About the Writing Section

Remember, an essay must be written for the SAT but it is optional on the ACT. With the NEW SAT starting March 2016, the essay is optional for SAT too.

Whether or not you should do the ACT's essay depends on your writing ability and confidence. If you feel that you are a good writer, do it. If you feel that is a weakness, then don't. If you plan to take the ACT more than once, it might be best to do the optional essay the first time to see how it goes.

SAT Writing Section

  • The section is given first during the exam.
  • It is 25 minutes long.
  • It is scored by two readers on a score of 1 to 6. Then the two scores are combined for an overall score of 2 to 12.
  • The prompts are broad-based and essentially are opinion questions. For instance, a prompt may ask the student his or her views on music's impact on society.
  • Students can include examples from their own lives. These examples are good because they offer support to whatever is being said. But, as a caution, be careful to not fall into the trap of telling a personal story.
  • Two proven tips for scores…
    1. Show your vocabulary. Include words that are not commonly used in high school talking. Instead of writing a "small" impact, write a "trivial" or "miniscule" impact.
    2. Length matters. It's become clear that longer essays score higher. Do not just ramble to make the essay longer. But absolutely do not cut the essay short thinking that all was said that needs to be said. Write more!

ACT Writing Section (optional)

  • The section is give last during the exam.
  • It is 30 minutes long.
  • It is scored by two readers on a score of 1 to 6. Then the two scores are combined for an overall score of 2 to 12.
  • The prompts are general in nature and pertain to something in a high school person's life. For instance, a prompt might ask of the benefits and /or drawbacks of television and education.
  • The ACT's writing section impacts the English composite score. It can only change the English score by a max of 2 points.

ALWAYS WRITE LIKE LEONARDO DICAPRIO ACTS AND NEVER EAT YOUR TEST WHILE TAKING IT

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