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The act of writing canadian essays



You’ve just signed up for the ACT. But did you know that there is an optional writing test for the ACT? Do you know if your dream schools want to see it?

Read this to find out if the Writing ACT is worth your time and money. Then find out how you're going to ace the ACT Writing section.

The ACT Writing test is an optional essay test you can take after the other sections of the ACT. It costs an additional $17.00 and 40 minutes of your time. It is available to take after the ACT on all 6 national testing dates in the USA. Keep in mind when deciding to take it or not that you may NOT just take the ACT Writing test on its own - you can only take it while suitably exhausted after taking all the other sections of the ACT!

The writing test is meant to measure the writing skills that you should have learned in your English classes in high school. It also claims to be a measure of how you might do in entry-level composition classes in college.

So, what exactly is the test like? First, you will be given a prompt that tells you about an issue. You will also be presented with three possible points of view on said topic, and will be asked to write an essay about your point of view. You can either borrow and elaborate upon one of the ones that are given, or offer up a fourth viewpoint. Sound tough? See this for some top ACT essay strategies.

Your essay will be graded by two real, live human readers who will give your essay a grade between a low of 1 and a high of 6 for a score of 12 in each of four domains and a total score of 36 based on your ability to write a logical, focused, and organized essay. If these scores differ by more than one point, a third reader will also look it over. (Want a perfect score? See this!)

Your ACT Writing score is not part of your composite score, which will still consist only of your English, Math, Reading, and Science subscores. Instead, your essay subscore will be added to your English and Reading scores and averaged for a combined English/Language Arts score. For a full breakdown on how the ACT is graded see this .

You may be surprised to learn that not all schools require the ACT Writing test! But those that do think they have a pretty good reason. These schools think that your essay score, combined with your English and Reading ACT scores, can help them understand your grasp of English and your ability to produce a sample of writing under pressure.

This is quite a different skill to what they see when you submit your personal statement and essays in your application. They are assuming that those have been proofread by 50 of your closest friends and family members, and that they have been heavily edited and reviewed for hours on end. So while your personal statement is more like a heavily photoshopped selfie in flattering lighting, ACT Writingis like a candid snapshot of your writing abilities.

Specifically, these schools wants to get a better idea about your ability to defend a point of view and your reasoning skills. Can you write logically and coherently. Can you use proper sentence structure without Word telling you what you have done wrong? The Writing Test is your chance to prove all those skills.

And, apart from your application, the combined English/Language Arts ACT score has another use for many schools. They will actually use your score on this test to help place you into different levels of English classes - so it can potentially save you the trouble of taking a placement test once you arrive at college in the fall!

The answers may surprise you — read on to learn more about which schools require the Writing section of the ACT.

Top schools that do NOT require the ACT Writing test include Columbia, Penn, Cornell, and Brown (though Brown strongly recommends it).

However, other elite schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, CalTech, and Dartmouth all require it. Top public colleges like UC's. University of Michigan, and University of Texas require it as well. So if you are aiming high, you may want to take this part of the test!

Do Top Journalism, Humanities, and English Programs Require It?

Some do, but there are a few notable exceptions. Pepperdine and George Washington University, which are known as great journalism schools. do not require it.

Georgetown and the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts offer great English degrees and do not require the ACT with Writing.

Hamilton College in New York, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Iowa, and Colorado College all have great writing programs and do NOT require the Writing ACT.

Several well-known, smaller liberal arts colleges do NOT require the ACT with Writing, including Amherst, Bowdoin, Pomona, Haverford, and Davidson College. And the University of Chicago is great all around for humanities, and they do NOT require it.

Despite what you might expect, a number of the top tech/math/science schools DO require the ACT Writing — including CalTech, University of Michigan, and Georgia Tech.

Yes, tech schools also care about your writing ability.

Below we have broken down by state and territory every college that either requires or recommends the ACT Plus Writing.

Keeping in mind that although you don't HAVE to take the ACT with Writing unless you want to apply to a college on the list below, you still have the option to .

You can usually submit the Writing test to colleges, even if they do not require it. By doing so, you allow them to consider your essay along with the rest of your appliction. Some will choose to treat ACT Writing as equally important to the other sections, while others will give it less weight.

But the bottom line is, a strong writing score will almost always help you out. If you opt to take the test and you score well on it, it could be a great way to enhance your application and give you an edge!

Fortunately, this is a real possibiliy because just like every other part of the ACT, the essay can be taught so that you can excel on it. So if you are thinking about taking the ACT Plus Writing, either because you have to or if you just want that extra bright point in your application, it is definitely worth your time to study and practice. See this guide for step-by-step instructions on how to master the ACT essay.

Another point: you may change your mind about where you want to apply, and that is another reason it's a good idea to take the ACT Plus Writing. If your plans change, you don't want to have to re-take the whole test just because you didn't think ahead!

This list of 4-year universities is broken down by state. The first colleges in each section are those that require the Writing ACT, followed by those that recommend it. "Recommend" means that the college does not require it, but that scoring well will improve the strength of your application and help you reach equal footing with other applicants who do take it.

To find your favorite schools, either scroll down to the state in which they're located, or use Ctrl+F to type in the school name to see if it shows up.

Keep in mind that school requirements frequently change (especially with the recent rise in test-optional admissions), so it's always a good idea to check with individual universities before you apply .

  • Alabama A&M U niversity
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View of the Loop from University of Illinois Chicago campus

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Caution: apparently it even rains indoors at Tulane.

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University of Montana Western wins second most dramatic campus location

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Ready to work for a killer ACT English/Language ArtsScore? Make sure to remind yourself of what’s actually tested on ACT English and on ACT Reading .

For top strategies for scoring a 36 on ACT English, check out out this article .

Check out our best-in-class online ACT prep program. We guarantee your money back if you don't improve your ACT score by 4 points or more.

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