Act essay prompts that are writing to online ACT screening or the reinvention associated with ACT Writing component

Act essay prompts that are writing to online ACT screening or the reinvention associated with ACT Writing component

Those of us within the test prep world have now been tracking proposed modifications to the ACT – set release a this fall of 2015 – for more than a 12 months now. ACT was notably close-handed about these changes, apart from the periodic burst that is marketing-driven of across the migration to online ACT evaluation or the reinvention for the ACT Writing component (otherwise referred to as Essay).

It’s important to contextualize these modifications amidst the SAT overhaul (announced March 2014). In reality, just by the copy on ACT’s web site, the fall 2015 ACT mini-redesign appears like a primary reaction to the newest SAT. See yourself:

Now, once the ACT claims “clients,” this means universites and colleges – perhaps not pupils and their families, even though this second team will be the ACT’s direct customers (because they spend ACT directly for the test). ACT’s concern that is primary to keep relevant in the wonderful world of college-readiness evaluation into the eyes of major organizations with whole divisions (called “admissions”) arranged round the task of evaluating university readiness in possible pupils.

Thus, it must be not surprising that students happen the final to find out the modifications towards the ACT. Almost all of our ACT students learned all about the future changes either from us or from a contact to Sept. 12th ACT test-takers delivered by ACT simply a couple of weeks ago.

So what should ACT pupils know about these changes?

Besides the rollout that is gradual of assessment, you will find three crucial alterations to ALL future ACT test dates that students should know:


The ACT Writing essay, its status that is optional already it to higher-scoring pupils just, will now be 40 mins (versus thirty minutes, as with days gone by) and can require the pupil to articulate his / her place for a problem vis-a-vis three other perspectives. What’s interesting about these perspectives isn’t only which they represent authentic roles individuals in the public sphere could actually hold; in addition they occupy overlapping positions in the sample “debate space,” usually chatting past one another in noncompeting terms. The theory is always to simulate practical dialogue on problems of general social import (versus teenager-only import, like in previous ACT composing prompts), the sort of discussion pupils will likely have for an university campus – either in a college seminar or simply just at the dining hall.

Here’s a review of the sample that is official ACT has released on the web site:

Additionally, the ACT that is new-and-improved writing would be scored in four (newish) subcategories:

  • Ideas and Analysis (in brief, does the learning student articulate his / her place plainly and efficiently?)
  • Developing and help (does the student give evidence to back their claims up?)
  • Organization (do the tips flow logically and obviously?); and
  • Language Use and Conventions (any kind of major grammatical or errors that are spelling distract the reader?)

Each grader will provide the pupil a rating away from 6, become averaged right into a composite rating and put into one other grader’s score that is composite. ( browse more in regards to the scoring that is new right right here and a sample perfect score essay response right here .)

And so the brand new prompts may have almost the scoring that is same, additionally the composing component stays split through the overall Composite rating (average of four test ratings). However the tactics necessary to excel in the ACT Writing have finally gotten a tad bit more that is sophisticated exciting!


The ACT studying additionally seems to be integrating the “paired passage” structure of SAT and PSAT popularity more regularly. We’ve observed the Passage A // Passage B structure in both Humanities and Social Studies genres – equipped with question teams that enquire about one perspective, one other, or themes that are common.

The test makers prize this format as it simulates a job students often perform: reading intertextually. Possibly you’re an english comparing that is major commentaries, or perhaps a biology major navigating multiple perspectives from the evolution of predatory eels. Both in situations, pupils need to read critically and also make inferences as to what one writer might say about another.

The preparation that is best because of this passage structure is multi-layered independent reading. To the end, we’ve frequently craft reading listings for our pupils on subjects these are generally passionate about and invested in – whether that be video games or worldwide politics pay for a paper.

Day lean into the reading process independently or with a tutor and you’ll be ready to encounter this activity on test!


The ACT Science section is mediated by three basically distinct passage platforms – each meant to assess a discrete ability related to technology coursework in university or doing research in technology professions. Until this fall, it was fairly simple to evaluate which passage format confirmed passage fits into, therefore unlocking the assessment that is“hidden of this passage and permitting the student to quickly navigate those features.

But, it appears the ACT has recons >on their site , showing the formats are seen by them as more flu >Real ACT Prep Guide (second Ed., released 2011).

So what performs this change suggest for students?

Some pupils might possibly not have also pointed out that these passages had been governed by such strict directions; but it is testing that is standardized and learning the standardizations is a large section of beating the test. If anything, this change ensures that pupils will have to discover the latest requirements regulating these ACT Science passages – or develop the difficult abilities those standardizations are created to evaluate.


There are some changes that are additional will minimally influence students using the ACT. These comprise primarily of added subscores into the ACT get Report, including:

  • a combined English/Language Arts (ELA) subscore;
  • a Science, Engineering, tech, and Mathematics (STEM) subscore;
  • a Text Complexity Progress subscore; and
  • a Progress Toward Profession Readiness subscore.

Here’s a sneak peek at these subscores an example ACT Score that is new Report

The ACT has done an insufficient job explaining precisely how they calculate these subscores as well as if they actually provide any additional information – let alone any additional predictability of future performance – than the current scores in our view.

Having said that, they could assist tutors and test prep specialists direct pupils to either ACT or SAT prep, offered the rollout of likewise “rich” score reporting by the redesigned SAT in Spring 2016.

The takeaway: both ACT and SAT have been in constant cycles of modification, in both order to contend with one another and also to keep up to date with the consensus that is latest around profession and university readiness. That doesn’t suggest they truly are going away any time in the future, however it does imply that your normal schooler that is high have to be conscious of the methods for which their coursework and/or separate study life might be disposing them toward one test or even one other.

The very good news? We’re on it.

If you’re interested in discussing either the ACT prep process test or discovering which test is >contact us to schedule a free of charge assessment. To get more university prep tips and techniques, follow us on Twitter and Facebook , or sign up for our newsletter.

up-date regarding the New SAT: determining Which Test to simply Take

Part V of y our show regarding the Redesigned SAT, this post clarifies how a the SAT is changing and just how pupils can figure out which test to simply simply take. For the picture that is broad of modifications to the test, see Part we here .

This presentation provides some historical history, a synopsis of changes, sample questions, and recommended test-taking timelines for future graduating classes.

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