While the essay on both the ACT and SAT is now optional, many colleges still require a writing score as part of the college application. Preparing for the ACT or SAT essay can be daunting, however, with proper tutoring and guidance, students can achieve strong writing scores that will only help enhance their college applications. SAT. The SAT instructions ask for an analysis of how a persuasive piece of writing was put together. What the SAT does not want is your point of view or to hear the main argument of the passage. Thus, if you express your opinion about the issue at hand or the . On the SAT, this section is called the Essay, while the ACT refers to this section as Writing. While you are not required to complete either of these tests when you take the rest of the SAT or ACT, many colleges require this component for admission. ACT/SAT Essay Prompts and Sample Essays with Comments & Grades ACT and SAT essays are scored on a scale of 1 to 6 (6 being the best) by at least two graders. The scores are then added together for a final composite score. The ACT® essay is a great way to wow universities with your college-ready writing skills. While you can’t be sure what the essay will ask about ahead of time, you can use the same general structure for every ACT® essay! The following provides helpful suggestions for writing your essay.
- SAT Essay: high-scoring student example #1
- Sample ACT Writing Prompt & Essays
- Ten New ACT Essay Question Prompts
- SAT vs ACT: Which Test is Right for You?
- The Differences Between the ACT and SAT Writing Sections
SAT Essay: high-scoring student example #1
Few students will admit this, but having an extra few months every year to complete our education would be beneficial to young people entering a world that is more global and competitive than ever. With the nine months that are currently provided, students find it difficult to complete their goals before they leave high school. Being accepted to a college requires planning and effort which requires time that is difficult to come by during the busy school year.
Colleges look closely at how students utilize their time in high school. Do students do well in their courses? Are students afraid of taking difficult courses? Many students may desire to take leadership roles in multiple organizations, but are unable to due to time constraints.
With an extra few months each year, students will be able to fulfill all of these requirements. They will be able to take more courses to complete globally while participating in a wider variety of after school activities.
Sample ACT Writing Prompt & Essays
With all of the pressures facing teenagers today, many of us struggle to keep a high grade point average. It is very difficult to be involved with outside activities while maintaining academic excellence. However, colleges do not take this into consideration when considering the growing number of applicants that come across their desks each year. Many students who are from other nations such as Japan and China spend much more time in school, and are therefore at an advantage when being compared to American students.
Students in our country need to step up to the global plate and use all twelve months of the year to achieve their goals. Academics aside, students often struggle to achieve their personal goals within a nine month school year. A student may face a choice between an AP Calculus course and a music course.
Which looks more impressive on a transcript? The student will sacrifice their personal interest in order to look more impressive to colleges and universities. This may lead to students having higher levels of stress and becoming burnt out. High school is a turning point for many people.
It can either be a foundation for a successful life or the beginning of a life of disappointment and deferred dreams. A few extra months of education each year may make all the difference. With the additional time, students can take both the courses they want and the courses they need while having more time to work at a reasonable pace and to reduce stress and pressure.
Teenagers work hard to build the foundation for their future, and they need as much time as possible to ensure their success. Score 6 — Explanation This essay reflects effective skill in responding to the task. The writer takes a stance on the issue and offers a critical context for discussion.
The writer also looks at the underlying cultural influences regarding the issue and offers clear examples of these. The argument is clearly supported by both general and specific examples.
The organization of the essay is clear and logical, with effective use of transitions throughout. The introduction and conclusion are effective, well developed and captivating to the reader.
Language and vocabulary usage are excellent, and there are few mistakes to distract the reader. Students already have to go to school for much too long. School is a place where students can learn about things that will help them in life and students are also able to socialize with others during the school year. Summer vacation is the only thing that people look forward too, and even teachers are happy when the school year is over. Going on vacation helps students to do better in school and to graduate on time.
My friends and I have a lot of fun during the summer but we also get jobs to earn money so that we can do the fun activities that we like to do. Score 1 — Explanation This essay shows little skill in replying to the task. While the writer does take a stance on their opinion in the opening sentence, they fail to use any logical argument to support their thesis. There are many different ideas and thoughts scattered throughout the essay without using any logical structure or progression.
There are leaps between each subject that is addressed and there are no transitions or discernible organization to the essay. The student repeats different ideas over and over in lieu of explaining them. Sample ACT Essay — Score 2 If you ask any student if they would enjoy going to school all year, the vast majority would say no. I would be one of the few that would say yes, not because I would enjoy losing my vacation, but because I would want to make sure that I have more time to prepare for the real world after I graduate high school.
Along with this, I feel that we waste a lot of time preparing for the tests that we have to take at the end of the year, and this might make up for the time that we lose when we are doing that. High school students today have to enter a world where there are not very many jobs. Students need to learn more in school and become smarter so that they can get the jobs since many more people are going against them to get these jobs. Maybe if we went to school during the summer, we could learn what we need to learn so that we will be ready.
