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     The ACT Assessment Writing Test hasn't gotten the attention of the New SAT test, at least not in the New Jersey area. That should come as no surprise, as the SAT seems to be preferred (or at least more widely taken) by students in our area.

     In light of upcoming changes though, I suspect that some students will give the ACT more consideration. The reasons are simple. The SAT will include an essay as of March 2005. That means that every student taking the SAT will:

a) Have to pay the new and higher fee (unless eligible for a few waiver)

b) Have to take the longer test, which includes the essay

     On the other hand, students choosing the ACT test will have the option of taking the writing test. Those who need it (those who plan on applying to at least one college that requires or recommends the writing test) will of course take it. Many students will not fall into that category.

     Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again. Itís important to do a little research to find out which testóand perhaps which portionsóare appropriate for each student. You can start that research here, but as ACT points out, it would be a good idea to confirm the test(s) needed with each college you may apply to.

     If we put the additional $12 or so aside, could the longer test be harmful? I donít have access to any research to support the thought, but common sense tells me that longer testing means greater stress, and I have to guess that might influence scores beyond the writing portion of the test.

 

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