The ACT Writing Test consists of a 40 minute essay, and is the final section of the ACT. This test is optional, and whether or not a student chooses to sign up for the ACT with Writing will depend on the requirements of the institutions of which a student is applying.
Students taking the ACT Writing Test will be given a writing prompt followed by three different perspectives on that prompt. You will be expected to formulate your own perspective about the prompt while relating it back to the given perspectives. You will be graded on the quality of your essay, and not based on the specific prompt that you choose.
The Writing Test is scored on a scale of 2-12. This score is determined by the average of four subscores in the following categories, each of which are also scored on a 2-12 scale: Ideas and Analysis, Development and Support, Organization, and Language Use and Conventions. Two independent trained readers will each score your essay on a scale of 1-6, and those scores are combined to create your composite writing score.
Essays that receive the maximum possible score will fully answer the prompt by taking a stance on the provided issue and will provide a thorough analysis of the different perspectives by responding to counter-arguments or evaluating the implications of prompt or perspectives. High scoring essays will be organized, detailed, and thorough, with a strong central focus. Variety in vocabulary and sentence structure should be evident throughout the essay.
In order to effectively discuss strategies to be successful on the ACT Writing Test, we will be discussing the following strategies: