Guidelines for the Entrance Examination of the Applicants for the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

The Entrance Examination for AHSS assesses your English reading and sentence-formation skills, your ability to express your thoughts in writing, and competence in Arithmetic. It is mandatory for all applicants to appear for the HU Entrance Examination, except those who qualify for the test exemption based on their SAT I scores or Grades as per the details given in the section of ‘Exemptions from HU Entrance Examinations‘.

The test has the following features:

  • It is a computer based standardized test
  • It is a multiple-choice test (except for the essay section)
  • No negative marking
  • It adapts to your level of ability*

*The test uses computer-adaptive testing technology to select test questions that are best suited for each test taker; i.e., the test will give you questions based on how you have performed on the questions up till that time.

Habib University administers the test at its campus in Karachi. In other cities, it is administrated at the identified spaces under the supervision of HU team.

Time required to complete the Test

The maximum time allowed to take the test is 3.5 hours for all sections.

English component of Entrance Examination

Section 1: Accuplacer Reading

The Reading Comprehension section is a multiple-choice assessment. There are approximately 20 questions in the Accuplacer Reading portion of the exam. These questions assess your ability to derive meaning from a range of prose texts and to determine the meaning of words and phrases in short and extended contexts. Passages on the test cover a range of content areas (including literature and literary nonfiction, careers/history/social studies, humanities, and science), writing modes (informative/ explanatory, argument, and narrative), and complexities (relatively easy to very challenging).

Four broad knowledge and skill categories are assessed:

  • Information and Ideas (reading closely, determining central ideas and themes, summarizing, understanding relationships)
  • Rhetoric (analyzing word choice rhetorically, analyzing text structure, analyzing point of view, analyzing purpose, analyzing arguments)
  • Synthesis (analyzing multiple texts)
  • Vocabulary

Section 2: Accuplacer Writing

The Accuplacer Writing section is a multiple-choice assessment. There are approximately 20 questions in this section. These questions assess your ability to revise and edit a range of prose texts for effective expression of ideas and for conformity to the conventions of Standard Written English sentence structure, usage, and punctuation. Two broad knowledge and skill categories are assessed:

  • Expression of Ideas (development, organization, effective language use)
  • Standard English Conventions (sentence structure, usage, and punctuation)

Section 3: Essay Writing

The Essay Writing section will ask you to write a five-paragraph persuasive essay (approximately 350–500 words) on the given topic. You will not be allowed to use a dictionary or other outside resources, but you may use plain scratch paper to plan your essay and write your rough draft(s).

You will be provided with an essay prompt. An essay prompt is a short passage adapted from some authentic text. Following the passage is an essay assignment that requires the student to focus on the issue addressed in the passage. Prompts are free of technical or specific literary references and do not require specialized knowledge. The prompts are designed to stimulate critical thinking and are relevant to any number of fields and interests. The essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can develop and express your ideas in writing. You should support your position with appropriate reasoning and examples.

The position you take will not influence your score. Your essay will be given a holistic score that represents how clearly and effectively you expressed your position. The following six characteristics of writing will be considered:

  • Purpose and Focus: The extent to which you present information in a unified and coherent manner, clearly addressing the issue.
  • Critical Thinking:  The extent to which you communicate a point of view and demonstrate reasoned relationships between ideas.
  • Organization and Structure: The extent to which you order and connect ideas.
  • Development and Support: The extent to which you develop and support ideas.
  • Sentence Variety and Style: The extent to which you craft sentences and paragraphs, demonstrating control of vocabulary, voice and structure.
  • Mechanical Conventions: The extent to which you express ideas using standard written English.

Mathematic Component of the Entrance Examination for the AHSS

All applicants applying for AHSS have to take the Arithmetic exam. It is a multiple-choice assessment. There are approximately 20 questions in the Arithmetic portion of the exam. This section will assess your ability in the following areas:

  • Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers and fractions; recognize equivalent fractions and mixed numbers; take squares and square roots.
  • Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimal numbers; recognize equivalent fractions and decimal numbers; take squares and square roots of decimal numbers.
  • Solve word problems involving percentages.
  • Ability to estimate sums, differences, products, and quotients of fractions and mixed numbers; order fractions, decimals, and percentages and round numbers.
  • Ability to solve word problems involving rates, ratios, proportions, averages, graphs and tables

Download Entrance Examination Guide booklet