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

Those of us into the test prep globe have already been monitoring proposed modifications into the ACT – set release a this autumn of 2015 – for more than a 12 months now. ACT happens to be significantly close-handed about these changes, besides the periodic marketing-driven rush of information round the migration to online ACT evaluation 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). The fall 2015 ACT mini-redesign looks like a direct response to the new SAT in fact, judging by the copy on ACT’s website. See on your own:

Now, once the ACT states “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 relevant in the wonderful world of college-readiness evaluation when you look at the eyes of major organizations with whole departments (called “admissions”) organized across the task of evaluating university readiness in prospective pupils.

Therefore, it must be no real surprise that pupils have already been the final to critical hyperlink uncover the noticeable changes to your ACT. Almost all of our ACT pupils discovered the changes that are upcoming from us or from a contact to Sept. 12th ACT test-takers sent by ACT just fourteen days ago.

So what should ACT pupils know about these modifications?

Besides the rollout that is gradual of assessment, you can find three crucial alterations to ALL upcoming ACT test times that pupils should become aware of:


The ACT Writing essay, its optional status already disposing it to higher-scoring students just, will now be 40 mins (versus half an hour, as in days gone by) and certainly will need the pupil to articulate his / her position for a issue vis-a-vis three other perspectives. What’s interesting about these views isn’t just that they represent authentic positions people within the public sphere could possibly hold; additionally they occupy overlapping positions when you look at the test “debate space,” usually talking past one another in noncompeting terms. The concept is always to simulate practical dialogue on problems of basic social import (versus teenager-only import, like in previous ACT composing prompts), the sort of discussion students will probably have on a university campus – either in an university seminar or simply just in the dining hallway.

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

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

  • Ideas and Analysis (in brief, does the student articulate his / her place plainly and efficiently?)
  • Development and help (does the student give evidence to back up their claims?)
  • Organization (do the basic tips movement logically and obviously?); and
  • Language Use and Conventions (what are the major grammatical or errors that are spelling distract your 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 composite score. ( study more concerning the brand new scoring rubric right here and a sample ideal score essay response here .)

Therefore the brand new prompts may have almost the scoring that is same, while the composing component stays separate from the overall Composite rating (average of four test ratings). However the tactics needed seriously to excel from the ACT Writing have finally gotten a tad bit more that is sophisticated exciting!


The ACT studying additionally appears to be including the passage that is“paired 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 viewpoint, one other, or typical themes.

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

The preparation that is best with this passage structure is multi-layered separate reading. To the end, we’ve frequently craft reading listings for the pupils on subjects they truly are passionate about and invested in – whether that be video games or worldwide politics.

Lean to the reading process separately or having a tutor and you’ll be prepared to encounter this task on test time!


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

Nonetheless, this indicates the ACT has recons >on their site , indicating they look at platforms as more flu >Real ACT Prep Guide (second Ed., released 2011).

So what performs this change suggest for students?

Some students may possibly not have also pointed out that these passages had been governed by such strict directions; but that is testing that is standardized and learning the standardizations is a big element 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 extra changes that will minimally influence pupils using the ACT. These consist mainly of added subscores into the ACT Score 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 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 experts direct students to either ACT or SAT prep, offered the rollout of likewise “rich” score reporting because of the redesigned SAT in Spring 2016.

The takeaway: both ACT and SAT come in constant rounds of modification, in both purchase to take on one another and also to keep up to date with the latest opinion 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 alert to the methods by which their coursework and/or separate study life could be disposing them toward one test or even the other.

The news that is good? 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 free of charge assessment. For more university prep guidelines and techniques, follow us on Twitter and Twitter , or sign up to our newsletter.

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

Component V of our series from the Redesigned SAT, this post clarifies how a the SAT is evolving and just how pupils can figure out which test to simply take. For a picture that is broad of changes towards the test, see component we here .

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