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Act essay prompts that are writing to online ACT evaluation or the reinvention of this ACT Writing component

Act essay prompts that are writing to online ACT evaluation or the reinvention of this ACT Writing component

Those of us within the test prep globe have already been tracking proposed modifications towards the ACT – set release a this autumn of 2015 – for more than a now year. ACT happens to be notably close-handed about these modifications, besides the periodic marketing-driven rush of information across the migration to online ACT screening or even 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, just by the content on ACT’s site, the autumn 2015 ACT mini-redesign seems like a direct reaction to the brand new SAT. See yourself:

Now, if 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 appropriate in the wide world of college-readiness evaluation within the eyes of major institutions with whole departments (called “admissions”) arranged round the task of evaluating university readiness in prospective pupils.

Therefore, it must be not surprising that pupils have now been the last to find out the changes to your ACT. The majority of our ACT students discovered the future changes either from us or from a message to Sept. 12th ACT test-takers delivered by ACT simply a couple of weeks ago.

So what should ACT pupils know about these modifications?

Besides the gradual rollout of online screening, you will find three essential alterations to ALL upcoming ACT test times that pupils should become aware of:


The ACT Writing essay, its status that is optional already it to higher-scoring pupils just, will now be 40 moments (versus half an hour, like in the last) and certainly will require the pupil to articulate his / her position on a problem vis-a-vis three other perspectives. What’s interesting about these views isn’t just which they represent authentic jobs people into the general public sphere could actually hold; they even occupy overlapping jobs into the test “debate space,” usually chatting past one another in noncompeting terms. The concept would be to simulate practical dialogue on dilemmas of basic social import (versus teenager-only import, like in past ACT composing prompts), the type of dialogue pupils will probably have on an university campus – either in an university seminar or just in the dining hallway.

Here’s a review of the official sample prompt ACT has released on their internet site:

Also, the new-and-improved ACT Writing prompts is supposed to be scored in four (newish) subcategories:

  • Ideas and Analysis (in brief, does the student articulate his / her place demonstrably and effortlessly?)
  • Development and help (does the student provide evidence to back their claims up?)
  • Organization (do the tips movement logically and obviously?); and
  • Language Use and Conventions (what are the major grammatical or spelling mistakes to distract your reader?)

Each grader gives the student a rating out of 6, become averaged as a composite rating and put into one other grader’s composite score. ( find out more concerning the new scoring rubric right right here and a sample perfect score essay response right here .)

And so the brand brand new prompts could have nearly the exact same scoring system, as well as the composing component stays split through the overall Composite rating (average of four test ratings). However the tactics necessary to excel from the ACT Writing have finally gotten a tad bit more sophisticated – and exciting!


The ACT checking additionally appears to be integrating the passage that is“paired structure of SAT and PSAT fame more regularly. We’ve observed the Passage A // Passage B format in both Humanities and Social Studies genres – equipped with question groups that inquire about one viewpoint, the other, or typical themes.

The test makers prize this structure given that it simulates an activity university students often 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 have to read critically and then make inferences in what one writer might state about another.

The most readily useful planning because of this passage structure is multi-layered separate reading. For this end, we’ve frequently craft reading listings for the pupils on topics these are typically passionate about and invested in – whether that be video games or worldwide politics.

Lean to the reading procedure individually or by having a tutor and you’ll be willing to encounter this task on test time!


The ACT Science part is mediated by three basically distinct passage platforms – each meant to evaluate a discrete skill related to technology coursework in university or doing research in technology professions. Until this autumn, it’s been fairly simple to evaluate which passage format confirmed passage fits into, therefore unlocking the “hidden” evaluation features of this passage and enabling the pupil to quickly navigate those features.

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

So what performs this noticeable change suggest for students?

Some pupils might possibly not have even realized that these passages had been governed by such strict directions; but this can be testing that is standardized and learning the standardizations is a sizable 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 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

Within our view, the ACT did an insufficient work explaining exactly how they determine these subscores along with when they actually offer any additional information – let alone any extra predictability of future performance – compared to present scores.

That said, they may assist tutors and test prep experts direct pupils to either ACT or SAT prep, because of the rollout of likewise “rich” score reporting by the SAT that is redesigned Spring 2016.

The takeaway: both ACT and SAT come in constant rounds of change, both in purchase to contend with one another 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 signify your normal high schooler will should be alert to the methods by which their coursework and/or separate study life could possibly be disposing them toward one test or even one 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 consultation. To get more university prep guidelines and techniques, follow us on Twitter and Twitter , or sign up to our newsletter.

enhance in 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 changing and exactly how pupils can figure out which test to simply just take. For the broad image of basic modifications to your test, see Part we here .

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

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