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The College ACT Optional Writing Section
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What's the secret to getting a great score on the ACT writing section?
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The College ACT Optional Writing Section
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Many colleges require that you do take the optional writing section of the ACT, so you want to check with the college admissions office for the colleges that you're interested in to see if it's required.
Well, if you register for the ACT writing section, you're going to have to write a 30-minute essay after you take the four other ACT subtests. Basically, what you're going to do is answer a specific prompt or topic that they're going to give you. They're going to ask you things like, "Should there be a dress code at your school?" "Should students get their driver's license if they have bad grades?" ACT questions really ask your opinion on a specific issue. Then, you're going to write an essay in which you present your point of view and analyze the complexity of the question that they're asking.
To get a great score on the ACT writing section you want to write a long, well-organized, and neat essay. Thirty minutes is not a lot of time to write a completed essay, so after about 3-4 minutes of thought, you have to basically start writing it. There are many ways of organizing ACT essays, but one way that might be effective is to start with an introductory paragraph in which you clearly state your opinion on an issue. Then have a paragraph where you briefly touch on the opposing point of view; the ACT test readers seem to really like a student who recognizes the complexity of an issue. So, the first paragraph is your intro, the next paragraph is where you sort of touch on the opposing point of view, and then you want to hit 2-3 paragraphs, each devoted to your specific point of view and one reason backing up your point of view. Then you want to end with a concluding paragraph.
The most common mistakes students make is one of timing; thirty minutes goes by really quickly. Many students just take away too much time thinking about what to write, and not enough time actually writing the essay. In the thirty minutes that you're allowed, you want to present a completed essay. Other mistakes is that they don't organize their thoughts in a coherent manner, and they don't have several paragraphs devoted to a specific reason supporting their point of view. Students also fail to mention opposing points of view. The ACT essay readers really do like it when you consider opposing viewpoints. Some other mistakes people make is poor handwriting. If the test readers can't read your essay, you're not going to get a very good score. You also want to be careful of not making too many technical errors; too many spelling mistakes, or writing too many syntactically-confusing sentences that make it difficult for the readers to really understand what you're trying to say.
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