About 1.2 million took the essay option with the SAT, or 70 percent of that exam’s total group.
Others do it on the advice of counselors or parents who want students to have the essay scores just in case they apply to one of the few colleges that require or recommend them.
Without doubt, the essay tests inject more anxiety into the annual frenzy over selective college admissions.
Marten Roorda, chief executive of ACT, said that for many reasons, the personal essays students submit with their applications do not provide a “valid and reliable” assessment of writing skill.
“The ACT writing test can do that,” Roorda said in a statement.
The prompt presents a complex issue, gives students three perspectives on it and asks them to develop their own take, with reference to one or more of the other viewpoints.
The essay does not factor into the main ACT score of a maximum 36.
[More high schools offer free college admission testing. We want to be able to assess a student’s ability before they get to us.” The SAT and ACT essays have proved controversial since they were launched at the urging of higher education leaders who wanted a more nuanced approach to testing than filling in bubbles on a multiple-choice score sheet.
But there’s a catch.] Students are still welcome to send in essay scores, Rapelye said, but the university will now require applicants to send a graded sample of high school writing, preferably in English or history. The College Board, which oversees the SAT, added a mandatory 25-minute writing assignment to the main test 13 years ago and raised the maximum total score to 2400. In a 2016 overhaul, the SAT’s top score reverted to 1600.
Others have resisted requiring the essays because they doubted the exercise revealed much.
[Princeton and Stanford drop essay-testing rule] It is a remarkable and humbling fall for an initiative that arose little more than a dozen years ago with the hope of reshaping college admission testing, offering a tool to measure student potential on a massive scale, using just pencil, a prompt and lined sheets of paper.