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How to Get Your AWA Practice Essays Graded?

Given the sheer number of students who ask me this question, I am surprised that there are so few resources that offer such a service. So what do you do when you’re desperate? Well you have a few options to consider.


ETS ScoreItNow!

For $13 dollars, the ETS ScoreItNow! Essay Grader will grade two of your essays. While I have never used the service myself—nor, for that matter known anyone who has—I’m sure the score is pretty accurate. The only downside is that’s all you get—ETS does not provide any feedback on the essays themselves. Nonetheless, if you feel that you are not improving on the essay, then you should definitely consider the service offered by ETS.

For those who don’t necessarily want to part with their money, or who actually want more than just a score, here are a few other options.


Find a friend

I know, I know, this may seem like a cop out answer. But the truth is that having a second pair of eyes, even untrained, can be really beneficial to finding your flaws. First, you need to have a friend with a pretty strong essay writing skills. Next, you need to ask them nicely, or at least offer them a cup of coffee. You should let them know that you only had 30 minutes to write your essay, and so the GRE people aren’t expecting Pulitzer Prize-winning material.

You should also tell them to pay attention to the following: structure, logical flow of ideas, and persuasiveness of examples. They should not be looking for fancy-sound GRE words. At the same time, your writing should be relatively sophisticated and should vary up the sentence structure so it doesn’t sound choppy.


Compare your work

I have a mock essay on our blog. There are a few essays in our product as well. Many test prep books have mock essays out there. Usually these essays cover the spectrum of grades, from a ‘2’ to a ‘6’. (A ‘0’ is essentially passing out and drooling on the keyboard; or typing away in Swahili).

See which essays your essays are similar to in terms of score. Since mock essays usually have an explanation for their respective scores, you should see if your essay is lacking in similar ways.


The kindness of strangers is a popular GRE forum, which thousands of GRE aspirants visit each day. If you post your essay and ask for some feedback, someone may provide some (I’ve seen this happen before). While this someone may not be an expert, often a second pair of eyes can be helpful.


Other resources

One way to check your writing is to cut and paste the text into a Word doc. Are there many green lines (Word’s only slightly intrusive way of indicating that something may be grammatically awry)? By going into ‘Tools’ on the menu bar, you can get an explanation for what is wrong with your sentence.

Of course such analysis will tell you nothing of structure or logical flow of your ideas. Still, knowing that your grammar and spelling are not up to snuff can help you work to improve your score by as much as a point.



Though getting feedback on your AWA essays may be tough, don’t lose heart. Most likely one (if not more!) of the resources above will pan out. And don’t forget: nothing makes you a better writer than practice, feedback, practice, feedback.


By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

48 Responses to How to Get Your AWA Practice Essays Graded?

  1. Ayush Kumar July 30, 2016 at 12:21 am #

    Hi as a GRE premium user can you please let me join the Magoosh GRE page on facebook.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 30, 2016 at 9:20 am #

      Hi Ayush,

      Just email us at and one of our team who has access to the Facebook group will be able to help! 🙂

  2. suji July 15, 2016 at 11:07 am #


    Can anyone tell me that the ScoreItNow grades for AWA are nearly same as the actual GRE AWA score? Do anyone have any experience with that?

  3. Mohit Kamat September 28, 2015 at 3:45 am #


    I am a premium user and I have requested to join the MAGOOSH GRE facebook group to find an essay evaluation buddy. I found the group via the link that Rachel has provided. Please accept me in the group. Thanks

    • Jessica Wan
      Jessica Wan September 28, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

      Hi Mohit!

      Just accepted you!

      All best,

  4. Mei August 23, 2015 at 12:21 am #

    Has anyone tried submitting essays on test big?

  5. Dion August 3, 2015 at 8:00 am #

    I bought cracking the gre (by the princeton review), it comes with 4 online practice exams. They grade your essays and provide general feedback on each. I was also told that Kaplan does the same with theirs as long as you email your essay to

    • Neil August 10, 2015 at 6:58 am #

      Hi Dion,

      Did you buy just the book and they grade your essays?

      There are two different books in Amazon, which one did you buy?

      1. Cracking the GRE with 4 Practice Tests
      2. Cracking the GRE Premium Edition with 6 Practice Tests

      Thanks a lot,


      • Sudha January 21, 2016 at 2:05 am #

        Hi Neil,
        Hopefully, this is not too late. But, I bought the Premium Edition with 6 practice tests. They had my essays graded and updated the score in my Princeton Review online profile.

        • Neil January 28, 2016 at 2:07 am #

          Thank you Sudha. Never is too late. I am going to try.


