Exams Know-how

Everything About ACT Writing Syllabus: ACT Writing Topic, Templates, Tips & More

Rohan Deshmukh

ACT exam is a multiple-choice exam used for graduate admissions at universities and colleges in the United States. You must take the ACT exam if you want to graduate from any American university. The four portions of the ACT exam are Science, Mathematics, English, and Reading including the fifth section, Writing, which is optional. The ACT exam, which is similar to a college entrance exam, is a standardized method of evaluating a student's aptitude.

Although the ACT writing part is not optional, it is vital to understand ACT wrting syllabus to understand the kind of questions asked and how to prepare for them because many institutions need writing sections during admissions.

Of course, other ACT conditions must be met as well to be admitted to the college of your dreams, but here we have focussed on ACT essay topic, along with ACT writing template and some important tips.

  Table Of Content

  1. What is the ACT Writing Section?
  2. Why is the ACT Writing Section Optional?
  3. ACT Writing Section Exam Pattern
  4. Act Writing Syllabus
  5. Act Essay Syllabus
  6. What Colleges Require Act Writing?
  7. How to Prepare for Act Writing Section?
  8. List of Books to Prepare for Act Exams
  9. ACT Essay Tips

What is the ACT Writing Section?

Before delving deeper into the syllabus or question types of ACT writing topics, let us make ourselves acquainted with its structure or layout:

  • You will attempt the writing topics following the four multiple-choice sections if you enrol for the full ACT with writing.
  • Your result in the writing section does not influence your composite score.
  • The time is 3 hours and 35 minutes if you opt for the writing section. Otherwise, it is 2 hours and 55 minutes.
  • The writing section consists of a 40-minute essay evaluation that examines your writing abilities. So it is advisable to skim through ACT essay examples while preparing for the ACT exam. 
  • The applicant will be given three passages and three perspectives to complement them. The objective will be to analyze the passages extensively and provide a detailed write-up.
  • The ACT Writing Exam has a 6.5 average score. A score of 8 or above is preferred by extremely selective institutions. Scores of 10, 11, and 12 stand out and demonstrate strong writing abilities.

So these are the ACT writing rules or the answers on how to prepare for ACT writing. 

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Why Is the ACT Writing Section Optional?

As undergraduate schools have diverse requirements, the ACT writing test is an optional choice. College and university universities act independently regarding whether to require the ACT writing exam scores for admittance and/or course allocation.

Students will opt on whether or not to take the writing test depending on the requirements of the institutions they are considering.

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ACT Writing Section Exam Pattern

The ACT writing questions are framed in a way that the topic provided to you will be divided into two sections.

  • First, a paragraph addressing a subject of international significance.
  • Following the introduction paragraph, you will be presented with three perspectives on the subject.

One of the best ACT writing tips here to start drafting an essay that clearly outlines your point of view on the problem, examines the correlation between your standpoint and supports your perspective with a well-defined theory. You can decide whether to conclude with one perspective or develop your unique perspective.

Your ideal ACT writing template should be as follows:

  • First, construct an introduction statement for your argument.
  • In the first paragraph itself, describe your take on the topic and provide essential facts about your perspective.
  • In the second paragraph, add further logic and detail your opinions.
  • Do remember to include closing remarks.

ACT Test Day Checklist

ACT Writing Syllabus

The ACT writing syllabus examines the candidate's writing aptitude and knowledge of comprehension. There is a theme mentioned that is linked to any complicated issue in society, encompassing legal, social, political, and economic spheres. Your essay is expected to explain the problem and its impact, causes, and solutions.

The writing exam yields five results: a single subject-level writing score on a scale of 2–12 and four domain scores based on an analytic grading criterion. The subject score is calculated by taking the rounded average of the four domain scores.

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What Does the ACT Writing Syllabus Evaluate? 

