Terri Karol of Prepped & Polished talks about the changes to the ACT Essay section that take effect Fall of 2015.

Last summer, I informed you about changes to the ACT in the future. Well, the future is now. Although most changes are subtle, the biggest change is to the ACT writing test. The enhanced writing test is a 40-minute essay test designed to measure writing skills, specifically, those writing skills that are emphasized in high school English classes and in college composition courses, usually entry-level.

Previously, students were required to write a classic persuasive essay on a prompt relevant to high school students, such as whether there should be a dress code or whether a student should have to maintain a C average to obtain a driver’s license. Now, students will have to consider multiple viewpoints on a contemporary issue, such as globalization, genetically modified foods, or space exploration, evaluate three different perspectives, and provide their own positions.

ACT enhanced writing scoring

Students will be scored in four separate domains. Essays will receive a 2 – 12 on each of four domains: ideas and analysis, development and support, organization, and language use. These four domains will better indicate a student’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help students to improve their scores through targeted practice and to develop their analytical writing ability. Students will receive a new score, an ELA score. It combines scores from English and reading tests with the writing score. However, the writing score will not affect the 1 – 36 ACT composite score.

For more information, visit: Prepped and Polished.com.

What was your biggest takeaway from these tips? Do you have any questions for Terri Karol and Alexis Avila?

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