About The ACT Writing Essay

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The ACT Writing Essay

The ACT includes an optional Essay section. Some schools are requesting an essay while others are not. We recommend that you take the essay when you take the ACT because you can't take the essay on its own later if you find that you need it; you'd have to take the whole ACT over again. The essay follows a predictable format, so preparation and practice help a lot.


The ACT includes an "optional" essay component, but if you've already started to skip this section, stop for a moment. Although most students would not voluntarily choose to spend an extra half hour on a Saturday morning writing an essay for a standardized test, we do recommend that you write the essay. Why? There are two reasons.

First, some schools require that you take the essay portion. You wouldn't want to have to take the entire test over again if you discover that your dream school wants an essay and you had decided not to write one.

Second, writing the essay can make your college application look more attractive. Your essay score will appear on every score report you send to colleges, regardless of whether or not the school requires an essay. Every school to which you apply will see that you took the initiative to write the essay, which is a good thing.

Plus, it's not that difficult to get a good score on the essay, especially if you follow the guidelines in this chapter. An impressive score is an impressive score, optional or not.

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