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Tutorial: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)


The analytical writing section includes two 30-minute writing assignments. You will be given a word processing interface for typing in your responses, with all the normal functions - copy, paste, cut, undo, etc. - all accessible both by both keyboard and mouse, as in a regular word processing program. In addition, you can take notes when planning your answers.


The two assignments are:


  1. Analyzing an issue. Analyze a given issue/opinion. Explain your viewpoint on it using relevant reasons and/or examples from your own experience, reading, or observations.
  2. Analyzing an argument. Critique a given argument by analyzing its underlying reasoning. This task does not ask for your own viewpoint on the subject matter, but rather for your analysis of the given viewpoint. For example, you may point to evidence that can strengthen or weaken the argument, alternative explanations or examples that can counter the conclusion, and questionable assumptions on which the author based his argument.


The AWA questions deal with a variety of topics, from business to other fields of general interest. However, as the AWA examines only your analytical writing skills, you are not required to have knowledge in any of those fields.