Students everywhere dread writing their ACT essay, but if you understand the ACT essay format, it’s actually much easier than you think. In this article, I’ll show you exactly how to write an ACT essay that will land you a great score . . . just like I did recently.
Why is the ACT essay so different from a regular essay? It all comes down to time and preparation. Usually, you would be given a minimum of a week to research, write and edit an amazing standard essay. Unfortunately, you only get 40 minutes to whip out something to impress the reviewers. The trick to making this work and getting a perfect score is to know what they’re looking for in a written essay.
The ACT essay time is what makes writing it a challenge. If you go into it flustered and nervous, you will fail, plain and simple. My secret to success? Taking the time to plan ahead and prep for the essay section. The new ACT essay is similar to the previous one, but slightly more complicated, which is why you are given 10 minutes extra, over the previous time of 30 minutes. It still requires some serious writing, though, so preparation is essential.
Long before you take your test, you need to have your essay writing techniques down. You can ensure this by practicing and by finding ACT essay examples to use for practicing. With enough practice, it becomes possible to whip out a great essay in just half an hour, leaving you 10 minutes to proofread and edit.
The new ACT essay question presents you with three viewpoints, which you will need to assess and write about. According to the most recent statements from ACT, test takers will need to address one viewpoint, as well as their own.
How should you structure your ACT essay? Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to do.
Introductory Paragraph: Begin by introducing your perspective, as well as those presented in the essay prompt. You should explain what you will be covering in the essay. Don’t go too long with this section, but state your ideas clearly. Pick one of the perspectives to agree with and you’ll find it simpler to write.
Body: You need to write at least three paragraphs for the body, but it’s best to aim for four. The first paragraph should look at one of the perspectives you don’t agree with. The second paragraph will cover the other perspective you don’t agree with. Each of these paragraphs should include very specific examples to illustrate what you’re talking about.
The last two paragraphs (or a long one) will cover your perspective. Make sure you add more information to this section and cover why you believe this is the best option. Write at least two specific examples to make your point.
Thesis Paragraph: The closing part of your essay should recap your argument and make a final point. Keep this fairly short. It only needs 2-3 sentences to get the point across and finish up your essay.
Once you’ve written the ACT essay, take a minute or two to read back over it and correct any errors. Even if you’ve written a wonderful essay, it’s possible to lose points simply by making a grammatical mistake. It doesn’t take long to go over everything and it could make the difference between a perfect score and a lower mark.
This is how I got a perfect score on the new ACT essay. If I can do it, so can you.