Last year ACT ran into trouble with its new essay prompt. The released scores were on a 36-point scale and caused much concern in the news because of some discrepancies between anticipated scores and those received. 

This year, ACT returned to the 12-point scale which probably helps obscure the results for some students.  We encourage students to look at the percentiles to see if the essay score is in line with the other test components.

If you are concerned that your essay score is too low, we recommend you get a copy of the essay and review it yourself.  You will need to enlist the help of your school .  ACT says to “check with:

We invite you to forward a copy of your essay for our evaluation. For $50 we will give you our honest assessment of your writing and what you need to do to improve it. Send your essay to and copy the email to  We look forward to helping you present your best self to the college admissions personnel.