The ACT Essay Changes (Again!)

The ACT Essay Will Return to the 2-to-12 Scoring Scale

Beginning this fall with the September national test date, ACT will no longer report the essay score (otherwise known as the writing test score) on a 1-to-36 scale. The writing score will instead return its original range of 2-to-12, with 12 being the highest possible score. We at Test Prep Gurus laud this development as ACT's experiment with using a 1-to-36 scale for the ACT essay caused a lot of unnecessary confusion for students and families.

The new reported score will be the average of the four 2-to-12 domain scores on the essay. The fours domains graded on the essay are: ideas and analysis, development and support, organization, and language use and conventions. The writing test itself, which was revised last year, will remain unchanged.

Last year, ACT revised the optional writing test and began converting results to a 1-to-36 score scale to be consistent with the multiple-choice ACT test scores. This change, however, caused confusion among students who attempted to interpret their writing score in comparison to their multiple choice test scores. “Our customers have spoken, and we have listened,” said ACT Chief Commercial Officer Suzana Delanghe.