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ACT Essay Scores Inexplicably Low, Says Washington Post

Roger_DooleyRoger_Dooley Founder Posts: 106,392 Senior Member
An article in the Washington Post says that some ACT essay scores were unusually low and inconsistent with the performance of the student in other areas. Regrading (a $50 option for dissatisfied test takers) raised one student's score from 19 to 31. An ACT spokesman said that only a tiny number of rescoring requests are received, and most don't result in any change.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/02/12/act-essay-scores-are-inexplicably-low-causing-uproar-among-college-bound-students/
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Replies to: ACT Essay Scores Inexplicably Low, Says Washington Post

  • fallenchemistfallenchemist Honorary Super Mod Posts: 25,129 Inactive
    Trivial point to start the discussion, but that Rhode Island student whose score was changed did get his $50 back. Any upward revision results in a refund. Certainly an incentive not to revise.
  • s16s18s21s25s16s18s21s25 Registered User Posts: 382 Member
    There was a big thread on this a month or two ago. Several people had really high scores across the board and abysmally low writing scores and asked for regrading.
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 Registered User Posts: 3,290 Senior Member
    My son was one of the abysmal writing scores (noticeably out of whack with his other subscores), but I just assumed he reached the end of the test and was exhausted. We didn't ask for a re-score because he took the writing section twice and basically got the same score both times. I was just hoping that schools would look at his composition dual enrollment grades.

    Of course the one time he got a crazy high English sub-score - that was the time I didn't make him take the writing (wold have pulled up his English/Writing score). Murphy's Law.

    :/
  • luckymama64luckymama64 Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    Based on the WP article, I decided to ask ACT to hand-score my daughter's essay. She had a 36 in English, a 35 in Reading and then a 24 on her essay! Actually, after the test, she noted how much she liked the prompt and what a good job she did. LOL, after her initial excitement of her composite score, she never thought to check on her essay score. But here is the weird thing: I was concerned that my request was late, because you have three months from your score report. I called ACT b/c I was sure what that date was. The rep couldn't tell me! All she said was that "I think you should be OK, and they'll probably hand-score her test if you send it in today." Doesn't that seem a little fuzzy? She couldn't even tell me the date of her report--like, I wanted to know what date are we working off of here? Very strange to me.
  • hebegebehebegebe Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member
    @Momzie,

    Given that Michelle is publicizing it for everyone, how exactly is she benefiting only her students?
  • njfishermannjfisherman Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    My daughter scored a perfect 36 on her first ACT essay, then a 27 the next time. We asked for a hand-correction and paid the $50. The re-score was a 33.
  • colgrlmacolgrlma Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Same happened to my daughter. All she has ever wanted to do is be a writer, so this is really disheartening. She said the prompt was bizarre. I have requested a rescore, but don't have high hopes based on her comment, and she won't be retaking.
    Anyone have experience with admissions in this situation, where the transcript is excellent, the composite score meets the school's requirement or is above it, but the writing score is below par? How do they see this? Thanks. Am wondering if we have to go with test optional schools only.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 10,164 Senior Member
    @colgrlma if the rest of her ACT score is good I wouldn't worry too much about the writing. Especially if she's applying to schools that will have an essay from her to read.
  • soccergirlforevasoccergirlforeva Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    while visiting BC this past month, they told me that they aren't even looking at the ACT essay, and many colleges aren't so I wouldn't get too worried.
  • runna67runna67 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Should I ask for a rescore if I got a 29 essay? i got a 35 composite with a 36 in both reading and english, so the essay score seems way out of whack
  • hebegebehebegebe Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member
    I wouldn't bother. The writing section is on a different scale and a 29 is at the 97th percentile.
  • skypemeskypeme Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    edited September 2016
    The ACT essay is back to a 12-point scale now. Anything over 20 (out of 24) or 10 (out of 12) is an excellent score.
  • Traiton17Traiton17 Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    I scored a 8 out of 12 and 23 out of 36. Which is better?
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 919 Member
    8/12 = 66% 23/36=64%
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This discussion has been closed.