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by Neil Chyten, CEO of Chyten Educational Services

March 3, 2016


The reason most ACT essays were low is that students did not follow the ACT’s precise new instructions. How do I know? We wrote several ACT essay prompts in the precise style of the new test and gave them under actual conditions to our students. In grading, we followed the rubric to the letter. To our surprise, we found that our test takers’ essay scores were low – even for those who wrote quite well. So, as an essay writer, reader, and grader, I can tell you that students did not follow the instructions. The instructions say that you must evaluate each of the three given perspectives, and then offer your own. What I found was that students provided opinions on the topics rather than analysis. Regardless of how well one writes, a failure to follow instructions will result in low ACT Essay scores.