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.

Content of ACT Writing 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.

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How ACT Essays are Scored

Your essay will be scored analytically using a rubric with four domains that correspond to different writing skills. Two trained readers will separately score your essay, giving it a rating from 1 (low) to 6 (high) in each of the following four domains.

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Test Taking Strategies for ACT Writing

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.

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