The ACT announced earlier this week that the scoring for the essay will return to the old 2-12 scale, abandoning the 1-36 scale they tried this year.
Though the text of the announcement places the blame at the feet of confused test takers who struggled to interpret their scores on the 1-36 scale, the reality is that the new scoring system was a failure from the outset. The scores we witnessed from our students were wildly inconsistent this year, and this change back to the 2-12 scale is essentially an admission on the part of the ACT that it could not easily fix these inconsistencies.
Test takers who received low writing scores this year should not despair - savvy admissions officers will know that the scoring was deeply flawed. Hopefully the return to the old scale will bring more clarity and consistency in scoring.