ACT Plus Writing

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Stormtrooper30, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. Stormtrooper30

    Stormtrooper30 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    I remember reading in multiple spots that USMA requires the writing portion be taken alongside the ACT. Does this mean that I need to have taken the ACT and the writing at least once, or does the score I submit to them have to include the writing as well?

    Maybe this will be less confusing:

    In seventh grade I got a 22 on the ACT (no writing).
    Last year I took the ACT with writing and got a 29.
    I took it again last month without writing and got a 33.

    So according to this would USMA only count the 29 that I got last year? I'm taking it again in February (my math score was not what I wanted it to be). Problem is, I may do worse on this ACT, especially if I add the writing.

    I hope all that made sense.
     
  2. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0
    We tried to find a definite answer to this before my son signed up for his second ACT and no one could tell us for sure. Since the academies superscore, it seems like they should still take your 33, and just take your writing portion separately. But no one could "guarantee" us this, so my son just took the writing a second time (it was the only section he did worse in).

    I do know that our senators/congressman do NOT superscore and take only a whole test score to look at, so you may end up with a different issue with them. Are you a junior? If not, why are you waiting until February? That may be too late. If so, I strongly recommend taking the writing again and just doing your best on all of it.

    Good luck!
     
  3. 2011's Mom

    2011's Mom Parent

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    1
    Many MOCs will superscore but not all. It just depends on the MOC. I recommend calling your MOCs local office and talking to the staffer responsible for nominations. They'll be able to tell you if they superscore or not.
     
  4. Stormtrooper30

    Stormtrooper30 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, sorry for not pointing this out but I am a Junior right now. So I'm not in a hurry, I just hope that it does not affect my SLS application.

    I didn't know that the Academies superscored ACT scores. I thought that you could only do that with the SAT. If I do in fact have to take it again with writing, I'm afraid that my score will go down. I got a 35 in English last time so any sort of low score on the wriing portion will lower my grade.
     
  5. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0
    First of all, the SLS application doesn't require ACT scores at all. I'm assuming you took (or are taking soon) the PSAT, and those scores should be adequate. My son only submitted his ACT scores from 9th grade, and he hadn't taken the writing and they took them (in addition to his PSAT scores, which were much lower comparably) without question.

    Second, on the ACT, the writing portion does NOT affect your English score like it does on the SAT's writing. You still get the same 4 subscores, averaged for the composite, then a separate writing score (on a scale of 2-12). True, there is another "score" that's a combination of your writing and English that kind of forms an extra subscore on your report, but I don't recall my son ever filling that in on an application, nor does it affect your composite.

    Finally, just a suggestion that if you buy one of the Princeton guides, they have a way you can take online versions of the writing (for just a couple dollars each) and have them evaluated with comments. Granted this isn't exactly the same, because you have to type instead of write, but it gets you some feedback and a feel for the time and typical prompts. The first time my son took a writing, he got an 8. He did a bunch of the practices and got an 11 and a 10 on the next two tests. The ACT is far easier (in my opinion) to prepare for the writing on - they're looking for a basic format (that any ACT guide can give you) far more than what you say (HOW you write it, not what you write). Takes about 5 minutes to learn, but then you just have to practice to be able to get it in the short amount of time you have. I taught my 8th grader it before he took the test for practice in June (after his brother had taken the previous 2), and he got a 10 on the writing portion, and he is NOT a writer.

    If you got a 33 last month without the writing, you certainly have the knowledge to learn the basics of the writing test and get at least an 8 (which is more than acceptable) and probably a 10. Interestingly, your scores are very similar to my son's. He took it in 8th grade and got a 26, 9th grade got a 31, then junior year got a 33 and then finally a 35. The last time he only took it because he was determined to get a 36 on the math and was astounded that his English went up 4 points too. So keep trying - you have nothing to lose! Good luck!
     
  6. Stormtrooper30

    Stormtrooper30 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, so SLS doesn't require the writng portion of the ACT (nor does it require the ACT period). That's good news. I'm taking the PSAT on Wednesday and I've been studying for it. Gettng one of those National Merit Scholarships would be great for college.

    I didn't know that the ACT writing part could be so easy. I remember reading somewhere that on the SAT writing they only look at format, but didn't know it was the same for the ACT. I'm going to buy a review book or two for the ACT in order to learn the math formulas and maybe learn a little more about the science and reading sections. I'll be sure to make sure that they contain a writing section as well. Thanks for the help Marciemi.
     

Share This Page