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GRE Analytical Writing — Testing Procedures and Ground Rules

Following are the key procedural rules for the the GRE Analytical Writing section. You'll review these rules during the pretest computer tutorial, which immediately precedes the timed essay section.

  • If you've completed either writing task (essay) before the 30-minute time limit has elapsed, you can proceed immediately to the next timed portion of the exam by clicking the appropriate button at the bottom of the screen.

  • The testing system does not allow you to return to either of the two writing tasks once you've moved on.

  • No break is provided between the two 30-minute writing tasks. (A one-minute break is provided after the second writing task.)

  • Pencils and scratch paper are provided for making notes and outlines.

  • To respond to the two GRE essay prompts, you'll enter text using the keyboard and the built-in word processor. Handwritten responses are not permitted. (The essay prompt will appear at the top of the screen, and the text you type will appear below the prompt, in a separate editing window.)