GRE Essay Topics

Woman writing about GRE essay topics and GRE writing prompts - magoosh

The GRE Analytical Writing essay topics, including the ones on the Issue task, come such from such wide a variety of fields that there seems to be no discernible pattern in the GRE writing prompts we’ve seen. There are cities cracking down on garbage collection; debates on term limits for leaders; pontification about job training; philosophical musings about work and motivation; and speculation that scandals can be useful to society. Despite such a colorful array, there are several “buckets”, or categories of GRE essay topics, into which the Issue Essays fall.

Below, you can see that I’ve come up with seven main GRE essay topic categories and given example prompts, based on the range of prompts I’ve seen in the actual GRE AWA Issue Topic Pool from the ETS website. Remember, the prompts you see below are original Magoosh examples, not the real thing. The Issue Essay you will see test day will be drawn from that ETS question bank.

It’s very important to remember that one of the Issue prompts found on the GRE site will come up test day. That’s right: you can get a head start on actual possible test questions by doing practice essays from the prompts on the official site.

Though, I should mention that there are nearly 200 Issue prompts ranging across all GRE essay topics on the site. Before you despair, keep in mind that some of these prompts are very similar and by practicing an essay prompt or two from each of the buckets below, you’ll prepare yourself for test day. And who knows? You might get lucky, the Issue prompt you get test day being one that you already wrote a mock essay for. In either case, the unofficial mocks I’m about to show you are also in line with the official prompts, and are good practice as you prep for the exam.

The 7 Categories of GRE Essay Topics

1. Education

These GRE writing prompts will ask you something about the aims and objectives of essay writing. The emphasis is typically on college–choosing majors, tuition, curriculum–though you might get a prompt relating to education at large.

“Students should fund their education with part-time work that they do while they study.”

“Placing a limit on classroom size is the best way to ensure that every student gets sufficient help and resources from the instructor.”

“School policies should be based as much on what employers want as well as what students and teachers want.”

“People can benefit more from their education if they return to school after some time spent in the work force.”

“A university’s top priority should be to educate people in the city and immediate area surrounding the school; non-local students should be a secondary priority.”

“Students should not use loans to pay for their tuition or their living expenses at any point during their studies.”

“Claim: Universities should place a limit on how many classes a student can enroll in during a given academic term.

Reason: Students, especially those who are in their early years of university schooling, frequently overestimate the amount of coursework they can commit to.”

“Foreign language courses should be required for graduation at all universities, regardless of a student’s chosen field of study.”

You’ll notice these prompts are all very similar. For instance, there are two prompts–the ones beginning with “Students should”–that are almost identical. Though this list is not exhaustive, in terms of education prompts that could pop up, it is highly representative, as are the prompts for the categories below. So if you practice with just a few prompts per category, you should be ready.

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Unsurprisingly, given that the GRE is a test for graduate school, the education prompt tends to come up more often than any other. I would recommend writing one of these essays on a prompt that specifically mentions college and another that doesn’t (“Placing a limit… from the instructor” is a good one because it is probably the least related to the others).


2. Technology and Society

“Technology and the human activity that goes with it inevitably leads to greater pollution and environmental damage.”

“Investments in life-saving technology are more valuable than investments in technology related to entertainment or luxury.”

“Modernization should be the main goal of the leaders of any developing country.”

“To prepare students for the modern world, all university courses should include at least a partial online learning component.” (This one’s a hybrid with the education “bucket”–cool!)

“It could be argued that the most important technological breakthroughs have happened by chance and through surprise discoveries. However, others argue that deliberate, well-planned research with specific goals is the only way to ensure technological advancement.”

“It is highly unlikely that there will ever be manned space travel beyond the earth’s moon.”

3. Cities

(I know this is a pretty random bucket – but it’s what ETS decrees)

“The quality of life in a city cannot be very good unless the city itself is well-planned.”

“Claim: There should be laws against farming crops and livestock in the central districts of large cities.

Reason: The pollution typically found in highly urban areas damages food crops and farm animals, causing them to produce contaminated or substandard food.”

“Cities offer safer, more economically secure living in comparison to less developed areas outside of cities.”

“A private company should not have the right to do business in a city if the majority of the city’s residents object to the private company’s business operations.”

