ACT Writing

ontothefray22

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Dec 22, 2016
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What do you need for writing? I see the scores are now in single digits but before my scores were double digits...confused now
 

MidwestDad

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Feb 15, 2017
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I can tell you that DS did much better on SAT essay vs ACT writing so try both tests.
2016 he got 23 (best) on act with 33 composite; 7/7/6 out of 8 on SAT essay with 680 reading score. His 2nd ACT writing was 18. His handwriting is awful (like mine) so I think that impacted on the poor scorers.

I am convinced the test makers regularly switch up the scoring system to make themselves seem relevant. SAT went thru 'recalibration' out of 1600 then to 2400 then back to 1600 . . . I mean really.
 

carolrich

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Feb 13, 2017
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I don't really think writing is huge. I knew kids in my grade who got 5's on AP Lang and the AP Lit exams but got 23 and below on ACT writing - it's more about following the ACTs format. There are formats online that you can follow. I looked over an outline to follow the day of the ACT and went from a 25 to a 33. ACT writing isn't about skill it's more about forming a clear and concise argument.
 
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Love4monsters

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Apr 29, 2016
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Pay attention to the guidelines as stated above. Son was advised to retake the ACT for a better writing score with a 35 in math and no other area below a 33. His scores increased along with the writing but he had shoulder surgery and took in a sling. Was appointed in the 1st wave but was a bumpy road to the prize. The guidelines gave him structure and the method to win the writing game.
 

jml1717

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Mar 4, 2015
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I can tell you that someone I know got in with a 7 overall in the writing section.
Out of the 18 possible total?
My DS is a junior and got a 790 math 700 reading but only a 12 out of 18 on the essay. He has terrible handwriting. What kind of scores does USMA want to see on the essay portion. He is planning on taking the SAT again to improve.
 

USMAcand9821

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Feb 2, 2017
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Out of the 18 possible total?
My DS is a junior and got a 790 math 700 reading but only a 12 out of 18 on the essay. He has terrible handwriting. What kind of scores does USMA want to see on the essay portion. He is planning on taking the SAT again to improve.
That would be 7 out of 12 on the ACT. My above average scores in the other areas may have made up for the not so good writing portion scores. I haven't taken the SAT in over a year so I don't have a relevant writing score. The point is, I don't think the writing score is crucial. Yes, like everything else, it depends on your competition in the district/state/candidate pool. But a below average writing score isn't going to destroy your chances.
 

Love4monsters

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My son had the equivalent of a 7 when it was 1-36. When he took it again using the guidelines from online it went to a 10 out of 12. I was concerned when it came back as a 19 but his HS counselor said it was fine. His RC emailed early August about retaking it. I will say he had a friend with a lower writing score and she was not advised to retake it but she also hasn't been appointed.
 

Neek

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Feb 6, 2017
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What do you need for writing? I see the scores are now in single digits but before my scores were double digits...confused now
There is a new format for the ACT that has not been fully incorporated into the USMA candidate portal system. The old system consisted of the #/36 score, but now the format is out of 12 for writing, where the scores of two "scorers" are averaged and rounded to make your final score.
 

MidwestDad

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Feb 15, 2017
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There was another thread on the forums hee where a USMA source stated that the actual essays are sent to the English Faculty for review; not just the rote ACT scores.
As has been pointed out here the ACT score seems to be very sensitive to their specific essay format vs the content / quality of the writing.
I think that explains why DS did far far better on SAT essay score vs ACT.
 

Love4monsters

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Apr 29, 2016
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Son's RC said if he raised his score, it wouldn't have to go in front of the English department. That makes more sense now. He wasn't thrilled about retaking the whole ACT for a writing score especially in a shoulder sling and essentially having one hand to use. He was more concerned about his scores going down due to being unable to work quickly. He didn't want to be a "one hit wonder" in regards to ACT. His previous highest scores were from one sitting in June.
 
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