Writing Section Overview

  • The Writing section consists of 4 passages and 44 questions in 35 minutes
  • Passages will be ~400 words in length, followed by 10-12 questions per passage
  • The maximum score on this section is 400
  • All questions are worth the same value, so each question is worth ~9 points
  • The section tests grammar and the ability to edit someone else’s writing
  • One passage will include a figure such as a table or graph

Below are the four skills tested in the Writing Section, and the approximate number of questions on each skill you’ll see on the test.

Expression of ideas (improving the quality of the author’s message)12 questions
Standard English conventions (grammar, usage, and mechanics)17 questions
Command of evidence (testing your understanding of a graph or the passage)6 questions
Words in context (the correct “fit” given the rhetorical goal)9 questions