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09/04/2019

What is the purpose of the writing part on the ACT?

QUESTION
What is the purpose of the writing part on the ACT?
I’m being encouraged to take it, but I already have a high score on the test, is it really necessary to take the writing part?

ANSWER
The ACT exam is a college entrance test. It is comprised of four sections – English, math, science, and reading – and an optional fifth section. This fifth section asks the student to write an essay about a topic given in a prompt.

Some colleges and universities require or highly recommend that applicants take the writing portion of the ACT, while other institutions do not feel it is necessary. It is best to check with each individual university to see if they require it as part of the admissions process.

So you should take it and send it only to those institutions that ask for it.

Because only thirty minutes are given to think about, prepare, and write the essay, it is advisable that you plan accordingly.

Begin by carefully reading through the prompt provided to you. Make sure that you understand exactly what is being asked. Next, take a few minutes to pre-write and organize your essay. Space will be provided for you to do this in the test booklet, so that you can keep referring back to your notes throughout the writing process.

Think of the best way to present and organize your ideas. A rule of thumb is to include the most important and most impactful information at the beginning of the essay.

Make sure that your voice and opinion are clearly present in the essay. Explore the issue and your position in detail and in depth, instead of simplifying the topic by listing numerous examples with little insight about them. Discuss all sides of the issue, and provide counter-arguments to strengthen your position.

Remember to vary your sentence structure and length, use strong vocabulary, provide transitions, and clearly establish relationships between ideas.

A strong conclusion is just as important as a strong beginning, and it gives you one last shot to state your ideas and neatly tie together your essay.

All of these components are essential to writing a great essay. Leave enough time to edit your essay. Make sure that you did not accidentally leave out any words (sometimes our brains think faster than our hands can write), and check for spelling, usage, punctuation, and grammar mistakes.

The scorers will take into account that you only had thirty minutes to write your essay, but you do not want errors to take away from the content of you have to say.