Act essay prompts that are writing to online ACT evaluating or even the reinvention regarding the ACT Writing component

Act essay prompts that are writing to online ACT evaluating or even the reinvention regarding the ACT Writing component

Those of us when you look at the test prep world have already been monitoring proposed modifications into the ACT – set release a 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 rush of info all over migration to online ACT screening or perhaps the reinvention regarding the ACT Writing component (otherwise referred to as Essay).

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

Now, if the ACT states “clients,” it indicates universities and colleges – perhaps not pupils and their families, despite the fact that this second team would be the ACT’s direct clients (since they spend ACT straight for the test). ACT’s concern that is primary to keep appropriate in the wide world of college-readiness evaluation within the eyes of major organizations with whole divisions (called “admissions”) arranged across the task of evaluating university readiness in potential pupils.

Hence, it must be no real surprise that pupils have already been the last to find out the noticeable modifications into the ACT. Almost all of our ACT pupils discovered the future changes either from us or from a message to Sept. 12th ACT test-takers delivered by ACT simply two weeks ago.

So what should ACT students know about these modifications?

Aside from the gradual rollout of online screening, you will find three important alterations to ALL future ACT test times that pupils should know:


The ACT Writing essay, its status that is optional already it to higher-scoring pupils only, will now be 40 moments (versus thirty minutes, as with days gone by) and certainly will need the pupil to articulate his / her place on a problem vis-a-vis three other views. What’s interesting about these views is not 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 theory would be to simulate realistic dialogue on dilemmas of basic 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 an university seminar or just at the dining hallway.

Here’s a glance at the sample that is official ACT has released on their site:

Moreover, the ACT that is new-and-improved writing is going to be scored in four (newish) subcategories:

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

Each grader can give the student a rating away from 6, become averaged into a composite rating and put into 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 here .)

So that the new prompts could have almost the scoring that is same, and also the composing component continues to be split through the overall Composite rating (average of four test ratings). But the tactics had a need to excel regarding the ACT Writing have finally gotten a bit more that is sophisticated exciting!


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

The test manufacturers prize this format given that it simulates an activity students usually perform: reading intertextually. Possibly you’re A english major comparing shakespeare commentaries, or even a biology major navigating multiple perspectives in the evolution of predatory eels. Both in situations, pupils want to read critically and work out inferences in what one writer might say about another.

The most readily useful preparation because of this passage structure is multi-layered separate reading. For this end, we’ve frequently craft reading lists for our students on topics these are typically passionate about and invested in – whether that be on-line games or international politics.

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 area is mediated by three passage that is fundamentally distinct – each meant to evaluate a discrete ability connected with technology coursework in university or doing research in technology jobs. Until this autumn, it was fairly straightforward to evaluate which passage format confirmed passage fits into, therefore unlocking the assessment that is“hidden for the passage and enabling the pupil to quickly navigate those features.

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

Exactly what performs this noticeable change suggest for students?

Some pupils might possibly not have even realized that these passages were governed by such strict tips; but this might be standard evaluating, and learning the standardizations is a sizable element of beating the test. If any such thing, this modification ensures that students will have to learn the newest requirements regulating these ACT Science passages – or develop the difficult skills those standardizations are created to evaluate.


There are some extra modifications that will minimally influence pupils 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 Job Readiness need help with essay writing subscore.

Here’s a sneak peek at these subscores an example new ACT get Report:

Within our view, the ACT has been doing an insufficient task describing the way in which they determine these subscores along with when they actually offer any more information – let alone any extra predictability of future performance – as compared to present scores.

Having said that, they may help tutors and test prep experts direct students to either ACT or SAT prep, because of the rollout of similarly “rich” score reporting by the redesigned SAT in Spring 2016.

The takeaway: both ACT and SAT have been in constant rounds of change, both in purchase to compete with one another and to keep up-to-date with the latest consensus around job and college readiness. That doesn’t mean they have been going away any time soon, however it does imply that your normal high schooler will must be alert to the ways by which their coursework and/or separate study life could possibly be disposing them toward one test or perhaps the other.

The very good 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 college prep guidelines and techniques, follow us on Twitter and Twitter , or sign up for our publication.

upgrade from the New SAT: determining Which Test to simply Take

Part V of y our show in the Redesigned SAT, this post clarifies how the the SAT is changing and just how students can determine which test to simply just take. For a broad image of basic modifications to your test, see component we right right here .

This presentation provides some historic history, a summary of changes, test questions, and recommended test-taking timelines for upcoming graduating classes.

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