    • Sheersh April 21, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

      @Dion, do we need to buy any course material for kaplan to grade our essay or is it free, please reply ASAP.


  6. shweta October 7, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    Hey Chris,

    I have one doubt regarding AWA evaluation.

    Does Manhattan 6 practice test that we can avail by purchasing one of the strategy guides evaluate our AWA section and give feed-backs?

  7. Usha July 11, 2014 at 3:46 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I found this tool called findscore ( that evaluates AWA. It doesn’t really help in evaluating the structure of my essay. I have been following your blogs on AWA, so i don’t need much help from structure standpoint. I want to know if there are syntax errors in my essays. Is findscore reliable?.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 11, 2014 at 10:27 am #

      Hi Usha,

      I played around with Findscore a little just now—but not enough so I myself can give a reliable estimate of its value. It seems good. I basically wrote a pretty terrible ‘3’ level essay, and it gave me a ‘3’.

      My only reservation is that the prompts are not taken from ETS. I only wrote on one prompt but it didn’t seem to be up to standard. That said, I’ll have to experiment with it a little more. But thanks for letting me know of this service 🙂

      • Anshu August 21, 2015 at 8:42 am #

        I doubt its credibility. I wrote an average argument task and obtained a score of 5.
        I had timed myself and could only write 305 words in the time frame.
        It had this interesting feature though , it gives a count of the organization phrases .
        I my case it was :
        Organization phrases count: 8
        finally… final… perhaps… maybe… so that… however… but… even if…

        I wonder how grades are impacted by the Organization phrases ?

  8. jennyct March 28, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    I used the ScoreItNow feature and found no matter what I did, I got the same score … consistently. On test day I produced a lower scored essay. That being said, I really still don’t know what is required other than an introduction, content paragraphs containing examples, and a conclusion. Honestly, I probably could have made the essay longer, but I’m used to being concise, accurate and clear. I only gave 2 examples, so maybe that’s another issue.

    Interestingly, I found a few people who reported that after requesting a rescore, they actually went down in score, whereas as one did go up a whole point. Most people generally kept their original score. I wish they would at least tell you what writing points you missed.

    BTW, my verbal was 163 (91%), while my AW was 3.5 (34%). I have always had As in all my writing classes, so I should at least be average.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele April 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      Hi Jenny,

      That’s the thing with ScoreitNow–you don’t receive any feedback on how to improve your writing, or at least make it more consistent with what the graders expect. Based on what you say, I’m guessing the essay was a little on the short side. Also, some students tend just to include vague examples without really showing how they relate to the thesis . Most of these essays are also too one-sided; the GRE rewards those essays that are able to take a position somewhere in the middle, and to articulate why they’ve taken such a position.

      Have you checked out the other AWA posts on the Magoosh blog? They give you a better sense of what the graders are looking for. Manhattan GRE also gives a detailed breakdown of the essay.

      And I’ve seen students go from the 3.5 range to 5.0. Given your strong verbal ability, I’m guessing you’ll fall into this group.

      Best of luck!

  9. Steven February 11, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    I used the ScoreItNow service yesterday for a practice exam.

    It’s actually pretty useful- it highlights all problem areas in your essay (runons, missing commas, transitions), as measured by their magic algorithms.

    Plus you get an additional Analytical/argument areas graded for free, after you complete your first set, so 2 sets in total

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele February 11, 2014 at 11:40 am #

      Hi Steven,

      That does sound helpful! At least from a syntax standpoint students will get a lot of help. Still, in terms of the structure of the essay, the validity and presentation of the examples/logic, it doesn’t look like ScoreItNow can help that much. Or maybe they are working on such an algorithm.

  10. Raghav December 25, 2013 at 4:53 am #

    Hi, the web site claims to do free evaluation of the essay, and interestingly, it throws up the score instantly once the essay is pasted. Is this web site reliable?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele January 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      Hi Raghav,

      So I played around with the site a little, trying to figure out their algorithm. Don’t know how accurately it mirrors the GMAT’s own algorithm, but it seemed pretty easy to get top marks just by using the usual transitional words, paragraph formatting, and semi-complex sentence structure.

      One area where the grader didn’t like me was in the “coherency” department. Apparently, I scored only 2 out of 5. As someone who sees all levels of coherence in student’s writing–from about 2 all the way up to 5–I don’t think my writing merits such a low score for “coherency” (I don’t think anyone would read my blog posts otherwise :)). Basically, the algorithm just isn’t that accurate–so I’d take its ratings with a grain of salt. Also, the site has a spell-checker, which I think is a little suspect :).

