Along with the ACT’s four required sections in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science, students have the option of taking the ACT Plus Writing. Electing to take the Writing section allows students to demonstrate basic writing skills they have learned in high-school English classes and that are necessary in college-level composition courses. The 30-minute ACT Writing section asks you to respond to a prompt that identifies an issue and provides two points of view on that issue; you are then asked to respond, stating your position on the given topic. You can rest assured that as long as you respond on topic with an essay that demonstrates your best writing, you will be in good shape. The position you take will not affect your score—rather, you will be judged only on your ability to write correctly and convincingly in support of whatever position you take. Specifically, the test gauges your skill in providing specific evidence, using proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation, employing effective transitions, and developing and maintaining your position in an organized manner. The clarity and development of your ideas are key.
Furthermore, the ACT typically chooses prompts that are “student-friendly” and that describe issues relevant to those of high school age. Topics that have appeared in past ACT writing prompts include everything from extending high school to five years to encouraging high school students to take more elective courses.
To help you prepare for the Writing portion of the ACT, A+ Test Prep and Tutoring offers customized ACT Test Preparation Programs. Also, A+’s sample ACT and SAT essay prompts with student responses and scoring commentary can help you understand what is expected. We’ve compiled below some sample ACT writing prompts to help prepare you for test day:
- Educators debate extending high school to five years because of increasing demands on students from employers and colleges to participate in extracurricular activities and community service in addition to having high grades. Some educators support extending high school to five years because they think students need more time to achieve all that is expected of them. Other educators do not support extending high school to five years because they think students would lose interest in school and attendance would drop in the fifth year. In your opinion, should high school be extended to five years? (source: ACTstudent.org)
- Some high schools in the United States have considered creating separate classrooms for male and female students in subjects such as mathematics and science. Some educators think separate classes will be beneficial because students will be less distracted from learning. Other educators think having separate classes for females and males will not be beneficial because it seems to support false stereotypes about differences in ability between males and females. In your opinion, should high schools create separate classes for male and female students? (source: A+ Test Prep & Tutoring)
- Many high school libraries use some of their limited funding to subscribe to popular magazines with articles that are interesting to students. Despite limited funding, some educators support this practice because they think having these magazines available encourages students to read. Other educators think school libraries should not use limited funds to subscribe to these magazines because they may not be related to academic subjects. In your opinion, should high school libraries use some of their limited funding to subscribe to popular magazines? (source: ACT.org)
All ACT writing prompts are followed by these instructions: In your essay, take a position on this question. You may write about either one of the two points of view given, or you may present a different point of view on this question. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.
Remember, in addition to these practice ACT writing prompts and tutoring services, A+ also offers free proctored practice tests that can help you sharpen your skills before the big day.
Click below for a free proctored practice test.
Photo Credit: Caleb Roenigk