• Ideas and Analysis（观点&分析）
• Development and Support（观点阐述&举证）
• Organization （文章架构）
• Language Use and Conventions （语言使用及文法）
每项计分范围为2-12分，为两名考官各自评分的总和。Ideas and Analysis反映学生是否能给出有用的观点并批判性地结合多个给出的话题观点。Development and Support评估学生讨论观点以及给出论据的能力。Organization考察学生是否能够清晰有目的性地组织观点。最后，Language Use and Conventions评估学生能否用清晰有效的写作语言来表达论点的能力。每一项12分（两个评分人各6分），共48分。
这样的改变为学生带来的一大好处就是：学生有明确的提高方向了。举个例子，有个学生，我们叫他Jimmy好了，他的Ideas and Analysis 以及Development and Support两项的分数不错，但是 Organization和Language Use上想要拿好分数还有些困难。那么，Jimmy的老师了解到这个后，就可以针对Jimmy的这两个弱项为他制定教学计划，比如教他如何使句型多样化，如何改善语法以及组织观点，以此来帮助他提高这两项分数所需要的技能。由此可见，ACT作文掌握起来也变得更为容易了！
另一大好处就是：ACT作文分单独分离出来，学生可以看到一份单独的ACT写作测试分数（计分范围：1-36分），就和其他几个测试部分一样。ACT写作分是从四项小分（Ideas and Analysis, Development and Support, Organization, 及 Language Use and Conventions）里计算出的。另外，还有一个反映 ELA(英语语言能力)的小分。 ELA小分计分范围为1-36分，是综合了ACT写作，ACT英语以及ACT阅读三个测试成绩的一个结果。 ELA分数让大学招生办对申请人的总体英语能力水平能有一个更好的了解。
In the Fall of 2015, the format of the ACT Essay prompt was changed inan effort to better test what colleges and universities find important inapplicants. Necessitated by the change in format, the ACT also modified thegrading scheme for the ACT Essay. Previously, students were graded on a scalefrom 2-12, the summation of the scores provided by two individual graders whoassessed the essay as a whole. Additionally, the old ACT Essay score was partof the English Test score, making for a combined English and Essay score. Thiswas considered a fault in the marking scheme because students were not able toreport their ACT Essay scores independently, and their English scores weredependent on how well they did on the ACT Essay.
With the introduction of the new ACT Essay grading scheme, the scoringcriteria have been changed to be significantly more detailed. Unlike theprevious score, which reflected the essay as a whole, the new score is brokendown into four distinct parts, allowing students to identify which aspects oftheir writing they did well on, and which they need to improve on. The fourcriteria students will be graded on are:
• Ideas and Analysis
• Development and Support
• Language Use and Conventions
Each criterion is given a sub-score ranging from 2-12, the summation ofscores assigned by two individual graders. The Ideas and Analysis sub-scorereflects a student’s ability to generate productive ideas and engage criticallywith multiple perspectives on the given issue. The Development and Supportsub-score assesses a student’s discussion of ideas and arguments. The Organizationsub-score tests a student’s ability to organize ideas with clarity and purpose.Finally, the Language Use and Conventions sub-score evaluates the implementationof written language to convey an argument clearly and effectively. Each sectioncan earn up to 12 points (6 from each grader), making for 48 overall.
One of the major advantages for students preparing for the ACT is thatthey are now able to target specific areas for improvement. For example, let’sdiscuss hypothetical student Jimmy, who scores well on the ideas and analysissub-score and development and support sub-score, but struggles to score well inthe organization sub-score and the language use sub-score. Armed with thisinformation, Jimmy’s teacher can work to create lesson plans that focus on howto improve the skills needed to bring those two weaker sub-scores up, such aslessons focusing on how to diversify sentence structure, improve grammar, and organizeideas. This just shows how much easier the new ACT Essay is to master!
A final positive aspect of the change in gradingis how the score is calculated in a student’s overall ACT score. Now, the ACTEssay stands alone: students receive an ACT Writing score on a scale of 1-36,like the four other sections of the test. This ACT Writing score is calculatedfrom the four domain scores for each grading criteria (Ideas and Analysis, Developmentand Support, Organization, and Language Use and Conventions). Furthermore, asub-score has been added to reflect English Language Ability (ELA). The ELAsub-score is a result of combing the ACT Writing, English, and Reading scoresto formulate a score from 1-36, and it gives prospective colleges a bettersense of a student’s general English language abilities. Overall, the new ACTEssay, both in form and in grading scheme, is significantly more thorough andreflective of a student’s writing abilities.