“In order to minimize traffic congestion, cities must regulate parking, placing limits on where motorists can park, and how long a vehicle may remain parked in one place.”

4. Arts

“Color photography has eliminated the need for realism in artistic painting, in the opinion of a number of art scholars and artists. At the same time, many members of the art community still feel that realistic artwork is still valuable and worthwhile.”

“Claim: Art museums should charge little or no money for admission, and should be as open to the public as possible.

Reason: Artists create their work because they want to show it to an other people, and art museums are the best venue to give artists an audience.”

“Governments should hire accomplished filmmakers to create films that deliver important public messages.”

“Popular art forms such as advertising images and storybook illustrations will never have as much artistic merit as fine arts such as gallery paintings and sculptures.”

5. Government and Power

“Leaders who are in significant positions of power should be democratically elected, not appointed.”

“Claim: A person in authority should always encourage those under him or her to share their thoughts and ideas.

Reason: A leader’s main goal should be to promote innovation and change.”

“There is a school of thought that says that the most experienced workers should be promoted to management. However, some businesses prefer to select manages based on their perceived leadership skills, regardless of how much experience they have.”

“Many nations have leaders who prioritize economic development and stability over environmental concerns. Such leaders are often at odds with other national leaders who feel that the long term health of the environment should guide economic decisions.”

“Businesses should submit to close regulation and monitoring by government authority.”

“There is a common perception that good personal conduct is the mark of a good leader. However, there is also a conflicting poplar belief that as long as a leader does their job effectively and breaks no laws, their personal morality is unimportant.”

6. Intellectual Endeavors

“A brilliant new idea seldom comes from just one person; instead ground-breaking new ideas develop when people with different perspectives can meet and interact.”

“Scientific fields of study require more critical thinking and research than other fields of study.”

7. Philosophical

(For a lack of a better name – though I guess “Deep Thoughts by Magoosh GRE” would work.)

“Opportunities do not come to people by luck. Instead, the most successful people are the ones that are constantly seeking out opportunities.”

“It’s not possible for someone to effectively care for others unless they are taking good care of themselves.”

“Self-criticism is more usually more valuable and accurate than criticism that comes from others.”

“The most fulfilling friendships are friendships between people who share a common goal or space, such as co-workers, classmates, or neighbors.”

“Claim: Happiness comes through seeking out new and different experiences.

Reason: People have a natural desire to learn and explore.”

How to Practice Using GRE Writing Prompts

There are a few more “buckets”, but the seven categories above cover about 95% of the spectrum. The takeaway from all this is that you should find the category you are weakest in and work at becoming more comfortable with and knowledgable about that topic. For instance, many dread the art category, painfully aware that they cannot tell the difference between a Monet and a Manet (besides the ‘o’ and the ‘a’, of course).

So how do you find official ETS essays in the categories you need to work on? At a glance this does not seem easy. After all, ETS’s GRE AWA Issue Topic Pool does not organize its essays into categories. This is where the good old fashioned “control-f” function comes in handy. Pull up the Topic Pool in your browser. Hit the control button and the f button at the same time on a PC, or hit command+f on a Mac. From there, you will be given the option to search for keywords that are likely to lead to essays on certain topics. For instance, “tech” or “modern” may get you essays int he technology category, “education,” “school,” or “student” may get you education-related prompts, and so on.

Before you choose your GRE essay topic and start scribbling (or typing) away, an important word on organization:

The point here is to know what you are going to write before writing it. The other way around, while tempting, can get you into trouble with the clock. Sure, you’ll generate some smart words right off the bat, but you’ll very likely write yourself into a hole where you are repeating yourself. This kind of desperation — in which you don’t have anything to say but are doing your best to rephrase what you already said a sentence or two earlier — is not lost on the graders.

The first step is to brainstorm, taking a few minutes to first come up with a position that is nuanced, instead of producing an unequivocal ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the issue question.

Next, you want to consider some possible counterarguments to your position. In acknowledging them, you are not weakening your position, as long as you show how they are lacking. This kind of analysis will only strengthen your position — and it is the exact kind of analysis the graders usually associate with ‘5’ score and higher. Doing this will help you avoid one of the biggest mistakes you can make on the Issue Essay — failing to provide support for your examples.

