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How to Get the "Write" Skills for College

How important are writing skills for getting into and succeeding in college? Put it this way: If American Idol's Simon Cowell were an admissions judge, he'd call the ability to write the "X Factor." If you've got it, you'll do well -- and colleges want to make sure you've got it!

After all, you have to include an essay with your applications, some colleges require a written entrance exam, and -- not to scare you -- most of your course assignments and exams will require you to write, write, and write some more.Ready to get pen-prepared? Start with these notes from ACT (makers of the ACT Assessment). Pencils up!

  • Book some reading time into your schedule. Whether it's newspaper articles, plays for your lit' class, or Stephen King, any reading you do is good for you, and the more writing styles you digest, the better.

  • Exercise the power of the pen, and don't use up all of your words on homework. Write a letter to a company that's given you good (or poor) service and express your feelings; request information from a college the old-fashioned, snail-mail way; or send a faraway friend a real letter or e-mail, free from 'Net slang.

  • Take a shot at an extra curricular such as the school newspaper, yearbook, or creative writing club. Not only do they have all the benefits of other school activities, but you'll garner writing samples to include with your apps'.

Succeeding in college is up to you -- so why don't you start now on developing the "write" skills!