ACT Essay: Fabricated personal story. Please Help!!

<p>So I blindly took the ACT in October, and in my essay, I got a little carried away with my personal examples, and I basically made-up a back story about me and my family. The prompt asked if I thought teenagers should have bank accounts and credit cards, and in one of my arguments, I stated that my father has a different occupation than his actual one, and that I have saved up a lot of money for college (both of these are not true but sounded good with my argument). I didn't mean to be malicious; I was just having fun and thought it boosted my essay. Not knowing much about the test, I also was under the impression that colleges only receive the essay score and not an actual copy of the essay.</p>

<p>Since this information does not match up with my common app or my financial info, am I screwed? Do colleges only care about the quality of writing? Do they even have time to read the essays? </p>

<p>I have been worrying about this a lot. In fact, I made a CC account just to ask this question. I feel very foolish. </p>

<p>In case it it matters in any way, I am applying to Washington University in St. Louis, Vanderbilt, Duke, Brown, Northwestern, Wesleyan, Dartmouth, URichmond, Umass, URochester. I have a fairly decent SAT score of 2200, but I was hoping for a good ACT score to compliment it.</p>


<p>so you used "artistic license". Did it say that the essay had to be factual? If anyone asks you, tell them it was a timed test, and you wanted to be able to make your point of view understood. You felt these were better examples.</p>

<p>It did not say that it had to be factual, and I have read other threads about making up information in SAT and ACT essays, but this is pretty blatant and can be easily checked. I feel it won't end well if the colleges read the essay and realize I am lying...</p>

<p>I don't think they're allowed to read your essay unless you give them permission. When you send your score in, only your score shows, not you essay. Besides, I think you're allowed to make up a story for you ACT. It shouldn't matter.</p>

<p>No, colleges CAN access the essay. I think it was well written, but I feel like the fact that I lied is a bigger deal than you guys are stating it is...</p>


<p>Don't worry about it.</p>

<p>Keep cool, it's perfectly ok to use made-up examples in the essays!
Colleges DO NOT look at essays unless they believe something is wrong (like the essay u sent in your app is fake)... think carefully about it, many colleges are now enforcing the 500 word limit policy, so it wouldn't make any sense for them to have a bunch of meaningless additional essays to read...
And in the unlikely event they do, they will be looking for a way to confirm your writing abilities, not factual data about you or your family!!!</p>

<p>No one ever said that an ACT/SAT essay had to be completely non-fiction. You'll be fine.</p>

<p>ok that's relieving. I hope you guys are right! I don't even have my scores yet, but I felt I did fairly well. I was worried I wouldn't be able to send the scores now cause of the essay.</p>

<p>The only thing I would worry about is the fact that you don't usually use an anecdote in an ACT essay :) but, the ACT definitely likes anecdotes more than the SAT does. The SAT really likes details from academia. I wouldn't fret, and if the colleges inquire about it, just tell them the truth, you were stretching the truth to support a point in an essay.</p>

<p>Well I would never use an anecdote on a SAT essay unless it really fit the topic, but it seems ACT topics are more tailored to personal responses. I can't think of any academic examples to the question of credit cards and their positive/negative effects...unless you count the Olsen Twins movie as academia haha</p>

<p>Nobody cares. You are allowed to write fiction. They just want to judge how you write.</p>

<p>Ok this is making feel a lot better! If any college reads the essay and asks anything, I'll just be completely honest with them. Any more opinions?</p>

<p>I am under the impression that you can make up anything you want to write as it is the writing style, support of arguments, etc, and not factual information that count. </p>

<p>That said... I am a Mom, but heard that somewhere.</p>

<p>^ I don't think it's a good idea to make up supporting evidence, ie statistics, etc. That's different from what OP is talking about.</p>

<p>I think it is perfectly fine to make up stuff. The essay is supposed to be graded on style and grammar, not on content. However, when my son took the SAT he had a rather low score on his essay so he wondered if it was because it was so boring. Second SAT and he is faced with the generic type essay question for teens know, the question about overcoming obstacles/challenges. S waxed (he said) poetically and tragically for 5 full paragraphs about his father's alchoholism and violence and how the biggest hurdle was forgiving his father as he was on his deathbed dying from cirrhosis (I believe my son spelled this correctly) of the liver. Since S's father drinks a glass or two of wine a week I was surprised at how vivid my son seemed to make his story but he says lots of TV has helped....particularly medical information--House, ER, Bones...all supplied great background information. He said it was a lot more fun writing a fictional essay and he was so tired of the whole silly process he felt it was time to have a bit of creativity in the process. Anyway...surprise, surprise...a close to perfect essay score.
It is news to me that the SAT doesn't like anecdotes. I think the essays vary quite a bit, topic-wise.</p>

<p>^^I would totally use that. Love it. <em>Makes Mental Note</em></p>

<p>Anyway, you have to relax. No college has enough spare manpower to read everyone's standardized test essays...I don't even think they have access to them in the first place.</p>

<p>well again, they definitely do have access to them, but I guess it's not really a big deal. </p>

<p>I have another question. If I take test again WITH Writing ( just for the sake of schools that super-score) on December 10, will I get my scores in time for regular decision? </p>

<p>Also, since I already took the Writing, can I take just the multiple choice to avoid the problem above and send both tests in to schools that want writing, or does it not work that way?</p>