The good news is, coming up with arguments and counterexamples for these GRE essay topics won’t entail getting a degree in art history, in the case of those prompts. You only have to be able to be comfortable with a few examples, and make sure you can effectively relate them to your analysis. After all, the GRE Issue is not a test of knowledge as much as it is a test of how you can use knowledge — however limited — to back your position.

Final Tips for Tackling GRE Essay Topics and Issue Prompts

If establishing a nuanced position and coming up with counterexamples to that position is difficult for you, don’t worry! Doing this is difficult for many, unless they’ve had practice.

So instead of writing your entire essay, first sit down with a prompt and practice coming up with a position and counterexamples. To give yourself a little structure, start the timer at 5 minutes. At first it’ll be difficult, but stick with it. Doing three prompts each morning for a week or so will make the process easier.

You can also go back to your notes after the five minutes are up and think of ways they could have been improved. Again, being patient and practicing daily will help make this process much more natural. At that point, you can start writing full length practice essays. And don’t worry — with almost 200 prompts and a variety of GRE essay topics, you are not going to run out of practice material!

P.S. Ready to improve your GRE score? Get started today.

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67 Responses to GRE Essay Topics

  1. Ankit June 4, 2020 at 2:33 pm #

    I was going through your common GRE issue prompts but some the topics you have chosen in the education are not present in the ETS issue pool….. why so? U have given more emphasis on “Placing a limit on classroom size is the best way to ensure that every student gets sufficient help and resources from the instructor.” but this topic is also not present in the ETS issue pool

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 24, 2020 at 9:19 am #

      Hi Ankit,

      These are examples of prompts to help you understand how to approach the GRE issue task. You should review the pool of Issue topics for a complete list.

  2. Lucy October 24, 2019 at 6:23 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your consolidation and tips. I now encounter some issues while preparing AWA. I found out I can fully understand how to structure a good essay, but I am always running out of time while moving onto my 2nd or 3rd paragraph. Do you know if there’s any method to speed up the writing?


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 6, 2019 at 10:42 pm #

      Hi Lucy! One way to cut down on time on both the Issue and Argument tasks is to shorten your introduction. You really just need to introduce the topic and state your thesis. Minimizing the number of sentences in the intro can help give you more time for the rest. The same goes for the conclusion, though again you want to make sure that you walk through your argument and explain how it proves your thesis. The second tip I have is just to practice. The more you practice the faster you’ll get. Finally, you might have other issues that you can identify. If you get stuck while writing and that wastes time, work more on your outline. Investing time at the beginning can save time later. Or, if you spend too much time on your outline, practice writing only the bare essentials. I hope these tips help!

  3. Vignesh June 24, 2018 at 5:41 am #

    Where do I find answers to the issue and argument pool topics? (This is for reference and learning)

  4. Saahith Velivolu June 16, 2018 at 12:40 am #

    This separation of the topics into buckets seems helpful in covering the spectrum of the Issue topics. I would like to know if it is safe to take middle ground between a Yes/No when the statement in question seems reasonable under certain circumstances?

    Thanks again.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 19, 2018 at 4:51 pm #

      Hi Saahith,

      Glad that you found this blog post useful! The purpose of the Issue essay is to show that you can come up with a persuasive argument. We generally recommend that you choose a side and make an argument for it (even though you may not agree with it 100%). In the concession paragraph, you should take some time to consider arguments for the other side to show that you thought about the issue from different angles. However, you should still show how your argument is superior. The danger of choosing a “middle ground” stance is that you may weaken your argument because you don’t have enough time/space to fully development your point.

  5. Jeanne June 29, 2017 at 5:41 am #

    I don’t know if it would be of interest, but, as I was studying for the GRE, I also sorted both the argument and the issue lists (in approximately 2015), because I noticed that I was attempting to practice, I felt like I was repeating questions. I kind of was, but never precisely. Mine looks much less professional than yours, because I did it for personal use, but what it does include is the specific prompts for each question topic.

