You Can Prepare for the ACT Writing Test

In preparation for the ACT, many students take classes, work with tutors and read books full of tips.

But they don’t practice writing.

At Wow Writing Workshop, we believe you really can prepare for the timed writing test. It need not overwhelm you. Wow has an ACT writing class scheduled at Berkley High School Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m., and we’re available for private consults.

Whether you are signed up for the April 9 exam or you are not taking the test until June or later, here are some tips to take the edge off.

Tip 1: Understand the exam: The ACT writing test requires you to take a position and support it with examples in a clear, focused manner. This is not a creative writing exam; it is an opportunity to show that you can organize your thoughts and express yourself on paper.

Tip 2: Keep up with current events: Read the newspaper, listen to news analysis, and discuss pertinent issues with family and friends. Debate both sides, regardless of your position.

Tip 3: Identify the thesis: Find the thesis in each article or analysis. Write it down. How would you defend that thesis? What is the counter-argument? How would you defend it?

Tip 4: Use your resources: There is no shortage of books, websites and other resources with information about the ACT. The official ACT website has great information about the writing test. Check it out.

Tip 5: Practice: Every day, take a sample prompt from the ACT website, a book or a friend, then practice dividing up the allotted time. Include time to review the prompt, outline your thoughts, write your response and review your writing. Wow has numerous sample prompts available. Contact us to find out more.

Tip 6: Write clearly: Use a variety of sentence styles; mix it up with simple, complex and compound sentences. Semicolons are great if you know how to use them correctly; improper use will cost you points. Write in first or third person, using words you can define and spell. If you are not sure how to use a word, don’t test it here!

Tip 7: Consider the big picture: Extrapolate from the essay topic to broader societal issues. (e.g., An open school lunch policy allows students to go home for lunch; it also teaches high school students to take responsibility for their actions.)

Tip 8: Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice, the more at ease you will feel. You can do this! The task may seem challenging, but with a bit of preparation, you will be ready for any prompt at all.

Tip 9: If you are still concerned, give us a call. We’re always here to help.