The ACT Writing Test

The ACT offers an optional 40-minute writing test component.

See What Colleges Have Decided about the Writing Test.

The ACT writing test complements the English and reading tests. The combined information from these tests tells postsecondary institutions about students’ understanding of the conventions of standard written English and their ability to produce a direct sample of writing.

Why the ACT writing test is optional

Because postsecondary institutions have varying needs, we offer the ACT writing test as an option.

  • Postsecondary institutions are making their own decisions about whether to require the results from the ACT writing test for admissions and/or course placement purposes.
  • Students will decide whether to take the writing test based on the requirements of the institutions they are considering.

Students are not required to take a test that they do not need to take, thus incurring unnecessary expense, and institutions have the freedom to require the tests that best meet their information needs.