    Whether or not this is of interest, I think that it may be worth noting that in my nine-page, small print document for issues, the category that was by far predominant–3 pages–was education (though I included learning/teaching methods in this category), so if a person is practicing by issue, at least one third of the practice should be dedicated to education. However, when I got to the actual test, my error came more from poor discipline, and allowing myself to fly on a tangent, so, practicing good form is probably more important.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 29, 2017 at 11:28 am #

      That is helpful, Jeannie! You’re right that education-related topics do come up a lot. And you’re also right that it’s good to be especially prepared for the most common AWA topics. And of course, you’re very right that having good organization and form on the essay is the very top priority.

      I’m sorry to hear you struggled in your AWA, but I’m very grateful you were willing to share all of this with me and the other readers of the blog. 🙂

  6. Satyam April 13, 2017 at 12:31 am #

    Hi Chris
    Can you review my Issue and Argument Essay

    1. A nation should require all of its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college.

    The nation, if imposed same academic curriculum to all the students throughout the nation seems to be an effective idea for college admissions. The solution tries to bring all the students of the nation at the same platform from where they can proceed further according to their capabilities. However, there are many counter-effects of the issue.
    The same curriculum throughout the nation will include same topics and subjects for all the students. At first, it seems to be a good idea as all the students will be reading the same curriculum. But, if a student wants to learn some other subject or have an interest in any other subject which is not part of the curriculum, it will be very difficult for him to proceed.
    Also, in a nation, the number of school going students is huge. Hence, it is obvious that different students must be having different interests. Some want to become Astronaut, some Electrical Engineer, some Mathematicians and the list goes on. It is very difficult to have a single national curriculum which will satisfy the requirements for all the students. A single academic curriculum might not be able to develop interests among some students for their studies if their interest lies elsewhere.
    The nation’s growth is measured by its development and the people residing in it, and it is a student who will shape the future of the nation. Also, if the academic courses are different, students can choose the curriculum as per their wish. This will help in creating a diversity in the nation. It is very important to have diversity in a nation; an engineer is as important as a teacher or a Mathematician. Thus, it is very important to provide ample opportunities to all the students to bring out a diverse population.
    Finally, students must be provided with sufficient opportunities so that they can choose as per their wish. Thus, it is very important to have a diverse academic curriculum in the nation.

    2. Memorandum from business manager of a TV Station – “Over the past year, our late night news program has devoted increased time to national news and less time to weather and local news. During this time period, most of the complaints received from viewers were concerned with our stations’s coverage of weather and local news. In addition, local business that used to advertise during our late night news program have just cancelled their advertising contract with us.Therefore, in order to attract more viewers to the program and to avoid losing any further advertising revenues, we should restore the time devoted to weather and local news to its former level. ”

    The argument made by the Business Manager that late night news program devoting increased time to national news and less time to weather and local news has resulted in decrease in advertising revenues and viewers watching the news program does not provide strong evidences which tells the same.
    The manager has mentioned that most of the complaints received from viewers were concerned with the coverage of local and weather news. However, one cannot infer purely that the reason for these complaints is the time alloted for them. There is a possibility that the content provided in the weather and local news programs may be inaccurate or obstruse. The manager has not mentioned anything about what were the complaints of the viewers. There needs to be a strong evidence that viewers were not satisfied with the time alloted for these news channels.
    Secondly, less advertising revenues does not signify towards the fact that due to increased time given for national news, advertising contracts have been cancelled. There may be chances of dispute among the contractor and the news program enterprise, or it might be possible that they got a better offer. It is not justifiable to directly come to the conclusion. The Business Manager must provide sufficient evidences in his/her argument to bolster it.
    In any News Program, it is very important to provide a concise and better content and always look for the truth. If a channel goes for TRP and uses activities which are just focused on increasing the amount of viewers, that channel may seem to rise at first, but later it will again start to fall down. Hence, the Manager must look out for strong evidences which strengthens the argument and not just go f

    Also, due to shortage of time, I couldnt finish my last sentence. Can you tell me how badly will it affect in the real Exam.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 13, 2017 at 6:13 am #

      Hi Satyam,

      Unfortunately, we’re not able to give individualized feedback for writing or speaking at this time. We do, however, provide explanation videos that tell you exactly what a good response should have and give examples, and the lesson videos describe in detail how to best write and speak for the TOEFL. Using those explanations and examples, you can evaluate your own responses. This is something we’d like to improve in time, but for now, this page helps a lot!

