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

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

Those of us into the test prep globe happen monitoring proposed changes towards the ACT – set to produce this fall of 2015 – for over a 12 months now. ACT happens to be significantly close-handed about these changes, besides the periodic marketing-driven rush of info across the migration to online ACT screening or 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 internet site, the autumn 2015 ACT mini-redesign seems like a primary reaction to the brand new SAT. See on your own:

Now, as soon as the ACT states “clients,because they pay ACT directly for the test)” it means colleges and universities – not students and their families, despite the write my essay fact that this latter group are the ACT’s direct customers (. ACT’s concern that is primary to keep relevant in the wide world of college-readiness evaluation into the eyes of major organizations with whole divisions (called “admissions”) organized round the task of evaluating university readiness in prospective pupils.

Therefore, it must be not surprising that pupils are the final to see the noticeable modifications to your ACT. Nearly all of our ACT pupils discovered the changes that are upcoming from us or from a message to Sept. 12th ACT test-takers sent by ACT simply fourteen days ago.

So what should ACT pupils know about these modifications?

Aside from the gradual rollout of online assessment, you will find three essential alterations to ALL upcoming ACT test times that pupils should know:


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, 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 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 is always to simulate practical dialogue on issues of general social import (versus teenager-only import, like in previous ACT Writing prompts), the type of discussion pupils are going to have for an university campus – either in a college seminar or just in the hall that is dining.

Here’s a glance at the formal sample prompt ACT has released on their site:

Additionally, the new-and-improved ACT composing prompts will soon 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 give evidence to back up their claims?)
  • Organization (do the basic ideas movement logically and obviously?); and
  • Language Use and Conventions (what are the major grammatical or spelling errors to distract your reader?)

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

So that the brand new prompts may have nearly the scoring that is same, plus the Writing component continues to be split through the overall Composite score (average of four test ratings). Nevertheless the tactics had a need to excel in the ACT Writing have gotten a bit more that is sophisticated exciting!


The ACT checking 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 groups that enquire about one viewpoint, one other, or themes that are common.

The test manufacturers prize this format as it simulates an activity university students often perform: reading intertextually. Possibly you’re an english comparing that is major commentaries, or a biology major navigating multiple perspectives from the evolution of predatory eels. Both in situations, pupils want to read critically while making inferences in what one writer might state about another.

The most useful planning with this passage structure is multi-layered independent reading. To the end, we’ve frequently craft reading lists for our pupils on subjects these are typically passionate about and invested in – whether that be video games or politics that are global.

Lean in to the reading procedure separately or having a tutor and you’ll be willing to encounter this task on test day!


The ACT Science section is mediated by three basically distinct passage platforms – each designed to evaluate a discrete ability connected with science coursework in college or doing research in technology professions. Until this autumn, it was reasonably simple to evaluate which passage format confirmed passage fits into, thereby unlocking the “hidden” assessment features associated with the passage and permitting the student to quickly navigate those features.

Nonetheless, it appears the ACT has recons >on their internet site , indicating they start to see the platforms as more flu >Real ACT Prep Guide (2nd Ed., released 2011).

So what performs this noticeable change mean for students?

Some pupils might possibly not have also pointed out that these passages had been governed by such strict recommendations; but this really is standardized testing, and learning the standardizations is a sizable section of beating the test. If such a thing, this modification implies that pupils will have to discover the newest requirements regulating these ACT Science passages – or develop the hard abilities those standardizations are created to evaluate.


There are some changes that are additional will minimally influence pupils using the ACT. These consist primarily of added subscores to your ACT Score Report, including:

  • a combined English/Language Arts (ELA) subscore;
  • a Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) subscore;
  • a Text Complexity Progress subscore; and
  • a Progress Toward Career 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 students to either ACT or SAT prep, because of the rollout of likewise “rich” score reporting by the redesigned SAT in Spring 2016.

The takeaway: both ACT and SAT come in constant cycles of modification, both in purchase to contend with one another and also to keep up to date with the consensus that is latest around job and university readiness. That doesn’t suggest they truly are going away any time soon, however it does imply that your typical high schooler will should be conscious of the ways by which their coursework and/or separate study life could possibly be disposing them toward one test or perhaps 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 free of charge assessment. For lots more university prep guidelines and techniques, follow us on Twitter and Twitter , or sign up to our publication.

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

Component V of y our series in the Redesigned SAT, this post clarifies how a the SAT is changing and exactly how students can figure out which test to take. For a picture that is broad of modifications into the test, see component I here .

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