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Lower-Than-Anticipated ACT Writing Scores Add Further Stress to Admissions Process

Lower-Than-Anticipated ACT Writing Scores Add Further Stress to Colllege Admissions Process

The anxiety behind the college admissions process is heightened for some students who have received lower scores on the college admission test, the ACT, after a change in the writing portion.

"Counselors across the country are complaining that many of their top students, who routinely earn marks higher than 30 on other parts of the ACT, are getting writing scores in the low-to-mid 20s,” said the Washington Post.

While the 40-minute ACT essay portion is optional, many prestigious, first-choice schools require it, such as several Ivy Leagues and the University of California.

Students have been taken aback after receiving their much-lower-than-expected scores, and an influx of questions has caused the ACT to post an explanation on how writing is graded.

Many students, according to the Post, have used the opportunity to pay $50 to get their essays re-scored. One parent told the Post the re-scoring resulted in a dramatic score increase seemingly without rhyme or reason.

An ACT spokesperson, however, told the Post that re-scoring is a very uncommon practice and that most of the time, does not result in new scores. 

Top-notch students with strong backgrounds in writing, the Post said, have received scores in the low twenties, which is particularly nerve-racking given the fact that colleges and universities, like U-Penn, look for a score of 30 or higher.

Add in the fact that the other college admission exam option- the SAT-is debuting a re-designed test this March with some big changes to both the reading and math sections, and it becomes understandable why student unease about college admissions is at an all-time high.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/15/2016

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