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Which Colleges Require ACT Writing?

When you sign up for the ACT, you can choose to take an optional Writing section. Because this section requires extra time, money, and effort, many students decide to opt out of this section and just stick with the regular ACT.

While this section does make the ACT more challenging, there are many factors you should consider before you decide whether or not you are going to sign up for the ACT with the Writing section. The last thing you want is to pass on taking the ACT Writing section only to find out that the top schools on your list of dream colleges require this test for admittance.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re deciding if you want to take the ACT Writing section:

What does the ACT Writing test measure?

The ACT Writing test measures how well you are able to write and how prepared you are to handle college-level writing.

Throughout your high school career, your writing skills should continue to improve with each English class you take. The ACT Writing test will determine how well your writing skills have developed since your freshman year.

Your ACT Writing score, which will fall on a scale from 2-12, is based on your strengths in four areas: Ideas and Analysis, Development and Support, Organization, and Language Use. If you have a strong command of these skills, you will score highly on this section and demonstrate that your writing skills are up to par.

Because of this, earning a high score on this test will make your application look more impressive to college admissions officers, and it can significantly boost your chances of getting into a competitive school.

Which schools require ACT Writing?

There are a handful of colleges and universities that require students to take the ACT Writing section if they apply to their school.

The ACT Writing section of the exam is a good way to help your application stand out, and it shows admissions officers that you have what it takes to do well with writing assignments in college. Furthermore, unlike other application essays and writing samples, which offer students plenty of time to plan, edit, peer-review, and proofread, the ACT Writing test has a strict time limit and gives admissions officers a better idea of a student’s writing ability.

As of February 2021, there are only five schools that explicitly require ACT writing for incoming freshmen students:

  • Soka University of America
  • United States Military Academy- West Point
  • University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
  • University of Montana Western
  • Wyoming Catholic College

However, even though many colleges do not require applicants to take this section, most institutions still highly recommend that applications complete the ACT Writing test.

Even if the schools on your list don’t require the ACT Writing section, you should still consider taking this test, especially if you are trying to get into highly selective colleges and universities.

Preparing for the ACT Writing test

In order to do well on the ACT Writing test, you will need to demonstrate your ability to think critically about the presented prompt and provide a well-written essay within 40 minutes.

If you want to receive a 12 on your essay, you will need to be able to craft a strong argument that picks a specific side, provide reasoning and evidence to support your claim, organize your essay so that it is easy to follow, and use varied sentence structure and strong vocabulary.

This is often easier said than done, especially considering the time constraint of this section.

One of the best ways to help prepare for the ACT Writing section is to work with a private tutor or take an ACT prep class. These resources can help you learn key strategies, like writing more than a page and integrating evidence into your body paragraphs, that will help you do well on this test.

Prep Expert only hires expert instructors, so you know that you’ll be in good hands. Every tutor and instructor scored in the 99th percentile on their own standardized tests, and they have the expertise necessary to help take your writing skills to the next level.

Prep Expert has helped thousands of students earn the scores they need to get into competitive schools and earn countless dollars in scholarship money.

Enroll in one of our ACT prep courses or sign up for private, online ACT tutoring today when you visit our website.

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