  11. atir August 20, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    Hi everyone,i found one essay grader,Fatema ,she helps in essay grading and writing.
    This is her link on fb.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      Hmm…I’m not sure if she specifically targets GRE. It looks like she is a generalist–which isn’t a bad thing. However, without seeing any of her work, I can’t really recommend her.

      If anyone has used her services and has something good to say, let me know :)!

      • atir August 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

        Hi Chris,

        Thanks for your reply 🙂
        i understand ,but is there a difference between grading or editing GRE essay from other writings!i mean even if it is a bit different ,it will be easier even for a generalist to grade our essays,thats what i think
        leme know.

        Anyways i checked her profile on elance
        seems like people like her work ,maybe that link will give you some insights on her abilities.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele August 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

          Hi Atir,

          Umm…somewhat. I think there are some quirks to the GRE essay that an editor would have to be familiar with to give an accurate assessment of your essay and to help you improve. It sounds like she is a stellar editor. Just make sure she is familiar with the GRE essay format. Good luck :)!

  12. Adesewa July 16, 2013 at 3:00 am #

    hi Margarette,

    How about twitter? 🙁 I dont have a facebook account.

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette July 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      Hi, Adesewa

      Unfortunately, for Twitter we only have the GRE account:, which isn’t really the same as the Magoosh student Facebook group :(. I’d recommend having some friends or family members read over your essays if you want a second set of eyes checking them!


  13. Glory June 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Hi, I’d like to join the Magoosh group in Facebook . Thank you 🙂

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette June 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      Hi, Glory

      Sure! 🙂 Same thing as Suryateja, just shoot an e-mail to with your Magoosh username and we can send you the link.


      • Bidisha Chakraborty July 29, 2016 at 3:09 am #

        Hello,I have sent a request to that group.Did not know about the existence of the group till now !
        Would really appreciate it if you would accept my request.Thank you !

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 30, 2016 at 9:21 am #

          Hi Bidisha,

          If you have sent a request, you should get a response soon! I expect after the weekend. 🙂

  14. Suryateja June 12, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    Hi Margarette

    Even I am a premium user .I would love to partner for essay evaluation and grading.
    Can you please send me an invite for the group?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette June 12, 2013 at 10:44 am #

      Hi, Suryateja

      Sure! Can you email with your username? I’ll send you the link once I can confirm you’re in our system. Thanks! 🙂


  15. P. March 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Thanks a lot for your invaluable suggestion in getting the feedback after writing an AWA essay. I have gone through your previous blogs which are on writing essay for an issue prompt and argument prompt. They are very helpful. I found your video lessons on the same as very practical and many tips from these lessons can be put to practice.

    After reading the current blog, i thought of why not look for a GRE PREP friend among the blog readers who is eager to partner with me in doing a complementary review of the essays we write and provide feedback in accordance with the evaluation criteria published from ETS. I plan to appear the test in coming 2 months.

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette March 5, 2013 at 10:51 am #


      That’s a great idea! 🙂 I also noticed you’re a Premium Magoosh member– we have a Facebook group for our Premium GRE members that I just e-mailed you an invitation to. I’d recommend posting there as well to see if any other Magoosh students would be interested in partnering up for essay grading.


      • Nishtha May 12, 2013 at 2:13 am #

        Hi Margarette

        Even I am a premium user .I would love to partner for essay evaluation and grading.
        Can you please send me an invite for the group? 🙂

        Thanks in advance

        • Margarette Jung
          Margarette May 13, 2013 at 10:51 am #

          Hi, Nishtha

          Sure, just sent you an e-mail! 🙂


          • Israt Jahan October 17, 2014 at 7:20 am #

            I am a premium member and would also like the link if possible. Thanks in advance

            • Rachel Wisuri
              Rachel October 17, 2014 at 11:06 am #

              Hi Israt,

              You can find the link in the comments below. 🙂


          • Neha Reddy June 19, 2015 at 7:20 am #

            Can you please send me an invite for AWA premum group?

            • Margarette Jung
              Margarette Jung June 19, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

              Hi, Neha! If you’re a Magoosh GRE Premium student, you can email us at and request the link to the private Magoosh GRE student FB group, where you can post about your essays. I hope that helps! 🙂

      • Courtney June 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

        There is a Facebook group for premium members?

        • Margarette Jung
          Margarette June 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

          Hi, Courtney

          Yep! I just sent you an e-mail with the link :).


      • Siddharth W October 26, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

        Hello Margarette,

        Can you please send me a invite to that group ?

        I am a premium user. 🙂

        Thank you.

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