Writing Test Scores

Taking the ACT with writing will provide you and the schools to which you have ACT report scores with additional scores. When you take the writing test, you'll receive a writing test score on a scale of 1-36 and four writing domain scores (Ideas and Analysis, Development and Support, Organization, and Language Use and Conventions), each scored on a scale of 2-12. An image of your essay will be available to your high school and the colleges to which you have ACT report your scores from that test date.

Taking the writing test does not affect your subject area scores or your Composite score. However, without a writing test score, no English Language Arts (ELA) score will be reported.

Your essay will be evaluated based on the evidence that it provides of your ability to:

  • analyze and evaluate multiple perspectives on a complex issue
  • state and develop your own perspective on the issue
  • explain and support your ideas with logical reasoning and detailed examples
  • clearly and logically organize your ideas in an essay
  • effectively communicate your ideas in standard written English

Two trained readers will score your essay on a scale of 1-6 in each of the four writing domains. Each domain score represents the sum of the two readers' scores. If the readers' ratings disagree by more than one point, a third reader will evaluate the essay and resolve the discrepancy. 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.

Next—Scoring guidelines . . .