ACT Writing Prompts: Tips to Help You Improve Your Scores
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There are various assignments and examinations that you need to accomplish while still in school. These tasks have some bearing on your school performance. So, it is critical to put your best foot forward to carry out your schoolwork since success in completing them can advance your performance. When it comes to a teacher gauging your abilities by asking you to complete an ACT writing task, your writing skills are also tested. This task can come in the form of a test that is guided by ACT writing prompts.
Countries like the US have this kind of assessment for their students. Usually, the test has time limits of about 40 minutes. During that time, you are supposed to have completed your work comprehensively. All you need is a pencil and a piece of writing paper where you will note your points. There are cases where handwriting the task might be especially difficult. Such students are given exemptions from doing it by hand.
In any case, ACT writing is still a challenging task to accomplish. Students often cite the fact that they have no idea what the question will be at the test, and that is the main reason why this task is difficult. However, these tasks are supposed to be more inclined towards general knowledge rather than an in-depth understanding of a particular field. Rest assured that you are familiar with whatever subject the test will cover.
Having no clue what you will write about helps the developers of the assessment create a level playing field for all the takers of the test. In this way, no one has any favoritism when it comes to completing this task. In any case, there are a few things that you can do to get yourself ready for the plain writing ACT task ahead. Read this article to discover how you can give the ACT 100% and advance your performance.
ACT Writing Score Scale: How Your Grades are Evaluated
Once you are through with the ACT essay writing, an image of this paper will be sent to your school so that you can have access to your scoring report. Also, there will be two graders who will assess the writing of your ACT, and the scores will be averaged to get your final marks on the task. Five different scores determine the ACT writing score scale. These are:
- A one subject-level composition mark
- How the student has applied language and convention
- The key points raised and how they have been analyzed
- How the arguments have been presented and supported
- The way the writing has been done on the ACT test in terms of the structured.
The highest ACT writing score that any student can achieve is 12. This figure is the average of what the two graders will come up with from evaluating your task. Typically, a score of 2-12 is given on the first metric. On the other hand, a 1-6 region of scoring is applied to the other four aspects of the score scale. Ultimately, the two graders will give you a score on the four domains.
Afterwards, their assessments are summed up to give you a final score. If the mark each of them gave your ACT has a difference of more than 1 mark, your essay will have to be evaluated by a third one. Eventually, if you are looking for a good ACT writing score, then 12 and above is a great figure to aim for.
These aspects are what the graders are looking for when they are checking your work. Therefore, you must understand these metrics if you aim to perform brilliantly in this test.
Moreover, the evaluation of the ACT essay you have composed is checked to see if the following parameters have been met. In a nutshell, these qualities should be present in your paper so that you can earn an excellent score in this write-up.
- Does your ACT essay highlight your views on a particular subject clearly? Does it also show a link between your opinions and one of the perspectives given in the prompt?
- Can you craft an ACT essay that presents your thoughts using logic, reasoning and viable examples?
- Were you able to structure your ACT paper in a logical way? In other words, do your points flow logically as you move from the introduction to the conclusion?
- Are you able to use standard English efficiently to connect your arguments well?
Now that you know the scale that is used, it is time to tackle the rubric that is applied to arrive at the scores.
ACT Writing Rubric: How the Essay Is Evaluated
The ACT writing rubric has undergone a few revisions in its time. The current version seeks to guide graders on how to score different takers of this test. As mentioned above, there are a few key things that are considered when this ACT essay is being assessed. Additionally, there are specifics when it comes to differentiating a score of 5 from a score of 6. Read our guideline of this rubric to figure out where you lie on this scale. Plus, you can find out the areas that you can improve on to help you attain even higher marks for this test. Think of them as how to do ACT writing tips.
A Score of 6
To attain this high score, the writing of your ACT essay must be impeccable. The ideas that you generate must be able to engage the arguments raised by the prompt critically. You need to address more than one perspective on the question you have. The points you raise in your paper must be deeply analytical of the issue you are tackling. Also, your work should look at the problem’s background and effects in a way that shows you have keen insight into the issue.
