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Changes To the ACT Writing Section

a cartoon girl writing in a notebook

By now, almost everyone who has anything to do with college admissions – – counselors, teachers, high school students, and parents – – know that major changes are afoot for the SAT exam starting in March 2016.
Less attention has been paid to the changes that will take place with the ACT exam. My friends at ArborBridge, an elite test prep company based in Los Angeles and serving clients worldwide, have been paying attention.   A  short piece by one of the company’s top tutors outlines the new ACT writing requirements.  You should be sure to look at the sample ACT writing prompt, too.   As I look at the new structure of the writing assignment, it’s clear that ACT has raised the bar a bit.   in general, I think this is a good thing, as the writing section of these tests should give college admissions officers a good idea of the writing skills of their applicants.   In some ways, these writing exercises are much better indicators of writing skill than the essays, which everyone knows are heavily redacted before they are sent with an application. Short, timed essays like this one really put  the analytical and communication skills of students to the test (so to speak!).   It will be very interesting to see how my students fare on these exams in the coming months.
Mark Montgomery
Educational Consultant


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