragraph. Number of paragraph, these forbetterorforworse, whether you like it or not, are the primary drivers of your score, so prioritizing things that don't get you points, like the validity of your examples, or the currency of your Pros, or the persuasiveness of your argument. Over things that do like, how many words that you write is just not rational? It's not, it's not reasonable.

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And that's just how it is. Sometimes students were very strong writers and have a lot of even justifiable pride in their writing ability struggle with it because I'm asking them on some level to go against everything that they've trained and learn how to do through. I don't know 20 years of their academic career I called this code-switching in the same way that you don't write the same way on a birthday card to your nephew. As you do a professional email to your boss, you have to change the way that you right at to take into account your intended audience and your intended audience. Here is a machine is just counting your words so it'd be silly to put more work into it. Then it's justified by that audience have to say about that.

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Yeah, that's great. Makes no sense. Thanks a Ryan. This is been GRE snacks hosted by a Ryan from Stellar GRE and Tyler, from achievable, a chewable in a Ryan and partner to build a great, GRE course, you can try for free at achievable. Me and use the code podcast to get 10% off at checkout. Plus, if you have a question or topic that you'd like us to discuss in the future, episode, please contact. Tyler at Tyler. At achievable. Me with the subject line, your email podcast topic.

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