Created by the American College Testing, or ACT, the compass exam is a computerized college-placement test that evaluates a student's math, reading. Provide specific examples to support your position. Your essay will score lower if you only speak in general terms. You should feel free to ask testing center staff how much time you will be allowed at your school and plan your writing time accordingly. When asked to write an essay, most writers find it useful to do some planning before they start writing, and to do a final check of the essay when it is finished. It's important to note that this suggestion is included to encourage you to write a fully formed response, rather than simply writing one or two sentences. However, the exact numbers of words and paragraphs in your essay are less important than the clarity and development of your ideas. Before writing, carefully read the prompt and make sure you understand itreread it if you aren't sure. Decide how you want to answer the question in the prompt. If you choose to do some prewriting, ask testing center staff if you may use paper they provide to organize your thoughts. Make logical relationships clear by using transitional words and phrases. Do not wander off the topic. End with a strong conclusion that summarizes or reinforces your position. Your essay will be evaluated according to how well you: Formulate a clear and focused position on the issue defined in the prompt.
Plan before you write, some writers like to plunge right in, but this is seldom a good way to do well on an essay writing task. Planning and prewriting gets you thinking about the issue, suggests patterns for presenting your thoughts, and allows you to come up with ideas for introducing and concluding your essay. Think of how best to organize the ideas you are going to present in your essay. You can refer back to these notes as you write the essay on the computer.