If you register for the ACT with writing, you take the writing test after the four multiple-choice tests. Your score on the writing test does not affect your scores on the multiple-choice tests or your composite score.
On the ACT writing test, you have 40 minutes to read a prompt and to plan and write an essay in response to it. The prompts on the writing test cover a variety of subjects intended to reflect engaging conversations about contemporary issues, and they are designed to be appropriate for response in a 40-minute timed test.
The writing test describes an issue and provides three different perspectives on the issue. You are asked to "evaluate and analyze" the perspectives, to "state and develop" your own perspective, and to "explain the relationship" between your perspective and those given.
The writing test is a 40-minute essay test that measures your writing skills specifically, writing skills taught in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses. The test consists of one writing prompt that describes a complex issue and provides three different perspectives on the issue.