Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section - Skill 3: Reasoning Beyond the Text Passage Types
The final category, Reasoning Beyond the Text, requires you to use one of two analysis or reasoning skills, which in a way can be thought of as two sides of a single coin.
Questions assessing the first set of skills ask you to apply or extrapolate information or ideas presented in the passage to a new or novel situation — for example, extending information the author presents beyond the actual context of the passage.
The second set of skills involves considering new information presented in a test question, mentally integrating this new information into the passage content, and then assessing the potential impact of introducing the new elements into the actual passage. Reasoning about new, hypothetical elements should cause you to synthesize passage content anew and alter your interpretation of the passage in some plausible way.
Application and integration questions elicit some of the same kinds of thinking. Both types deal with changes caused by combinations or comparisons, and both test your mental flexibility. They do differ, however, and their distinct requirements are explained in more detail below. Remember, though, that as with questions assessing different levels of analysis and reasoning, you must still use only the content of the passages and the new information in the questions to determine your answers. Keep avoiding the temptation to bring your existing knowledge to bear in answering these questions.