Lesson - Preparing for Analytical Writing Tasks

Preparing for Analytical Writing Tasks

You will answer two different question prompts on the Analytical Writing section.  You will have 30 minutes to plan and write each response. 

In one response you will Analyze an Issue.  This task requires you to construct your own argument and support your position. 

In the other task you will Analyze an Argument.  This response requires you to evaluate someone else's argument by assessing its claims and evaluating its evidence.


In both responses, you are evaluated on your ability to –

  • support ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • examine claims and evidence
  • articulate complex ideas effectively
  • stay focused on a given topic
  • use standard written English effectively


Preparation Tips:

1)  Review scoring guides

This allows you to determine how your response will be evaluated.  Tailor your address to meet the expectations accordingly.

2)  Practice responding to sample tasks

Practice planning a response and composing an essay within the 30-minute timeframe.

3)  Review exemplary essay responses

Read and learn from model examples of excellent task responses.


Test-Taking Tips:

1)  Read the task carefully

Don't let the time constraint make you rush.  Be sure you understand and address the task.

2)  Plan your response

Take the time to outline your response carefully.  Use bullet points to be sure you have adequate development.

3)  Budget your time

Allow sufficient time to carefully read the instructions, consider the issue, plan your response, and compose the essay.

4)  Proofread

Save time at the end to check for errors.  Be sure your sentences read clearly.  Make changes as needed.