College Entrance Essay Sites

For those who are not in my SAT/ACT essay writing class, here is a website with some SAT practice questions.

Here’s what they are saying about SAT essay scores:

Student Performance on Essay

The essay asked students to respond to a point of view on an issue through an original first-draft format and support a position with reasoning and examples taken from reading, studies, experience, or observations. Two readers scored each essay, each reader providing a score from 1 to 6 for a maximum score of 12. The average essay score was 7.2 out of 12. Reader agreement on essay scores was very high. Nearly 97 percent of readers exactly agreed on scores or differed by only one point. Only 3 percent of essays needed to be resolved by a third reader. The College Board performed analyses on 6,498 essays randomly sampled from the March 2005 through January 2006 SAT administrations. Results demonstrated that longer essays were more likely to receive higher scores; however, the relationship between length and score was only moderate (.62). Eighty-four percent of essay responses reached the second page. Half the essays used the first-person voice. Score differences were slight, with first-person-voice essays averaging a score of 6.9, compared to 7.2 for those not using first-person voice. Only 8 percent of essays were identified as using the typical five-paragraph essay structure. Fifty-three percent of essays used academic examples (historical, literary/art/music, science or technology, and current events or politics) and 52 percent of essays included some type of personal experience as supporting evidence. Some students used both types of examples. (

I’ve discovered that the ACT grades harder than the SAT. Read sample essays to get a feel for what the graders want.

First Year for Writing Test Scores

Results from the optional ACT Writing Test, launched in February 2005, are reported this year for the first time. Slightly more than a third (36%) of ACT-tested 2006 grads elected to take the exam. Fewer than half of four-year colleges and universities required or recommended that students submit writing scores for fall 2006 admission.

Students who took the Writing Test earned an average score of 7.7 (on a scale of 2 to 12) on the exam. On the combined English Test/Writing Test score, the average score was 22.0 (on a scale of 1 to 36).

Females outscored males on the Writing Test, earning an average score of 7.9 compared to males’ average score of 7.4. Among racial/ethnic groups, average scores on the essay ranged from a low of 6.8 (African Americans) to a high of 8.0 (Asian Americans).

The ACT Writing Test is a direct writing exam which requires students to write an essay response to a given prompt. Students have 30 minutes to complete their essays. Scores on the Writing Test are reported separately and are not included in the ACT composite score. (

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