- Course type: Self-paced
- Available Lessons: 24
- Average Lesson Length: 8 min
Eligible for Certificate: Yes
Certificates show that you have completed the course. They do not provide credit.
Watch a preview:chapter 1 / lesson 1What is the ACT Writing Test?
Course SummaryOur test practice course is the quickest and easiest way to get ready for the ACT Writing test. Our video lessons explain the topics you'll be tested on, while the self-assessment quizzes help you gauge how well you understand the material so you know what areas you need to focus on.
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Course Practice TestCheck your knowledge of this course with a 50-question practice test.
- Comprehensive test covering all topics
- Detailed video explanations for wrong answers
About The Course
The ACT writing test is an optional writing component on the ACT that tests essay-writing and related skills. The writing test verifies your ability to write at a high school level and your readiness for college-level writing requirements. You have 40 minutes to complete an essay based on a given prompt. The writing test is intended to be taken by aspiring college students, with the scores reported to schools a student would like to apply to. Some schools specifically require the ACT plus the writing exam.
The ACT is given six times per year in the U.S., on specific dates and at certain locations; international students have five test dates to choose from annually. The writing test can be taken on the same day. Some colleges and universities require ACT scores be submitted with college application packets. Even if your potential college doesn't require the writing portion, it will likely still accept your scores.
ACT Writing Registration and Preparation
Registration for the ACT is accepted online; it's also possible to request and return a registration packet by mail. You're required to choose a testing date and location, and submit a photo for identification purposes on testing day. Once registered, you can print out your admission ticket for the day of the test. The writing test requires a fee in addition to the standard ACT testing fee. Your scores will be sent to you, your high school, and up to four postsecondary schools; choosing additional schools, or changing your test day or testing location results in additional fees. High school students experiencing economic hardship may ask for a fee waiver.
The writing test prep chapters included in this class cover key strategies and tips for success, like planning an essay and advanced writing skills. You'll learn methods for writing a strong argument and fixing mistakes in your essays. You can measure your progress by watching video lessons and completing quizzes so that you know where you need to spend your study time before testing day. On testing day, you'll need your admission ticket, your photo identification, and several #2 pencils. Cell phones, books and study aids, and unapproved pens and pencils aren't permitted in the testing center.
ACT Writing Scoring and Score Reports
Students who take the writing test can expect mailed score reports in 5-8 weeks. You'll get a writing sub-score as well as scores for each of the four domains that the writing test covers. Your writing test scores are based on how well you develop and make your argument, and how well you organize your thoughts into a cohesive essay that meets the generally accepted standards of English grammar and usage. The range for overall writing test scores is 1-36 and for each of the four domains is 2-12.
Ideas and Analysis
Your essay will receive a score in this domain based on how well you develop ideas and offer different perspectives about the specific issue you're writing about. Use our video lessons to help you learn how to identify the audience you'll be writing for and determine the purpose of your essay. You can also brush up on brainstorming and idea generation methods.
Development and Support
Your writing needs to explain the ideas and concepts you present in your essay, enhance your argument and offer supporting details and reasons for your argument and ideas. The lessons in our course provide tips on evaluating your reasoning, writing strong arguments and setting the tone for your essay.
This domain determines if your essay presents ideas in a logical and purposeful manner. Video lessons in our course can teach you how to organize your essay and use basic essay structure. You'll review methods for writing an outline and a thesis statement as well as an essay introduction and conclusion.
Language Use and Conventions
Your essay will receive a score in this domain that demonstrates your mastery of standard language conventions, including proper grammar and word usage. You can study up on conventions and language use through our short lessons, which teach you the best ways to write with good diction and use logical sentences, among other related concepts.
The ACT Writing test is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., which is not affiliated with Study.com.
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