The essay portion of the SAT and the Writing section of the ACT are both optional. At press time, according to the Princeton Review, only 15 colleges require the SAT Essay and only 17 colleges require the ACT Writing section. Just a note – ALL of the University of California System schools require the SAT Essay. However, the odds are that if you are applying to colleges outside of California, it’s unlikely that they require the essay.
There are additional schools that recommend submitting the SAT Essay or the ACT Writing – and some schools do use this part of the test for placement purposes or other consideration. Therefore, it’s important to check with each school regarding their standardized test policies. You don’t want to find yourself shut out of applying to a school or being considered for a scholarship that requires the SAT Essay or ACT Writing.
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