The New ACT Writing Section

By: Jeanne Anderson, PhD
Independent College Consultant, College Ready, LLC

Starting with the September 2015 test, the new version of the ACT writing test goes into effect. The test is now 40 minutes long instead of 30 minutes and the prompt now centers on contemporary issues instead of school issues. There are three diverse perspectives presented and the students are asked to develop an argument and compare their perspective with the three given in the prompt.

The scoring has changed from a 2-12 scoring range to a 1-36 range. The English/Writing score is gone and replaced with an ELA score which is an average of the English, reading and writing tests.

A sample prompt with essays at each score level is available on the ACT website.  http://www.actstudent.org/writing/sample/

Students should read through the samples before taking the test. This is great preparation for knowing how to take the new ACT writing section.

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