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Is a good score on ACT writing worth anything?

father05father05 Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
edited November 2010 in College Admissions
I tried this on the ACT/SAT board with no answer

Can a good writing score (10) make up for a bomb of reading and to a lesser extent, english portions of the ACT. My D is not the typical caliber of CCers, but I have gotten a lot of good info here. She scored only 18 on reading, 21 on English, much higher in Math and Science, but still has a low composite. Does that 10 on the writing help her at all, or is it just something to make her feel good? This would be with regard to schools well outside the top 20 or 30, mostly 2nd tier
Post edited by father05 on

Replies to: Is a good score on ACT writing worth anything?

  • gboldmangboldman Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    I'm also interested if the writing means a lot on the ACT. I scored a 10 on the writing and a 30 composite so i was wondering if it would hurt or help me?
  • book_wormbook_worm Registered User Posts: 766 Member
    i have the opposite problem. an 8 on writing, with a 36 composite.

    someone should really answer this question :D
  • d4r7h3v1ld4r7h3v1l Registered User Posts: 915 Member
    book_worm, I hope you're joking...
  • Ephemeral2Ephemeral2 User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 817 Member
    ^^ dude, uncool.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,855 Senior Member
    Depending upon the school, a 10 on the writing portion could get your d exempted from a required freshman writing course.

    But from what I've heard from our college counselors and the admin officers at our state U's-- schools really don't consider the writing score.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,421 Senior Member

    negative, a strong essay score will not offset your D's composite score for admissions purposes. In fact, many colleges don't even use the W score at all since they don't have enough history with it. [But, the UCs do use it.]
    btw: your D's Writing score is scaled from the essay+English subsection, so its likely a 22/23?
  • gboldmangboldman Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    I think the highest you can score on the writing is 12. So wouldn't a 10 be about 30 on a regular scale?
  • father05father05 Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    ^ BBU, actually English + Writing was 23. The 21 was OK for the first time I guess, but the 18 in the Reading just killed her.

    She'll just take this round as a step towards the end of journey and hopefully build from here. She has the June SAT up next, her first try at it.
  • father05father05 Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    Depending on the section, it would be between 30 and 32. 97% level for a 10. 18 in reading is the 35% level and 21 English is 59%. Quite a spread in the language sections.
  • galoisiengaloisien - Posts: 3,741 Senior Member
    It might help in financial aid or scholarships, if writing is a chokepoint...
  • schoolmarmABCschoolmarmABC Registered User Posts: 89 Junior Member
    Bookworm, my daughter got a 7 on the essay on the ACT and a 30 overall ACT composite. The following month she took the SAT and got an 8 on the essay (and a 670 overall writing score) and an 800 reading. She reads constantly.

    However, a high school acquaintance told her about Unleash Your Imagination - FanFiction.Net a month after those 2 tests. She loved it, took her writing binder everywhere, and I mean everywhere, rewriting endings to her many favorite books all the time. The time she used to spend reading novels she switched to writing, as well as reading and critiquing other people's story endings. She did this of her own volition, I didn't know what she was up to (busy with my own life). I became aware of it because I couldn't find her in the store and hunted and finally found her in the juniors section writing in her binder. She said she had just gotten a great idea after having had 'writer's block' and had to write it down then and there.

    4 months after the SAT and ACT, she got 750 equivalent on the PSAT in writing.

    It is all about practice, apparently. She loves to read, but she scored low on writing because all she did was read, not write.
    Try it, Bookworm. See if you have the same level of fun as my D had. You will have the same test results if so, I'm confident. You are an extremely smart kid, but probably lack writing experience, as my daughter did.
  • robarbrobarb Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Also, sometimes you just get unlucky--I got an 8/12 on ACT writing, and an 800 on SAT writing...but if you got a 36 composite, then your high english MC score should offset your low essay score and your composite writing score will look fine (31-32)
  • banjoladybanjolady Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    My son first took the "ACT with Optional Writing" in April, 2010, and received an "8" on the Optional Essay-section (which I thought was pretty good), but alas he only received an ACT composite score of 18. Then he took the ACT without the Optional Essay-section in October 2010 (thinking he'd do better without the Optional Essay), but again alas he only received an "18" composite score. He also doesn't want to take the ACT again nor do any prep for it. Knowing that his High School and our State has an average ACT composite score of 21 (and my son's been in all College Prep classes at his high school), it really devastates me that his ACT score will prevent him from being accepted into many colleges with median ACT ranges of 23-28 (and the trouble is, our family can afford his education without worrying about the price-tag, so no "scholarship-attachment" to a high ACT score is necessary -- now it's just a matter of getting in somewhere other than attending a college which is not rigorous). Right now he has 3 applications in, but now he doesn't want to attend one of the State Schools on his list (originally he thought that this State School would be a great choice, but now he says "it's too far away - 4 hours from home"), so now he's getting cold feet about college other than commuting locally to a Bible College which admits anyone (as low as a 14 composite). What's a mother to do?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,625 Senior Member
    Since you're a full pay, you need to look at some 3rd-tier privates. These are still very good schools, but they will likely take your son.

    What state are you in? What region are you in (since he has a distance preference)? What are the cities that he'll consider?

    What is his likely major?

    Is he a URM? (a minority? If so, which one?)

    Did he take the SAT? maybe he should.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,421 Senior Member

    consider 'test optional' colleges, of which there are several great ones, including Wake Forest. Of course, that might require a longer driver than four hours.

    Optional List | FairTest
This discussion has been closed.