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 The ACT Writing Test is an optional, 30-minute test which measures your writing skills. The test consists of one writing prompt, following by two opposing.

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Presentation on theme: " The ACT Writing Test is an optional, 30-minute test which measures your writing skills. The test consists of one writing prompt, following by two opposing."— Presentation transcript:


2  The ACT Writing Test is an optional, 30-minute test which measures your writing skills. The test consists of one writing prompt, following by two opposing viewpoints. Students are to respond to the prompt by taking a viewpoint and supporting it. Students can choose to either take one side of the viewpoint, or come up with their own viewpoint.  Students must sign up for the ACT Plus Writing in order to take the writing test. The writing test follows the four multiple choice sections on the test. The writing test is completely separate of the four multiple choice tests and will not effect your score on these tests to an degree.  Students will receive two scores for the writing test. The first is combined English/Writing Score on a scale of 1 through 36, and the second is a Writing subscore on a scale of 2 to 12. Included with your scores, comments will also be given to each individual student on their essay.

3 Your essay will be graded on the following points:  expressing judgments by taking a position on the issue in the writing prompt  focusing on the topic for the entire essay  developing a position by using logical reasoning and supporting your ideas  organizing ideas in a logical way  using language clearly and effectively

4  Pace yourself – you’re given 30 minutes to read the prompt, think of what to write about, organize your thoughts, and write your essay. It is recommended to plan your essay before you start writing. This is recommended since you will most likely not have time to draft, revise, and recopy your essay.  Plan – some writers like to simply dive in and start writing the essay without any prior planning. However, for a timed essay, it’s recommended to “pre-write” in order to organize your thoughts, become familiar with the issue, and figuring out how to interestingly introduce and conclude your essay.  Review your essay – definitely take a few minutes before the end of the 30 minute session to re-read your essay and correct any grammatical, usage, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.

5 Building Your Skills:  Read and write frequently. Read as much as you can from a variety of sources, including plays, essays, fiction, poetry, news stories, business writing and magazine features.  Become familiar with current issues in society and develop your own opinions on the issues. Think of arguments you would use to convince someone of your opinion. Taking speech and debate classes can help you think through issues and communicate them to others.  Practice writing in different formats and in as many real situations as possible. Write letters to the editor, or letters to a company requesting information.  Try some writing in extracurricular activities. School newspapers, yearbooks, and creative writing clubs offer opportunities to express ideas in writing.

6  Share your writing with others and get feedback. Feedback helps you anticipate how readers might interpret your writing and what types of questions they might have. This can help you anticipate what a reader might want to know.  Learn to see writing as a process—brainstorming, planning, writing and then editing. This applies to all writing activities.  Listen to the advice your English teacher gives you about your writing.  Strive for your writing to be well developed and well organized, using precise, clear and concise language.  Remember that everyone can improve writing skills. Confidence and skill will grow with the more writing you do. Practice and work lead to achievement.

7 Prompts used for the ACT Writing Test:  describe an issue relevant to high school students  ask examinees to write about their perspective on the issue  As a starting place, two different perspectives on the issue will be provided. Examinees may choose to support one of these perspectives or to develop a response based on their own perspective.

8 Sample Prompt  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?  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.  The standard directions in the second paragraph above are a part of all prompts used on the Writing Test.

9  Pace yourself  The ACT Writing Test gives you 30 minutes to read and think about the issue in the prompt, and to plan and write your essay. When asked to write a timed essay, most writers find it useful to do some planning before they start writing, and to do a final check of the essay when it is finished. It is unlikely that you will have time to draft, revise, and recopy your essay. Therefore, taking a few minutes to plan your essay is a much better strategy than writing a first draft with the intent to copy it over for the final essay.  Prewrite  Some writers like to plunge right in, but this is seldom a good way to do well on a timed essay. Prewriting gets you acquainted with the issue, suggests patterns for presenting your thoughts, and gives you time to come up with interesting ideas for introducing and concluding your essay. Before writing, carefully consider the prompt and make sure you understand it � reread it if you aren't sure. Decide how you want to answer the question in the prompt. Then jot down your ideas on the topic: this might simply be a list of ideas, reasons, and examples that you will use to explain your point of view on the issue. Write down what you think others might say in opposition to your point of view and think about how you would refute their argument. Think about how to organize your ideas. You will be instructed to do your prewriting in your Writing Test booklet. You can refer back to these notes as you write your essay on the lined pages of your answer folder.  © 2010 by ACT, Inc.

10  Write  Once you're ready to write your essay in the answer folder, proceed with the confidence that you will have attentive readers who are interested in your ideas. At the beginning of your essay, make sure your readers see that you understand the issue. Explain your point of view in a clear and logical way. If possible, discuss the issue in a broader context or evaluate the implications or complications of the issue. Address what others might say to refute your point of view and present a counterargument. Use specific examples. Vary the structure of your sentences, and use varied and precise word choices. Make logical relationships clear by using transitional words and phrases. Stay focused on the topic. End with a strong conclusion that summarizes or reinforces your position.  Is it advisable to organize your essay by using a formula, like "the five-paragraph essay"? Points are neither awarded nor deducted for following familiar formulas. Some writers find formulas stifling, while other writers find them vital. The number of paragraphs in your essay is less important than the clarity and development of your ideas. Most writers find that their ideas have a way of sorting themselves out at reasonable length and in the right number of paragraphs.  Review your essay  Take a few minutes before time is called to read over your essay. Correct any mistakes in grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling. If you find any words that are hard to read, recopy them so your readers can read them easily. Make any corrections and revisions neatly between the lines. Do not write in the margins. The readers who score your essay take into account that you had only 30 minutes to write your essay. Within that time limit, try to make your essay as polished as you can.  © 2010 by ACT, Inc.

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