      Now, with regard to not completing your final few words, it’s hard to say what exact impact that it’ll have on your total score. Obviously, it is best if you can complete all of your sentences or at least your thought processes as not doing so can adversely affect your score, but as long as the quality of the content and language are overall strong, you should be fine. In your practice, take time to make sure you emphasize time management as you prepare, so that you won’t have to worry about this issue! Best of luck! 😀

  7. Fumie Maeno November 13, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

    Hi Chris

    Thank you for classifying them, it really helps. I am having a problem to prepare for 6. Intellectual Endeavors and 7. Philosophical essays. To be honest, 1) I could not quite identify them from above explanations and 2) it is such a subtle topic to be prepared. Please give me sum suggestions !

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 15, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

      Hi Fumie,

      These are difficult topics, and unfortunately it’s difficult to prepare for them adequately with examples. Since you have identified these prompts as a possible weakness, I recommend that you spend some time brainstorming for some of these prompts (and perhaps writing full essays for them–but the main goal is to be able to quickly brainstorm ideas for these prompts. You can see this post for inspiration:

      You have to find a method that works for you. If you get these types of question, it’s possible that instead of using historical examples, you will use logical reasoning or common knowledge to create your argument. Once you start to brainstorm these topics and find inspiration from them, it will be easier to do it quickly.

      Another good strategy is to have an ‘arsenal’ of examples ready based on topics that you are interested in. You can see our reply to Amber below for some ideas on what this looks like 🙂 If you have some ideas ready for use, you may be able to shape it into a strong example for your essay!

  8. Ummi C October 6, 2016 at 12:33 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I am going to take the GRE in the next few days. I have a question regarding how to build an analysis and explanation of reasoning behind my position. Which one is more important or would more likely to get me better grade: in-depth analysis of only a few reasonings or the number and variety of the reasonings itself?

    Of course I do realize that in-depth analysis of various reasoning is the best way to approach it. However, sometimes when I practice I got a little bit stuck in the first few minutes and ended up with more or less in-depth analysis (with examples, link-backs) of two arguments to support my position and no time to develop other reasonings that I have in my outline.

    Will this hurts my score? I am worried because when I look at the 6 and 5 essay samples in the OG, the commentary usually points out the the writer’s ability to identify various reasonings to support their positions.


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 8, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

      You don’t want to have too narrow of a range of reasoning, obviously. But ultimately, when it comes to reasons and rationales in your AWA essay, the GRE is more concerned with quality than quantity. Your approach of having just a few lines of reasoning but developing them well sounds like a good one. As long as you have enough details to fully support your overall analysis, the specific number of details shouldn’t matter.

  9. pooja September 14, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

    Hi Chris

    The above issue essay topics you have shortlisted, are you sure that in the exam it will be one of them for Revised GRE???

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 17, 2016 at 5:49 am #

      Hi Pooja,

      Yes! Check out the information from the test makers themselves here! Hope this helps!

  10. PARTH KAUSHIK September 7, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    Hii chris

    I am a great fan of u the way you taught is simply amazing i have completed your all free verbal videos on youtube and excited to write gre next month hope for the best .

  11. Amber bartle August 30, 2016 at 11:46 am #


    What if we do not know about a certain topic like government and power type topics? What is the best way to prepare for that? I feel like I would struggle with brainstorming if I do not understand the basis of the topic itself.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 31, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

      Hi Amber,

      Great question! We recommend that you create a little ‘arsenal’ of examples that would be applicable to a wide variety of subjects. Think of some subjects that interest you, such as science or art or history or philosophy, and come up with the names of important people, events, documents, discoveries, etc. For example, say I love history. So, before test day I’d make a list of several important historical figures, events, documents, etc, and have these examples in my arsenal. Isaac Newton–inventive! Julia Child–a pioneering woman! The Emancipation Proclamation–groundbreaking! Now that I have these examples at the ready, I can adapt them for use in a wide variety of topics.

