GRE Argument Essay Prompt Sample Practice Questions

GRE Argument Essay: Practice Sample Prompts

The GRE Argument Essay will contain a short argument that may or may not be complete, and specific instructions on how to respond. The GRE Argument Essay requires you to analyze and critique an argument. You must evaluate the logical soundness of the argument rather than take a side. In this task you do not develop your own argument, but instead critique the argument presented in the prompt.

Try the following samples for practice:

GRE Argument Essay Sample Prompt #1

1. In 1992, many farmers in Jalikistan began using a hormone designed to produce larger cows that would produce more milk. Since then, childhood obesity in Jalikistan has grown by 200 percent. The amount of milk and dairy consumed by children in this area has not increased or decreased. Children in the same area who are lactose intolerant, and who drink almond milk or soy milk, have not had the same increase in childhood obesity. The only clear explanation is that the introduction of the hormone is responsible for the increase in childhood obesity in that area.

Write a response in which you discuss one or more viable alternatives to the proposed explanation. Justify, with support, why the alternatives could rival the proposed explanation and explain how those explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.

GRE Argument Essay Sample Prompt #2

2. Several charitable organizations in Pleasantville provide opportunities for teenagers to engage in community service. These organizations have a great need for volunteers, but in recent years, the number of teenage volunteers has significantly declined.The Pleasantville School Board should take measures to increase the number of volunteers. Teachers, parents, and other community members agree that it is important for young people to learn the value of community service. Requiring high-school students to engage in community service would provide much-needed assistance to worthy local charities and would also help young people understand the importance of giving back to their community. For this reason, the Pleasantville School Board should institute a program requiring students of Pleasantville High School to complete 40 hours of community service prior to graduation.

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.

GRE Argument Essay Sample Prompt #3

3. A recent survey of 250 adults between the ages of 30 and 45 showed an association between the number of hours adults spend online each day and self-reporting of symptoms commonly associated with depression. The survey found that adults who spend 30 hours or more online each week were twice as likely as others to report that they “frequently” had trouble concentrating. Of adults who reported spending more than 30 hours per week online, 20 percent also reported that they had felt “sad, down, or blue” at least three times within the past month.

These results suggest that spending too much time online is linked to depression and people who want to improve their well-being should strictly limit the time they spend online.

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.

Remember that on Test Day you’ll have 30 minutes for the GRE Argument Essay. Looking for more sample prompts?

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