Moreover, the arguments you bring should have enough supporting evidence to illuminate the issue in a broader sense while highlighting its significance. The essay response you give should be galvanized by a thesis statement that guides the arguments of the ACT paper.
As you move from one argument to the next in your writing, make sure that the points flow logically. The transition of your writing must be smooth from one paragraph to another, and from one sentence to another. Finally, your use of the English language must be perfect. Grammar and vocabulary play a great role in ensuring that your arguments have been correctly presented in ACT paper.
A Score of 5
To earn this score, both the ideas and the corresponding analyses must be productive while still writing about more than one perspective of the prompt given. So, craft a thesis statement that shows that you are precise in your examination of the issue and that your essay has a relevant point to make.
You need to critically analyze the subject by looking at its history, effects, and future complexities that may arise. The evidence that you use to support your ideas must also show the purpose, relevance, and significance of the issue you are writing about. Also, they should serve to enhance the arguments you make.
Again, the organization of your work must be logical and display some effectiveness is driving your point home. Your readers must be able to aptly follow along on your trail of thought without getting lost in unnecessary tangents. Your use of English must also be of a high standard to get this score. So, make sure you brush up on your grammar and vocabulary so that you can achieve this score.
A Score of 4
Students that get this score would ideally have arguments that are also in line with the above scoring metrics. Hence, there is a thesis statement that shows the direction the ACT paper will take clearly and purposefully. As for the development and support facet of grading, you need to anchor your points through relevant pieces of evidence. Also, the development of the essay must demonstrate a clear line of reasoning while carefully highlighting the significance of the arguments you are making.
For this score, the organization of your essay must be clear. That is, you need to have a solid strategy for moving from your introduction to the conclusion sections. The points you raise must be clumped up in terms of their relevance. Plus, they must follow each other logically. As you transition from one part to the next, clarity must be shown in terms of how your ideas relate to each other. Your use of the English dialect must employ correctness to some degree. Even if its use might not be skillful, this score requires that they are at least adequate.
A Score of 3
As for the common app Act writing score of 3, students who attain this have certain similarities in their compositions. For starters, they would have generated ideas that respond to the prompt from multiple views. The thesis statement does show some intent on the student’s part to address the different perspectives of the prompt. However, the point they have raised is limited in terms of contextualizing their analysis of the problem they are discussing. Moreover, the argument could also be a bit unclear in terms of delivery.
If the supporting arguments raised are too general, the student may receive this score. Also, the shreds of evidence presented by this student may be seen to be repetitive and unclear in terms of writing about the issue. The flow of their arguments may remain logical but not entirely. Also, transitioning between points may be a bit incoherent. The language used in writing may also be basic. Nevertheless, their writing is understandable without too much effort.
A Score of 2
Here, the arguments generated by the writer may be quite weak in their attempts at responding to the prompts. The thesis statement may be lacking entirely or just unclear in terms of what the purpose of the write-up is. The analysis done may be insufficient at tackling the issue at hand.
Also, there may be a restatement of the perspective rather than an examination of them. Also, the points may be irrelevant or incomplete while being disjoint in their organization. Eventually, their ACT write-up may fail to clarify their main argument in terms of support, development, and organization. Lastly, their use of English may be dismal and not fully present their ideas coherently.
A Score of 1
Here, there are no intelligible arguments raised. There are no claims to support the point or structure of the ACT paper is incoherent. Plus, the errors made in writing the document could offer little to no indication of what the ACT paper is about.
Take A Look at Some of The Colleges That Require ACT Writing
Writing ACT is crucial for measuring your language skills when applying for admission to colleges that require act writing. Nowadays, many elite colleges do not require writing an ACT piece as a prerequisite for admission. For instance, there is no Ivy League school which currently needs writing an ACT. There are many more elite colleges that have stopped requiring writing ACT. While some universities still need the writing test, others don’t, but they do recommend it. Here we take a look at some of them:
- University of Washington Tacoma
- University of Michigan
- West Virginia University
- University of the Southwest
There are many more others who recommend the test but don’t require it. Here we take a look at them:
- Morehouse College
- Greenville College
- University of Evansville
- New York Institute of Technology
Take Our Assistance Now
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