      And now that you have identified the “government and power” bucket as a potential challenge for you, you can take the opportunity to do some research and find a few good examples that you could use in these essays! You can think of important historical figures (George Washington!), groundbreaking events (The Magna Carta!) and take the opportunity to learn a little bit about different systems of government. I also suggest that you read international news sites daily for a few weeks before the test–you never know when a current event might be used as an example 🙂

  12. Raghav Mahajan August 28, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    This is a great post. Thanks for putting it up here. Towards the end of the post you mentioned that there are few more buckets ; could you please list them as well ? if possible!!


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

      Hi Raghav,

      Glad that this post was helpful for you! The ‘other’ buckets aren’t really buckets, but rather prompts that don’t quite fit into these categories. We created these categories by looking at the Issue prompts and identifying major themes–this isn’t an official ETS list 🙂 For example, this prompt doesn’t quite fit perfectly into any of the categories, but there aren’t enough similar prompts to make another entire ‘bucket’: “Society should make efforts to save endangered species only if the potential extinction of those species is the result of human activities.” It’s kind of science, kind of society, and kind of philosophy. I encourage you to look through the pool of Issue topics I linked above to find other topics that don’t fit neatly into one category. If you can think of any more general themes to group them, please let us know 🙂

  13. Rizpah Bellard August 26, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

    What’s a good strategy for starting the essay? I always tend to find myself restating the claim/issue/prompt and I don’t really have any authenticity in it.

    This drab intro is followed by my body paragraphs starting with “Firstly….Second….Last….In conclusion…” Is there a better way to start the body paragraphs or should I even worry about this?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 27, 2016 at 8:47 am #

      Hi Rizpah,

      While I can understand this feeling, the GRE essays are never going to be exciting or unique. Thousands and thousands of students write essays on the same topics, so there is not as much room for originality as there is in general academic writing. I would not worry about spicing it up and just focus on clear organization and argumentation. 🙂

  14. Liz August 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm #

    Hi everyone and Chris,

    I am really afraid that some things I said in the GRE issue essay will be considered plagiarism. I wrote about a previous boss, the CEO of a well-known organization (mentioned in essay). I mentioned some of his past achievements in my own words. Is this a problem? Please help! I just realized this may be construed as plagiarism because it’s not common knowledge and I’m freaking out.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 21, 2016 at 8:52 am #

      Hi Liz,

      Without reading your essay it is hard to tell, but as long as you didn’t claim the achievements as your own, it is probably fine. Writing about something that isn’t common knowledge isn’t plagiarism, and the GRE readers are really looking for things like the quality of your argument and writing. As long as you explained the example and clearly connected it to the prompt, you will likely be fine 🙂

      • Liz August 21, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

        Thank you so much! I feel 10x better

  15. mihir modi August 15, 2016 at 4:39 am #

    Can you provide examples for argument essays also?

  16. Mohi July 5, 2016 at 5:20 am #

    Hi Chris

    does the AWA samples known as “Complete Pool of AWA_GRE writing of Kaplan” contain

    perfect essays? i mean do they deserve a 6 full score in GRE AWA??

    thanks for your response in advance

    the aforementioned AWA samples’ link is

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 12, 2016 at 8:35 am #

      Hi Mohi,

      I only read the first issue and found quite a few errors in it (grammar, spelling, and argumentation). I would not rate that first essay over a 4. You can definitely read them for ideas and inspiration, but they are not all worth a 6 for sure. You might want to look at this official samples (not all the essays):

      I hope that helps! 🙂

  17. Pronay J Panikkan December 16, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    Is there someway I can get essays to ALL the topics mentioned in the ETS pool of topics. It seems there are more than 200 of them ! I don’t intend to mug them all up. But I think it would be a great help just to know at least some of the ‘for’ and ‘against’ points related to the topics. I have been searching for a while now. There are sample essay responses to some of the topics, but I have found only a few so far.

  18. srijana December 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    thanks so much. i reallyneeded this.

  19. aravind December 3, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    I have wriiten one issue essay from the given question.please evaluate it and correct me if i did any wrong…

    “Educational institutions have a responsibility to dissuade students from pursuing fields of study in which they are unlikely to succeed.”

    In today’s world, Education is essential for everyone because it educate the people to gain knowledge.Without education there is nothing.
    However,there is some sort of students who are unlikely to succeed in their education..At these circumstances educational institutions are the responsibility
    of preventing the students from studies where they are unlikely to succeed.

