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

Those of us within the test prep globe have already been tracking proposed modifications towards the ACT – set to discharge this fall of 2015 – for more than a now year. ACT happens to be notably close-handed about these modifications, apart from the periodic marketing-driven burst of information across the migration to online ACT screening or even 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 content on ACT’s site, the fall 2015 ACT mini-redesign seems like a direct reaction to the newest SAT. See on your own:

Now, if the ACT claims “clients,because they pay ACT directly for the test)” it means colleges and universities – not students and their families, despite the fact that this latter group are the ACT’s direct customers (. ACT’s primary concern is to remain appropriate in the wonderful world of college-readiness assessment within the eyes of major organizations with whole divisions (called “admissions”) arranged round the task of evaluating university readiness in possible students.

Thus, it must be no real surprise that pupils have already been the final to find out the noticeable modifications towards the ACT. The majority of our ACT pupils learned all about the future changes either from us or from a message to Sept. 12th ACT test-takers delivered by ACT just fourteen days ago.

So what should ACT students know about these modifications?

Aside from the gradual rollout of online assessment, you can find three essential alterations to ALL future ACT test times that students should know:


The ACT Writing essay, its optional status currently disposing it to higher-scoring pupils just, will now be 40 moments (versus half an hour, like in the last) and certainly will need the student to articulate his / her place on a problem vis-a-vis three other views. What’s interesting about these views isn’t just they also occupy overlapping positions in the sample “debate space,” often talking past each other in noncompeting terms that they represent authentic positions individuals in the public sphere might actually hold. The concept would be to simulate realistic dialogue on dilemmas of basic social import (versus teenager-only import, as with 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 glance at the formal sample prompt ACT has released on the web site:

Moreover, the new-and-improved ACT composing prompts would be scored in four (newish) subcategories:

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

Each grader can give the student a score away from 6, become averaged right into a composite rating and included with one other grader’s composite score. ( find out more in regards to the brand new scoring rubric right here and a sample ideal score essay response right right here .)

So that the brand new prompts could have almost the exact same scoring system, while the Writing component stays separate through the overall Composite rating (average of four test ratings). However the tactics had a need to excel in the ACT Writing have finally gotten a bit more that is sophisticated exciting!


The ACT browsing also is apparently incorporating the “paired passage” structure of SAT and PSAT popularity more regularly. We’ve observed the Passage A // Passage B format in both Humanities and Social Studies genres – equipped with question teams that inquire about one perspective, one other, or themes that are common.

The test manufacturers prize this structure as it simulates an activity university students often perform: reading intertextually. Maybe you’re an english comparing that is major commentaries, or even a biology major navigating multiple perspectives regarding the evolution of predatory eels. Both in scenarios, students have to read critically and then make inferences in what one writer might say about another.

The preparation that is best because of this passage structure is multi-layered separate reading. To the end, we’ve frequently craft reading lists for the students on subjects they have been passionate about and invested in – whether that be on-line games or politics that are global.

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 part is mediated by three basically distinct passage platforms – each intended to assess a discrete ability connected with technology coursework in university or performing research in technology professions. Until this autumn, it’s been fairly straightforward to evaluate which passage format confirmed passage fits into, thus unlocking the “hidden” evaluation features regarding the passage and permitting the pupil to quickly navigate those features.

Nevertheless, it seems the ACT has recons >on their internet site , showing they begin to see the platforms as more flu >Real ACT Prep Guide (2nd Ed., released 2011).

So what does this noticeable change suggest for students?

Some students might possibly not have also pointed out that these passages had been governed by such strict instructions; but this might be standard evaluation, and learning the standardizations is a sizable section of beating the test. Those standardizations are designed to assess if anything, this change means that students will need to learn the new standards governing these ACT Science passages – or develop the hard skills.


There are many changes that are additional will minimally influence pupils using the ACT. These comprise mainly 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 Job Readiness subscore.

Here’s a sneak peek at these subscores an example brand new ACT get 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 may assist tutors and test prep professionals direct students to either ACT or SAT prep, provided the rollout of likewise “rich” score reporting by the redesigned SAT in Spring 2016.

The takeaway: both ACT and SAT have been in constant rounds of change, in both purchase to take on one another and also to keep up-to-date with the latest consensus around job and college readiness. That doesn’t suggest they truly are going away any time soon, however it does imply that your typical schooler that is high should be aware of the methods by which their coursework and/or separate study life could possibly be disposing them toward one test or the other.

The great news? We’re on it.

If you’re interested in talking about either the ACT prep process test or discovering which test is >contact us to schedule a totally free assessment. To get more university prep tips and techniques, follow us on Twitter and Twitter , or contribute to our publication.

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

Part V of y our show from the Redesigned SAT, this post clarifies the way the the SAT is evolving and exactly how pupils can figure out which test to take. For a broad image of general changes towards the test, see component we right here .

This presentation provides some background that is historical a summary of changes, sample concerns, and recommended test-taking timelines for upcoming graduating classes.