Writing Test Scores

Taking the ACT Plus Writing will provide you and the schools to which you have ACT report scores with two additional scores. When you take both the English Test and the Writing Test, you'll receive a Writing subscore and a Combined English/Writing score. You will also receive selected comments about your essay from one of the readers. 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.

You must take both the English and Writing Tests in the same session to receive Writing scores. The Combined English/Writing score is created by using a formula that weights the English Test score two-thirds and the Writing Test score one-third. The Combined English/Writing score is then reported on a 1–36 scale. For more detail, see the Combined English/Writing scale scores table.

Taking the Writing Test does not affect your subject area scores or your Composite score.

Your essay will be evaluated on the evidence it gives of your ability to do the following:

  • express judgments by taking a position on the issue in the writing prompt
  • maintain a focus on the topic throughout the essay
  • develop a position by using logical reasoning and by supporting your ideas
  • organize ideas in a logical way
  • use language clearly and effectively according to the rules of standard written English

Your essay will be scored holistically—that is, on the basis of the overall impression created by all the elements of the writing. Two trained readers will score your essay, each giving it a rating from 1 (low) to 6 (high).

The sum of those ratings is your Writing subscore, which is reported on a scale of 2 to 12.

If the readers' ratings disagree by more than one point, a third reader will evaluate your essay to resolve the discrepancy.

Next—Scoring guidelines . . .