ACT Test Writing

What is ACT Writing Section?

ACT test is a career planning tool that measures the eagerness of the students to pursue college studies by monitoring their academic progress. By taking ACT, the students are able to demonstrate the knowledge and the competence that they have acquired in high school. In other words, ACT test is an inspiration for the students to continue their college studies and helps them to fulfill their academic goals.

Test Sections of ACT

ACT contains the following five sections:

  • English

  • Mathematics

  • Reading

  • Science

  • Writing Test (Optional)

ACT Writing Section

ACT Writing Test is an optional section in which the students have to respond to a write-up within 30 minutes. This test is not required by all colleges. Therefore, ACT test writing should be taken by students according to the requirements or norms of the colleges in which they have applied or intend to apply. Those students who intend to take ACT test writing should either log on to or try to check with the colleges directly to know whether they would need to take this test. High school counselors can also provide information on the requirement of the colleges as far as taking ACT test writing is concerned. However, the scores of this section are accepted by all colleges, although they may not consider it as essential criteria for measuring the college readiness of the students who are taking ACT.

Content of ACT Writing Section

The writing task that is included in the ACT test writing evaluates the writing skills of the students pertaining to high school English classes or the basic skills of composition that are required while entering the college. In this section, the students are provided with one write-up that describes an issue and two perspectives on which the issue is to be assessed. The test takers are required to put their responses on the issue based on one of the views that is given with the topic or they may develop on their own perspective. The scores of ACT will depend on how effectively a test taker describes his/her point of view. However, there will be no effect on the scores even if a test taker decides to use his/her point of view instead of the views that are already provided along with the essay in ACT test writing.

ACT Writing Test Schedule

ACT Test Writing is available on the following schedules:

  • In United States and its territories, Puerto Rico and Canada, the writing tests can be taken on the six national test dates determined by ACT.

  • In other locations, the writing test can be taken on the four international test dates.(

  • For specially arranged tests, the students can consider six writing tests that are held within two weeks for US and its territories, Puerto Rico and Canada. However, for other locations, only four special writing test dates are provided.

Preparing for taking the ACT Writing Test

The optional Writing Section of ACT is one of the challenging aspects for taking ACT. The test takers have to understand the issue that is presented in the write-up along with the viewpoints, plan their responses and review what they have written at the end. The test takers will only get 30 minutes for this entire task on the day of the test. Therefore, taking a few practice writing tests is a good idea to score well in this section. The ACT Writing test is a paper-based test in which the test takers should respond with a pencil. The exception is available only for students with disabilities or for those who cannot write manually.

Cost of the ACT Writing Section

The fees for ACT test writing are $49.50 for the year 2012, which allows the students to take score reports for four colleges that they have chosen. However, to avail this facility, the test takers must provide the valid codes for all these colleges while registering for ACT.


The scores of ACT writing test are considered by colleges for the purpose of admission and allotment of courses. The Writing test also supplements the scores of ACT English Test.

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