- You’ve got an hour and a half. There are 53 questions to complete during this time.
- The questions are all based on writing passages. The passages themselves are relatively short—approximately 500 to 600 words. You can expect some tricky vocabulary and challenging writing.
- There will be no passages based on science. Half of the passages are based in the humanities and the other half are based in the social sciences.
- The questions are designed to test your powers of critical analysis and your reasoning skills. Approximately 30% of the questions will be based on comprehending what you read. The other 70% will be based on reasoning within the text and reasoning beyond the text. Thus, you won’t only be asked questions about what the passage means. You can expect to be asked to evaluate and analyze word choice, imagery, and rhetorical devices, to extrapolate ideas and apply them to new contexts, to consider how new ideas and information might impact the text’s argument.
- These questions will not focus on your personal opinion. Keep your judgments focused on the text itself—even if you don’t agree with the arguments being made.
- If you read a passage about a topic you know well, use particular care in your responses. Your answers should be based solely on the passage and the new ideas and information introduced in the questions. If you happen to know obscure (or even not-so-obscure) facts that might contradict the arguments in the passage, keep them firmly out of your mind.
Want to know more about the Critical Analysis section? Check out the American Association of Medical College’s description of this section here.