You have decided to take the ACT in San Ramon while thinking of applying to, or already applying to, the colleges of your preference.

The ACT’s writing or essay section is designed to test your writing abilities and critical thinking skills. The essay must be written in 40 minutes.

However, it is optional, which means it may or may not be required. It depends on your high school, or your chosen college, or your chosen major. If the college or university you’re applying to requires you to submit an essay, then you should take it. If they don’t require you to submit an essay, then there’s no need to take the ACT writing or essay section.

It can also be a personal decision. If you want to impress your dream college with a well-written essay – whether they require it or not – then, by all means, take it. It will be a bonus to your application!

There’s no denying that the ACT writing section has gained more popularity as time passed, and a lot of students would want to include that in their college application. If the decision to take the essay is yours alone, then you should be aware of the stress that goes along with it (not to mention the stress that you will also encounter in other areas of the test).

Plus, taking the essay section may also require you to spend a bit extra cash. The cost for taking the ACT test is $46 without the essay; with the essay, the cost is $62.50. So depending on your academic goals and/or financial situation, it’s up to you whether you should or you should not take the ACT writing section.

If you are firm in your decision to take the writing section for reasons that you want to see how well your writing and critical-thinking skills are, then you should prepare in advance just like what you would do for other sections. Practice your writing prompts. It’s also good to get help from your teachers and mentors who will give their opinion and feedback on you’re your material.

You can also look up to a list of colleges and universities that do require an essay as part of the admission requirements. Go to — it has an updated list of the colleges and universities that have reported to the ACT in regards to their decision to include the ACT San Ramon essay as a requirement for college admission.