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

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

Those of us into the test prep globe have already been monitoring proposed modifications into the ACT – set to discharge this autumn of 2015 – for over a now year. ACT is significantly close-handed about these changes, besides the periodic marketing-driven burst of information across the migration to online ACT assessment or the reinvention for the ACT Writing component (otherwise referred to as Essay).

It’s important to contextualize these noticeable changes amidst the SAT overhaul (announced March 2014). In reality, just by the copy on ACT’s site, the autumn 2015 ACT mini-redesign appears like a primary reaction to the brand new SAT. See on your own:

Now, if the ACT claims “clients,” it indicates universites and colleges – perhaps not pupils and their own families, despite the fact that this second team would be the ACT’s direct clients (simply because they pay ACT straight for the test). ACT’s main concern is to keep appropriate in the wonderful world of college-readiness evaluation when you look at the eyes of major institutions with whole divisions (called “admissions”) arranged across the task of assessing university readiness in prospective pupils.

Hence, it ought to be no real surprise that pupils have already been the final to uncover the changes to your ACT. Almost all of our ACT pupils learned about the changes that are upcoming from us or from a message to Sept. 12th ACT test-takers sent by ACT simply a couple of weeks ago.

So what should ACT students know about these modifications?

As well as the rollout that is gradual of testing, you will find three essential alterations to ALL upcoming ACT test times that students should become aware of:


The ACT Writing essay, its optional status already disposing it to higher-scoring students just, will now be 40 moments (versus half an hour, such as yesteryear) and can require the pupil to articulate his / her position for a problem vis-a-vis three other views. What’s interesting about these views isn’t only which they represent authentic roles people within the public sphere could actually hold; additionally they occupy overlapping jobs within the sample “debate space,” often chatting past one another in noncompeting terms. The concept would be to simulate practical dialogue on problems of general social import (versus teenager-only import, as with previous ACT Writing prompts), the sort of dialogue students will likely have on an university campus – either in an university seminar or just at the dining hallway.

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

Additionally, the ACT that is new-and-improved writing would be scored in four (newish) subcategories:

  • Ideas and Analysis (in brief, does the student articulate his / her position demonstrably and efficiently?)
  • Developing and help (does the student provide 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 spelling mistakes to distract your reader?)

Each grader gives the student a rating out of 6, become averaged in to a composite score and put into one other grader’s score that is composite. ( find out more in regards to the scoring that is new right here and a sample ideal score essay response right here .)

Therefore the brand new prompts could have almost the scoring that is same, while the composing component stays split through the overall Composite score (average of four test ratings). Nevertheless the tactics necessary to excel regarding the ACT Writing have gotten a bit more that is sophisticated exciting!


The ACT browsing additionally appears to be integrating the passage that is“paired 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 themes that are common.

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

The most useful preparation because of this passage structure is multi-layered separate reading. To the end, we’ve frequently craft reading listings for our pupils on topics they truly are 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 part is mediated by three basically distinct passage platforms – each meant to evaluate a discrete skill related to science coursework in college or performing research in technology professions. Until this autumn, it is often reasonably simple to evaluate which passage format a given passage fits into, thus unlocking the assessment that is“hidden regarding the passage and permitting the pupil to quickly navigate those features.

Nonetheless, it appears the ACT has recons >on their 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 even realized that these passages had been governed by such strict recommendations; but this is certainly 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 additional changes that 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, Technology, 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 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 may assist tutors and test prep specialists direct students to either ACT or SAT prep, provided 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 modification, both in purchase to take on one another also to keep up-to-date with the latest opinion around career and university readiness. That doesn’t suggest they truly are going away any time soon, however it does imply that your normal high schooler will have to be conscious of the methods by which their coursework and/or separate study life could possibly be disposing them toward one test or even the other.

The very good news? We’re on it.

Us to schedule a free consultation if you’re interested in discussing either the ACT prep process test or discovering which test is >contact. To get more university prep tips and techniques, follow us on Twitter and Twitter , or sign up to our publication.

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

Component V of y our show in the Redesigned SAT, this post clarifies the way the the SAT is evolving and exactly how pupils can determine which test to simply take. For a picture that is broad of modifications into the test, see Part we right 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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