Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo

Addressing a low writing score in counselor letter?


15 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 workingmom

workingmom

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 775 posts

Posted 15 October 2017 - 09:03 PM

So as we're putting together da college applications and realized we will have to send his ACT with the writing score (which was mediocre) but highest composite. It's frustrating bc earlier ACT has strong best math and English.
Should I point out in the LOR that's he's succeasfully taken eng complete 1 and 2 at the local college (dual enrollment) and also taking a communication class which is writing heavy this semester. Feeling like I need to address that without bringing to too much attention?

Man I wish I had thought for him to retake the writing and full act in fall to maybe bypass that test score.

He's applying extremely competitive engineering schools and a back up state school. But some of them do require writing.

#2 JanetC

JanetC

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2503 posts

Posted 15 October 2017 - 09:39 PM

What was the score?

#3 workingmom

workingmom

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 775 posts

Posted 15 October 2017 - 09:55 PM

7/12

#4 regentrude

regentrude

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26000 posts

Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:30 AM

No. They will see his DE classes on the transcript.

Most colleges do not care about the writing score, probably because the timed essay on a topic the student has never given any thought before is a highly artificial assignment and does not represent the student's actual writing ability.

7/12 is not so low as to require an explanation.


Edited by regentrude, 16 October 2017 - 06:31 AM.

  • 8FillTheHeart, MerryAtHope, JanetC and 2 others like this

#5 Julie of KY

Julie of KY

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3346 posts

Posted 16 October 2017 - 07:10 AM

I would not call attention to it. The duel enrollment classes will speak for themselves.


  • MerryAtHope, WoolySocks and PinkyandtheBrains. like this

#6 workingmom

workingmom

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 775 posts

Posted 16 October 2017 - 07:43 AM

Thank you for your suggestions. I was really second guessing our strategy last year and looking at all the kids still taking exams into senior year was like man should we have....

Oh well ds#2 will hopefully practice the writing a bit more

#7 plansrme

plansrme

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5635 posts

Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:13 AM

Did you ever watch Whose Line Is it Anyway, the Drew Carey improv show that was loosely disguised as a game show?  One of his oft-repeated lines was, "The show where everything's made up, and the points don't matter."  I think ACT and SAT writing scores are the same way.  The GRE writing score is as well, while we're at it.  I have read that the graders have 2-3 minutes to read and score each essay.  Nothing worth reading can be scored in 2-3 minutes.  Ad coms are not stupid; a 7/12 is not going to hurt your son's chances in the least.  I would skip the writing entirely unless I had a school for which it was mandatory, and those are few and far between.  (I've noted on here before that the ACT's list of schools where the writing score is required is wrong; it was wrong for every school for which I checked.  Check the schools' own websites.)


  • MerryAtHope and TarynB like this

#8 Chanley

Chanley

    Trying to Figure It All Out

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 240 posts

Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:52 AM

I would not call attention to it. If they ask for essays they are going to see a good representation of your kid's writing anyway. 


  • WoolySocks likes this

#9 workingmom

workingmom

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 775 posts

Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:07 AM

I guess my hesitation was that the score with the highest composite also had that writing. So while we only did the writing for 2 schools now we're sending the score bc it highlights the highest composite and then all the schools will see the writing even if they didn't need to

#10 WoolySocks

WoolySocks

    Googleplex master of hivedom

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9233 posts

Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:38 AM

I think fewer and fewer schools are paying attention to those writing scores. Especially those that require essays. My kid will take the ACT hopefully one last time in the spring. His sophomore score was 8/12 and who knows if it will come up or not. He has terrible handwriting. But is getting an easy A and much kudos from the professor of his dual enroll comp class. He will be applying to a big range of schools up to the top end regardless of that ACT writing score. I wouldn't sweat it or draw attention to it. Plenty of schooled kids have the same type of scores.

ETA - I actually think having a writing teacher write a recommendation could be a strategy too. We're considering this. And BTW my kid has a 35 English Act score too.

Edited by WoolySocks, 20 October 2017 - 03:27 PM.

  • luuknam likes this

#11 JanetC

JanetC

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2503 posts

Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:52 AM

My kid got an 8, and I'm not sweating it.
  • RootAnn, fourisenough, WoolySocks and 1 other like this

#12 Plateau Mama

Plateau Mama

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1667 posts

Posted 19 October 2017 - 08:51 PM

My kid got a perfect score on the ACT (as in 36 in every section). She got a 5 on AP Lang. ACT writing....8. After some research I realized the Writing, for unknown reasons, tends to be scored really, really low. I wouldn't sweat it. If the school doesnt require writing I am pretty sure they won't take it into consideration.

#13 KarenNC

KarenNC

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6335 posts

Posted 19 October 2017 - 09:01 PM

8 here as well with 34/35 in English on the ACT since 9th grade and A's in all English classes, including currently in her third DE one. I didn't address it. We also got to add in the odd year where they totally changed the writing score scale, so she has 8/19/8 over the three years of tests (the ACT serves as our yearly required testing for the state). Very frustrating.



#14 hopskipjump

hopskipjump

    Not Afraid To Ask The Stupid Questions

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 549 posts

Posted 20 October 2017 - 01:04 AM

Another vote to ignore it. My dd's another with a perfect English score and a shockingly low writing score. She'd taken AP English and had great college entrance essays. She CAN write in NORMAL circumstances. ACT testing is NOT normal circumstances. DD also has terrible handwriting, which makes it worse.

 

She is the type who has to write an outline, then a rough-rough draft, THEN finally a rough draft, and then a final for most papers. The rough-rough draft is to just get her ideas out of her head (the outline SHOULD accomplish this, but it just doesn't click).

 

So, springing a subject/topic on a student like that - and then giving them (what is it, 40 minutes?) to write down some genius stuff?  Nah. Not gonna happen. :lol:

 

We didn't bring attention to the score and no one - not one school - asked or seemed to care about it (and some schools did ask or make comments about other aspects of her application. It was like they all sort of discounted the validity of the writing portion of the test, even though the administration required it for admittance)



#15 Lori D.

Lori D.

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11602 posts

Posted 20 October 2017 - 02:31 PM

No. They will see his DE classes on the transcript.

Most colleges do not care about the writing score, probably because the timed essay on a topic the student has never given any thought before is a highly artificial assignment and does not represent the student's actual writing ability.

7/12 is not so low as to require an explanation.

 

Totally agree.

 

And not only what Regentrude says, but many colleges do not look at the essay scores because it is a subjective score -- human opinion-based, and not objective like math problems with answers that are right or wrong.

 

And if you've ever read any articles about what a "mill" the grading of the essays is, you can also understand why colleges don't take the essay scores into consideration: when graders can only spend 2 minutes or less per essay to assess, and when graders are given "guidelines" to make sure their the graded essays for the day have an overall score pattern that falls on a bell curve. 



#16 Milknhoney

Milknhoney

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 375 posts

Posted 20 October 2017 - 02:42 PM

We do not look at the writing score in the university admissions office I work in.