    Some students doesn’t know how education is important to them.There will be diferent views between educators and non educators.For an example
    if there is a rainbow in the sky,the uneducated adults looks like as magic saying that how could it be so much colours on that sky etc..But educated adults

    knew that the rainbow is produced by rhe process of reflection,refraction,water droplets in atmosphere etc..The educators are learned by an erudite

    professors.if there is any antipathy of studies from some students then the institution is mainly responsible to change their attitude and to make them perfect by

    giving essesntial and interest to studies.

    Most of the students showing interest in movies,playing rather than studies.This spoils their entire life.I doesn’t meant by saying only studies will glow
    in their life.Every one must be educated to gain their knowledge and basic things about their surroundings.Even one shows interst in playing he should also be

    educated because some of the institution gives sustains to only bright students.So the dull students fails to achieve in their life.This was happened in my

    school days. There was one student who is die hard for playing cricket.He doesn’t show interest in studies,so the institution doesn’t care about that

    student.After 10 years the student felt sorry for not educated because when he bacame good cricketer he couldn’t able to speak to and understand from

    others who are all educated.

    Therefore,Educational Institution are the responsibility for each and every student to be educated though they are unlikely to succeed.And also student must
    know the essential of studies.Students must put some efforts in their education beacuse there will be only 50 percent of efforts from educational instituition
    and remaining should be student’s efforts.If at all there is some efforts from studentsand their institution then there is no place of failure.

  20. Tanushree September 23, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    Thank you so much Chris. I have GRE on 1st oct. and I am left with AWA only. These categories will now help me to organize my practice…. 🙂

  21. Sarvesh August 30, 2014 at 2:12 am #

    Hey Chris,
    First things first , Thank you for creating and maintaining this website !! its just awesome !! I have my GRE exam on Sept 3rd !! I was totally freaking out with this AWA section. everything was falling apart before i found this pool of issue topics on your website. Its helping me a lot to get over this section!! I just have a question for you . After looking up on your issue essay topics, I checked the ETS website for the pool of issue essay topics and i found out that there was over 100 topics given in that website !! With just 20 topics given in your website ,should i be worried ? please help me out here . Thanks in advance .

    • Mohammad September 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

      did you get your issue essay from any of those mentioned in question bank?

  22. bharath July 2, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    Hi Chris

    Thank you for your work. I had a week left for my exam. I started preparing for AWA today. I am just going through issue topics and found your blog. I want to make sure most probably issue topic will come from the topics you mentioned above , so that it would be very helpful for me from going through pile of essays.

    Thanks in advance

  23. Romy July 2, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    Thank you for all the material that has been made available for the students who are attempting the GRE like me
    Is there any site of yours with the complete pool of frequent essays and their solutions????

  24. Mohammad June 25, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Thanks for the information Chris

    The Essays you have shortlisted, are you sure that in the exam it will be one of them for Revised GRE?

    Any guidance for Argument Essays will be appreciated?

  25. Faisal April 14, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    Mr Chris,

    I am so glad to find this material on the website. it is really useful.
    thank you,

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele April 15, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      You are welcome!

  26. Avais February 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    thank,s for these useful topics. can u provide the same for Argument essay?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele February 25, 2014 at 11:18 am #

      Hi Avais,

      The argument topics aren’t quite as categorizable. However, in a future post I’ll try to do just that–showing the overarching themes in the argument essay bank.

  27. shweta February 13, 2014 at 2:33 am #

    Hi Chris,

    The information is really useful & helpful!!!! 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele February 13, 2014 at 10:58 am #

      Great! I’m glad it helped 🙂

  28. khushbu September 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    This is really helpful ..thanks 😉

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

      You are welcome!

  29. Sudeshna August 9, 2013 at 5:33 am #

    Thank you so much…. This was really helpful.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      You are welcome!

  30. Joy July 30, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    This was exactly what I was looking for! Thanks Chris. 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 31, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      I’m glad you found it :)!

