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About the SAT/ACT and LSAT

About ACT Exam

Preparing for the Writing

There are many ways to prepare for the ACT Writing Test. You may be surprised that these include reading newspapers and magazines, listening to news analyses on television or radio, and participating in discussions and debates about issues and problems. These activities help you become more familiar with current issues, with different perspectives on those issues, and with strategies that skilled writers and speakers use to present their points of view.

Of course, one of the best ways to prepare for the ACT Writing Test is to practice writing. Practice writing different kinds of texts, for different purposes, with different audiences in mind. The writing you do in your English classes will help you. So will practice in writing essays, stories, poems, plays, editorials, reports, letters to the editor, a personal journal, or other kinds of writing that you do on your own. Because the ACT Writing Test asks you to explain your perspective on an issue in a convincing way, writing opportunities like editorials or letters to the editor of a newspaper are especially helpful. Practicing a variety of different kinds of writing will help make you a versatile writer able to adjust to different writing assignments.

It's also a good idea to get some practice writing within a time limit. This will help build skills that are important in college-level learning and in the world of work.

Here are some ways you can strengthen your writing 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.
  • 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. Writing emails is good practice, but realize that writing for school and business is usually more formal than an email to a friend.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Try some extracurricular writing. School newspapers, yearbooks, and creative writing clubs offer opportunities to express ideas in writing.
  • 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. You might think others are more talented, but you know more than you think. Confidence and skill will grow with the more writing you do. Practice and work lead to achievement.