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35 on ACT. Should I retake it to raise my writing score?

rentacoprentacop Posts: 70Registered User Junior Member
edited September 2011 in ACT Preparation
Hello,
So I took the ACT in June and received a composite score of 35 (33 English, 35 Math, 35 Reading, 35 Science). But I received only an 8 on the writing portion, giving me a combined English/Writing score of 30. As I am hoping to apply to top universities including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale, I really would like my writing score to be a bit higher.
Anyways, is it worth it for me to retake the ACT with the sole purpose of raising my writing score? I see no chance of raising my composite.
Thanks!
Post edited by rentacop on
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Replies to: 35 on ACT. Should I retake it to raise my writing score?

  • TechnoMusicTechnoMusic Posts: 190Registered User Junior Member
    Not really. The ACT isn't superscored so it would be difficult to raise your writing score, while still keeping the other scores high. It's your call though.
  • goldandblue92goldandblue92 Posts: 556Registered User Member
  • 1asdfghjkl1asdfghjkl Posts: 38Registered User Junior Member
    how did you do so well on the science?
  • soontobeseniorsoontobesenior Posts: 167Registered User Junior Member
    If you want to go into something like journalism or english then you should raise it. OR if you were going to a writing intensive liberal arts school. But Harvard and Stanford are not liberal arts schools they are national universities. An 8 is not all that terrible.

    IF it didn't bring your combined english/writing down below a 30 then you should really be fine.
  • pianospianos Posts: 8Registered User New Member
    What was your reading strategy?
  • pianospianos Posts: 8Registered User New Member
    ****rentacop, what was your reading strategy?
  • nina1228nina1228 Posts: 936Registered User Member
    It couldn't hurt really. If you get a lower score then don't send it. It probably won't make that much of a difference, however, if the rest of your application is outstanding. I doubt that an 8 on the essay (providing everything else is good) will bar you out of any school.
  • rentacoprentacop Posts: 70Registered User Junior Member
    Okay, thanks a ton.
    I made an appointment with my counselor today (a huge hassle, since we're still on break), and she basically said that it wouldn't be worth the effort to retake it, especially since writing won't matter too much in my desired major of engineering/physics.
    She DID, however, say that because my ACT writing score wasn't outstanding, it would be important for me to score higher than an 8 on the SAT essay.

    In response to pianos, I basically just read the passages once, not really skimming per se, but just enough to know what's going on. Then I answered the questions, looking back at the passage when needed (which was often). I skipped the hard questions until I finished all the questions for that section.
  • itsme123itsme123 Posts: 1,104Registered User Senior Member
    what's your counselor thinking/saying? why do you have to take sat? all schools take act in lieu of sat.
  • cortana431cortana431 Posts: 5,015- Senior Member
    Honestly, the writing score doesn't matter that much at all. The composite score is really what colleges care about.

    Source: Father is a veteran high school guidance counselor, friends with various admissions officers.
  • zonis20zonis20 Posts: 59Registered User Junior Member
    Why would colleges, many of whom have supplemental essays in addition to the common app one, care about 1 timed essay that was graded by 2 random people in 5 minutes using a dumb rubric? That never happens in college and anyway, an 8 isn't even that bad. Don't listen to your counselor. Don't take the SAT unless you think you have a great chance at a 2400, but even that would barely make a difference.
  • nina1228nina1228 Posts: 936Registered User Member
    I think the essay is sometimes used to compare your admissions essay to. So the 8 would be compared to your essay to verify that someone else didn't write it for you. That's really the only use for it anyway.
  • cortana431cortana431 Posts: 5,015- Senior Member
    I think the essay is sometimes used to compare your admissions essay to. So the 8 would be compared to your essay to verify that someone else didn't write it for you. That's really the only use for it anyway.

    ........Which would be really, really stupid and useless because I have a feeling 99% of applicants to any school don't write their college essays in a 30 minute period and decide WHAT their topic will be in that same period. I have a feeling an essay written over the course of a few days or a week with revisions and outside advice would come out a lot better than a essay written in 30 minutes without prior knowledge of the topic.

    So no.
  • jessez2007jessez2007 Posts: 28Registered User New Member
    I think I'm going to be in the same boat. I got a 35 composite with a 36 in English but my essay hasn't been scored yet. I know that I wrote extremely poorly and likely scored a 6-7 on the essay. Will colleges still consider my 35 composite or will it all drop after the test?
  • tj1994tj1994 Posts: 68Registered User Junior Member
    Yes, the schools you mentioned do use your combined writing/english score as part of your composite. I would retake. I had the same dilemma after the April ACT: 35 composite with 7 writing. I retook for the Writing this month, and although my score went down (34.5 v 35.25) I got an 11 on the Writing. It's your call but just my 2 cents.
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