The essay portion on the SAT and ACT is confusing for many students and families. It is optional and can be added while registering for a test date. So the question I hear a lot is: Do I have to do the essay on the SAT or ACT?
Unfortunately, the answer is ‘it depends’. Only a small number of colleges require or recommend the writing score from the SAT or ACT test, so most students do not need to include the optional writing on the tests. The University of California campuses still require the essay portion, along with four other colleges. A dozen or so colleges still recommend the essay.