One mistake students make when preparing for the ACT essay is to assume that the essay format will be similar to the SAT test. This is
not the case. The SAT and ACT writing sections have several key differences, so each
merits slightly different test prep strategies.
Remember: Even though the essay portion on the ACT is technically optional, I highly recommend students always take the ACT with Writing because many colleges (like University of California) will not accept an ACT score unless the essay portion was taken on the same day.
For the essay, I really like the College Panda's ACT Essay: The Battle-tested Guide because the person who gives the advice has experience testing for the New ACT Essay prompt (most guides rely on outdated material for this section). Not every college requires the ACT Essay, but many do, so I always recommend sitting for this section.
Every student preparing for the ACT exam needs to purchase a copy of The Official ACT Prep Guide. That is a no-brainer because this book has real, copyrighted tests for ACT Inc., plus really good answer explanations. The Official ACT Prep Guide also has three, real ACT practice essay prompts as well as a discussion of student responses and scores to a given prompt.
If you have read the several articles on my website, you know I am very big on taking an ACT practice test to get accurate diagnostic ACT scores. Why? Because if you do not have an accurate diagnostic score, how will you know how best to prepare for the exam? Or if you have your results from a previous test (and you want to score higher), try out a couple of the tips above or invest in some great ACT prep materials.
Several times each week, I post articles and test taking tips about the SAT and ACT tests as well as college admissions. These blog entries are a great way to keep current with what is happening in high school test prep and college admissions. So please bookmark this page (or subscribe to my RSS feed) and let your friends and family know about TestPrepCoach.com!