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What Happened on my ACT Essay?!

athenianjamesathenianjames Posts: 30Registered User New Member
edited November 2012 in ACT Preparation
Okay, so on the ACT last June I got an 11/12 on my essay. The comments were "Your essay showed recognition of the complexity of the issue by partially evaluating its implications. General statements in your essay were well supported with specific reasons, examples, and details". However, on the October ACT I got a 9/12. The comments included the same ones and "Your essay showed recognition of the complexity of the issue by addressing counterarguments. Some varied sentence structures and precise word choice added clarity and interest to your writing."
How on Earth would my essay score go down 2 points even though I have more positive feedback?! Did the graders just not like the stance I took on the topic since it was political or something as subjective as that?! This brought my English score down from a 35 to a 32!!! I'm sorry that this has turned into a rant, but this is just bs! Furthermore, is there any recourse I could take because it's not that I think I'm such a great writer, it's just that objectively speaking, based on the comments, I should have at least broke even if not have gotten a 12. I also was the only person in my school to get a 5 on AP English Lang. Again, I don't deserve a high score based on this but still, I know how to write essays. (Don't worry, I had better grammar on the essay)
Post edited by athenianjames on

Replies to: What Happened on my ACT Essay?!

  • ZombieDanteZombieDante Posts: 3,895Registered User Senior Member
    Most colleges superscore so it doesn't matter.
  • MomofThree95MomofThree95 Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    Zombie - Most colleges don't super score the ACT.

    Athenian - My daughter's writing score went down on this exam too. I guess it depends on who evaluates the essay. I wouldn't worry too much about it. You obviously have excellent writing skills with a 5 on the AP exam. Good luck to you.
  • PreplyPreply Posts: 260Registered User Junior Member
    Two things:

    1. ACT does not factor in your English+Writing subscore into composite score. Your essay is only supplemental information.

    2. If I understand correctly, this was the comment on your first essay:
    "Your essay showed recognition of the complexity of the issue by partially evaluating its implications. General statements in your essay were well supported with specific reasons, examples, and details".

    This was in response to your second essay:
    "Your essay showed recognition of the complexity of the issue by addressing counterarguments. Some varied sentence structures and precise word choice added clarity and interest to your writing."

    As an essay scorer, I value specific details and examples over word choice and clarity.

    Strong details and specific examples are crucial to provide support for a compelling argument. However, while word choice can strengthen an essay, it will not make your argument. In fact, the grader said that your choice of words "added interest".

    In short, "well supported" > "word choice".

    Hope this helps.
  • tchaikconcertotchaikconcerto Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
    My SAT and ACT essay scores match, but the ACT mindset is very different than how to approach the SAT. Hope you do better.
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