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ACT - Need info on new writing score rubric

samba2000samba2000 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
My son got a composite score of 35 on Sept 2015 ACT which rolled out new writing essay format. He scored 11/12 on all 4 categories in the Essay which is in very close to perfect. But his writing score is scored as 31/36. We are confused as to how 11/12 in all categories translated to 31/36. He would have not taken the test again with his current composite score, but now re-thinking. We are thinking of submitting for re-scoring the essay, but do not know anyone who has done it and had good experience with that. We have sent email to ACT requesting this info, but have not heard back in a week and their phones are always busy.

Replies to: ACT - Need info on new writing score rubric

  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 57,352 Senior Member
    edited October 2015



    Your writing score is calculated from your domain scores and is reported on a scale of 1-36. Your domain scores do not necessarily add up to your reported writing score.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 57,352 Senior Member
    Combined English/Writing Score 1–36
    ELA score (an average of the English, reading and writing tests) 1–36
    It timed out before I could add this
  • fireandrainfireandrain Registered User Posts: 4,738 Senior Member
    You are not the only person confused about an ACT writing score -- I've seen it come up on a few other threads in other CC forums. I've seen several examples of essay scores in the low 20s while composites were in the mid-30s. I just did a quick search on the SAT forum, and there seem to be several threads with similar issues.

    One poster wrote: "I spoke to ACT reps about the writing scores. Apparently, in preparation for the new essay, the ACT established composite scores that were very low historically - for example, if you got 11 on each writing rubric, your composite would be a 31, whereas for previous tests as well as the ACT sample test, that would have gotten you a composite of 34. I have no idea why they did this, or what they were thinking, but I am assuming that schools will discount the writing composites and will just look at the raw scores if they look at anything."
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,424 Super Moderator
    edited October 2015
    Frankly most students I've seen posting here seem to be getting in the range of 24 or lower (with 34 composite scores). I have no idea why he is upset with a 31. It's not worth a retake.
  • arabrabarabrab Registered User Posts: 5,961 Senior Member
    What @Erin's Dad said. Colleges are not especially looking at the new writing scores in part because there is not yet a concordance that anyone seems to believe in between the new scores and the old essay scores.
  • samba2000samba2000 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Thank you all for your replies. My son is a Junior and will be applying for schools next year. I think he is worried that by the time he applies, colleges won't take it into account that he was part of the first batch with new Essay format and scoring guidelines. He was expecting the score to be 34 as per old scoring style with 11/12 on all categories. but from the post from @fireandrain, it looks like his conversion to 31 is inline with what others have experienced. Anyway, I think as @Erin's Dad said, it is not worth a retake, instead he can do something else this year to build up his profile for colleges he will be applying to.
  • samba2000samba2000 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Talked to ACT research specialist . She said they obviously cannot publish their formula, but they add up the raw score and have a table which maps 44 ( in my son's case) to 31. She gave me this concordance link from their corporate website : http://www.act.org/aap/pdf/ACTWritingConcordance.pdf
This discussion has been closed.