The ACT writing syllabus mainly focuses on your high school level knowledge of language and composition. It also takes into account your presence of mind and creative outlook. Listed below are some points that ACT writing syllabus seek to evaluate:

  • Grades in this domain reflect the capacity of the candidate to produce constructive ideas and engage effectively with many views on a given issue.
  • This domain's scores indicate the opportunity to discuss concepts, offer a reason, and support an argument. Skilled writers elucidate and analyze their thoughts, debate consequences, and use examples to demonstrate. They assist the reader in comprehending their point of view on the subject.
  • This domain's scores indicate the capacity to organize thought with precision and intent. Organizational decisions are critical to effective writing. Proficient candidates organize their essays whereby the correlation between concepts is apparent, and they direct the reader through their debate.
  • Scores in this domain indicate the ability to use written language to convey concepts. Grammar, structure, phrasing, and semantics are all used by effective writers. They are also mindful of their readers and adapt their writing style and tone to effectively communicate.

Preparation Books for ACT

ACT Essay Examples

As it has already been mentioned, the writing section of ACT contains one writing problem that discusses a complex subject and offers three opposing opinions on it. Below is a sample ACT writing question sample:

ACT Essay Examples

Source: Writing Sample Essays | Sample Essay 1 | ACT

Participants will be allocated a theme related to any challenging issue in society, such as the judicial, societal, political, and economic domains.

Most Common Essay Topics

The ACT essay themes only ask about a narrow subset of concepts. And the best part is that we have a list of themes ready for you.

There is a total of 8 topics:

  • Intelligent machines
  • Public Health and Individual Freedom
  • Kid Stuff
  • Extracurricular Activities and Codes of Conduct
  • Globalization
  • Information Accessibility
  • Novelty
  • Job Changes

 While there are numerous themes covered in the ACT essay part, there is only one ACT Writing Prompt that must be memorized. These are referred to as the Core Question and Core Perspectives. This is the pattern that will appear on every ACT Essay prompt you get.

ACT Exam Pattern and Syllabus

What Colleges Require ACT Writing?

College and university universities make their own decisions about whether to accept ACT writing exam scores for admission and/or course placement. Students will decide whether or not to take the writing test based on the requirements of the universities they are interested in attending.

According to the latest 2022 list of which schools require ACT writing as a requirement for admission. About six schools in the United States still mandated the ACT with Writing.

  1. Martin Luther College
  2. Soka University of America
  3. United States Military Academy
  4. University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
  5. Wyoming Catholic College
  6. Yellowstone Christian College

If you are seeking to apply to any of the above schools, you need to take the ACT with Writing, otherwise, your application will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered.

ACT Preparation Tips

How to Prepare for ACT Writing Section?

There are several ways to prepare for the ACT writing exam. Some ways or ACT writing tips are listed below:

  • Frequent reading and writing. Read as much as possible from diverse sources. Learn about contemporary societal concerns and form your ideas.
  • Practice writing in as many multiple formats and contexts as possible.Aspire for well-developed, well-organized writing that is exact, unambiguous, and succinct.
  • There are numerous books available to help you prepare for this part. Use the official booklet provided to prep for the exam. It gives you a quick rundown of what to expect in the exam.
  • There are numerous online and offline channels classes available to assist students to prepare for the ACT exams.
  • To help prepare for the exam, one can hire private tutors too.

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List of Books to Prepare for ACT Exams

Practice makes one perfect. The more you practice the better you become. And these books are just the thing you need to get your practice ON!

  • The Official ACT Prep Guide
  • The Princeton Review’s Premium ACT Prep
  • The ACT Black Book
  • Up your score: ACT, The Underground Guide
  • Barron’s ACT Premium Study Guide

There are many more books are available according to your needs.

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ACT Essay Tips

You must invest some time in preparation before writing the ACT essay and do a final inspection of the essay when it is finished. To help you draft an excellent essay, we recommend the following ACT essay tips for you. 

  • Understand the various passage types.
  • Make your thesis and primary ideas obvious to establish the overall focus of your essay.
  • Keep track of your time when taking practice tests. This will allow you to better schedule yourself during the exam and avoid wasting time.
  • The more you practice, the quicker you will become.
  • Practice by reading magazines and newspapers, listening to news reports on television, and engaging in discussions and debates.
  • Always go over your answers after finishing.

So that was all about ACT writing rules and related aspects. To score well in any section of the test you must begin your preparation in advance to acquire the much needed expertise and confidence. For any guidance and assistance, get in touch with our counselors at Yocket now! 


Frequently Asked Questions About ACT Writing Syllabus

When do I need ACT writing scores?

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What does ACT writing syllabus evaluate?

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