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Writing portion of ACT and SAT tests no longer required

Colleges now require graded high school essay

Senior+Natalie+Aune+studies+for+the+writing+portion+of+the+ACT.+Many+colleges+recently+dropped+their+ACT%2FSAT+writing+section+requirement+and+now+accept+graded+high+school+essays+in+its+place.
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Writing portion of ACT and SAT tests no longer required

Senior Natalie Aune studies for the writing portion of the ACT. Many colleges recently dropped their ACT/SAT writing section requirement and now accept graded high school essays in its place.

Senior Natalie Aune studies for the writing portion of the ACT. Many colleges recently dropped their ACT/SAT writing section requirement and now accept graded high school essays in its place.

Hayley Westwood

Senior Natalie Aune studies for the writing portion of the ACT. Many colleges recently dropped their ACT/SAT writing section requirement and now accept graded high school essays in its place.

Hayley Westwood

Hayley Westwood

Senior Natalie Aune studies for the writing portion of the ACT. Many colleges recently dropped their ACT/SAT writing section requirement and now accept graded high school essays in its place.

Ethan Meisler

According to the seniors’ guidance counselor Heidi Cosgrove, one reason colleges no longer require the ACT and SAT essay is due to the tests being fairly new and uninformative.

“I think one of the reasons it has been optional by some schools is that it is such a subjective measurement. Colleges were not sure how to use those scores,” Cosgrove said. “And that is often a common theme I hear from admissions representatives.”

Senior Dylan Gruye said he is glad the essay is no longer required because of the stress it induces.

“It’s pretty good because the essay is kind of a lot of work and not enjoyable to take,” Gruye said. “You sit there for a couple hours and then they throw an essay in your face after doing hundreds of questions. It’s a bit much.”

Cosgrove said she still recommends students take the essay test, because if they end up applying to a college that requires it, they will have it done.

“If they end up looking at a school that requires the ACT essay, then they have to go back and do the whole test again, so what I tell students, in terms of what you lose by taking the ACT with writing, is time, money and some energy,” Cosgrove said.

According to Cosgrove, before the essay section of the test was introduced, colleges still managed to accept and deny students smoothly, the essay is not the end all be all.

“When I was doing this and the ACT didn’t have the writing, students were still fine with their application and admissions,” Cosgrove said. “I haven’t seen a really huge piece of an admissions decision weigh solely on the writing component of the ACT.”

Gruye said the new structure of sending in high school essays is better than the previous essay format.

“I honestly think that’s a better way of measuring kids’ writing abilities. I feel like in the timed ACT essay, I felt very rushed and underprepared,” Gruye said.

According to Cosgrove, writing work demonstrates some depth to a college applicant because it gives them a face.

“There are really students that can express themselves through a writing component,” Cosgrove said. “That’s why a lot of colleges allow essays or personal statements, because it’s a way for students to become three dimensional on a two-dimensional application, and I would not want to lose that powerful component.”

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About the Writer
Ethan Meisler, ??

Hi, my name is Ethan and this is my first year on Echo. Outside of school, I enjoy downhill skiing, mountain biking and hanging out with friends. I love...

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