  31. Divya July 15, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post, Chris! It saves us so much time! Personally, I am freaking out over this section, cuz I’m applying for a Creative Writing degree. I wish you guys would consider starting the service of grading practice essays and giving feedback. You could charge separately for that. I know I’d be willing to pay.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      Hi Divya,

      I’m glad you found it helpful! Unfortunately, we don’t have any plans for an essay grading service. You could try posting it on or the

      Meanwhile, there are a bunch of AWA related posts on the Magoosh blog to help you out. Interestingly, I’m not sure how much a Creative Writing program would stress the GRE Writing. It’s such a different form of writing that they would more likely look at your portfolio of stories/poems.

      Good luck!

      • Divya July 17, 2013 at 7:57 am #

        Thanks Chris. I know my writing samples are much more important than my GRE score, but am still trying to get a really good score, so I’m nervous!! 🙂 I have been through all your AW blog posts as well as your tutorial videos as I’ve signed up for your premium service and am finding everything on this site SO helpful. I think what really comes through most and sets you guys apart is that you seem to really love what you do.

        Thank you from a highly satisfied customer! 🙂

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele July 17, 2013 at 11:57 am #

          Thanks Divya for the positive words! We here at Magoosh definitely love what we do :). I’m happy that you’ve found the tutorials/blog helpful!

          • Divya August 5, 2013 at 7:32 am #

            Hi Chris,

            I had a question. In the Issue task, is it okay to give examples from our own country or is it safer to stick to examples from the US? For eg, in the essay about having the same national school curriculums, is it okay to talk about how curriculums are designed in my country, India, and its diversity, or is it more advisable to talk about the US? Also, can I use politicians from my country who might not be known the world over as examples or is it better to stick to leaders that are known internationally?

            Thanks a lot.

            • Chris Lele
              Chris Lele August 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

              Hi Divya,

              That is a great question! As long as you can write compellingly about an example, it doesn’t matter which country it comes from. Sure, you probably have more work if you choose the Indian example. Meaning, that writers are unfamiliar with the person/history and will need a little more elaboration (which, you might forget to do–since the example is so well-known in India).

              Nonetheless, I would stick to writing what you know about (India).
              However, if the prompt is specifically about national curriculum, you might want to focus on the US. The GRE can afford to be ethnocentric about this one point, since the GRE is for admissions in the U.S. and thus it behooves any taking the GRE to be well-versed in the education situation in the U.S. This is just my hypothesis, but I think it is better to be safe and stick to the U.S. on issue prompts relating to education.

              Hope that helps!

              • Divya August 8, 2013 at 12:17 am #

                Thank you for the detailed reply, Chris. That helps a lot! 🙂

                • Chris Lele
                  Chris Lele August 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

                  You’re welcome :)!

                  • Sambit Pattnaik August 29, 2014 at 6:24 am #

                    Hi Chris,

                    I too had the same question, its now totally limpid to me. To top that up, I would like to profusely thank you for the work you are doing at Moogosh, I have my exam on 5th of Sept and I can’t explain what my situation would have been, if it had not been for Magoosh. The help you guys have extended is inexplicable, exhorting and bolstering my confidence every moment. I have never seen someone who would reply to every comment on their blog, its something incredible!!!

                    A zillion thanks again for the superb work and love you guys. I wish you all the success in future. Magoosh would go a really long way, as if it hasn’t yet 😉

                    • Chris Lele
                      Chris Lele August 29, 2014 at 10:11 am #

                      Thanks Sambit so much for those awesome words! We strive to make sure students are happy and do well on their GRE.

                      Best of luck on the 5th 🙂

      • RAVITEJApallapallapolu May 8, 2016 at 10:55 am #

        HI CHRIS LELE,

        Thank you for providing ISSUE TOPICS. I am requesting you to provide some ARGUMENT topics. l am expecting positive reply from you

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 9, 2016 at 12:18 am #

          Hi there 🙂 You can find the entire pool of topics for the argument task on the ETS website:

          * Pool of Argument Topics

          Each topic presents an argument that is based on logical fallacies and your goal through your essay is to highlight these flaws and explain how they weaken the argument. As Chris mentions in this blog post, regardless of the topic you receive, you should never agree with part of the original argument but rather explain the unwarranted assumptions that make up the argument.

          I hope this helps!

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