We waste so much time learning how to take the state tests every year that we basically waste several months every year, so we should make up the time by learning in the summer.
Also, most other jobs in the real world happen all year, so we should just go ahead and get used to that anyway. Score 2 — Explanation The writer shows inconsistent skill in addressing the task. Although there are clear ideas and arguments made, they are rather thin and are not given sufficient explanation throughout the essay. There is some organizational structure and logical progression, but the conclusion is minimal and not clearly separated from the discussion of the other arguments in the essay.
Transitions are present but are minimal and simplistic. Sentence structure and word choice shows some variety. There are minimal language usage errors to distract the reader. Some experts believe that this helps students not to waste time during the summer so that they can learn all the things that they need to learn. Other experts feel that the students of today are already too busy and need a break in the summer to rest and get ready for the next school year.
Ten New ACT Essay Question Prompts
Both sides have strong points but it is my opinion that we should keep the summer vacation in the school calendar. Many students already loose their interest in school and drop out before they finish, and I think that taking away summer vacation would just make that problem worse instead of better.
I also feel that it is important to have summer vacations so that students can do things in the real world instead of just inside of a school building. Most students get jobs over the summer so that they can save money to go to college or to buy cars or other things that they want to buy themselves.
Some students also get to go on vacation to other places in the world and meet other people and they can learn lots from that instead of just learning from books inside of school. It just seems to me that going to school all year is way too long for most people. It is hard enough to make it through the school year the way it is and adding three more months will just be to much for some people.
SAT vs ACT: Which Test is Right for You?
Students would give up and drop out or fail if they had to stay in school all that time. Score 3 — Explanation The writer shows some skill in the writing task. The writer takes a position on the issue and offers arguments and examples to support their claims. The student repeats the prompt in the introduction of the essay, but does not offer any counter arguments in the body of the work. Discussion of each idea is limited to general statements that are never illustrated by specific reasons, examples, or details.
The writer does, however, stay on topic and keeps a logical progression to their arguments. Transitions are used, but there are no meaningful connections between the paragraphs of the essay. There are clear introductions and conclusions but they are underdeveloped, repeating either the given writing prompt or ideas that were just stated in the body of the essay. Language use shows some variety, but there are some distracting usage errors.
Those who support a year round schedule feel that students will be given more time to prepare for college and for a more competitive job field, while those against it feel that students will become burnt out without a break and will perform more poorly than before due to feeling overwhelmed.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each side of the argument, but I feel that having a 12 month school year would be counterintuitive for many reasons, such as a loss of interest and motivation, loss of real life experiences and the fact that three extra months of learning will not solve the bigger issues that face our educational system.
Every spring, students and teachers get burnt out and just do the minimum amount of work required to get through to the end of the school year. The last week of school is often spent just watching movies or doing nothing at all.
The Differences Between the ACT and SAT Writing Sections
With an extended school year this attitude will persist for months instead of a few weeks, and nothing will get accomplished anyway. Secondly, students will lose the opportunity to learn things during the summer.
Yes, it is possible to learn outside of school! Many students get jobs during the summer in order to help with expenses. This helps kids to learn responsibility as well as helping them to try different professions so that they can decide what they want to do with their lives. Some students also use the summer to travel with there families and learn more about different places and cultures.
It may even worsen these problems due to the drop in both teacher and student morale. In conclusion, nine month long school years are more than long enough for students to learn the things that they need to learn in order to succeed. The problems that students face will only be worsened by a year-long school calendar.
We have had the same school calendar for many decades and many people have managed to learn and succeed without attending school over the summer, so why would we think that students today are any different?
Score 4 — Explanation The student displays adequate skill in responding to the task. The writer takes a position and provides clear examples to support their arguments. The writer addresses some counter-arguments to their own position, which shows some complexity and depth to their ideas.
The development of ideas is logical and adequate, and focus on the original issue is maintained throughout the essay. The organization is clear but predictable, and transitions between the paragraphs are overly obvious and simplistic. The introduction and conclusion are clear and somewhat developed. Language and word choice show some variety and proficiency.
However, there are some distracting errors in word usage. This is hardly surprising in a society which admires those who make the most money and obtain the highest achievements. Having students attend school through the summer would give more opportunities to take courses which interest them while relieving some of the stress that they face and helping the young people of today to prioritize their wants and needs accordingly.
Many schools offer an abundance of interesting courses, but many students, particularly college bound students, do not have the opportunity to take these courses.
Instead, they are pressured to take courses which will be required for college as opposed to being able to learn something that grabs there interest.