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The ACT Essay Rescore: What You Need to Know

As a student, your ACT score is an essential factor that determines your eligibility for admission to higher education institutions. However, after receiving your essay score, you might not be satisfied with the results. Fortunately, ACT offers an essay rescore service that enables you to contest your score if you believe it was scored inaccurately. In this guide, we will go through the process of ACT essay rescore, the reasons why students may request a rescore, including the common errors in grading, the appeal process, and whether or not students should consider requesting an ACT essay rescore.

What is the ACT Essay Rescore?

The ACT essay rescore is the process whereby the ACT test center reviews an essay’s score, contests it, and scores it again. The ACT essay is among the optional parts of the ACT. Nonetheless, some colleges and universities require it as part of the admission process.

Reasons Why Students May Request for Rescore

Writing an essay is subjective, and grading an essay can also be subjective. As much as graders try to be objective, different graders might have a different opinion about the same essay. Therefore, students who receive the ACT essay score might feel that it does not accurately reflect their writing ability. Here are some reasons why students might request for an essay rescore:

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Common Errors in Grading

  • Misreading of your writing – The ACT grader might misread what you wrote, leading to a lower score. In some cases, the grader might not understand the context of the paper or misconstrue some of the language used in the text.
  • Scoring more harshly than the rubric suggests – A grader might apply their standards, which could be more stringent than the standards outlined in the rubric.
  • Technical issues with scoring – Technical difficulties can lead to errors in scanning, recording, or formatting a test. Therefore, a re-examination can fix such errors.

Appeal Process

Students who are unhappy with their ACT essay score can request a rescore within a particular time frame. The appeal process includes the following:

  1. Submitting an appeal request via the ACT appeals form
  2. Providing a self-written essay analysis of the inaccuracies in the previous grading (This part of the process is optional).
  3. Paying a fee of $50.

The appeal request must be submitted within three months of the release of the original score report. After submitting a request, your essay is sent back to the ACT and rescored by a different grader.

Should You Request an ACT Essay Rescore?

Before submitting a request for rescore, there are certain things you should take into account:

  • Be aware of the potential risk- The risks might include a lower score or a similar score to your initial.
  • Be sure the writing you submitted is the best reflection of your skills- If you believe your writing is not your best work, it would be better to retake the ACT instead.
  • Ensure that the chance of the grade change is worth the fee ($50) and effort that will be required of you.
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In conclusion, the ACT essay rescore process provides students with an opportunity to have their essays rescored after receiving their score. It is essential to understand the reasons you can rescore your essay, including the common errors in grading and the appeal process. However, before submitting an appeal, consider whether it’s worth the effort and fee. Overall, the ACT essay rescore is an excellent opportunity for students who feel that their initial score does not accurately reflect their writing abilities.

Key Takeaways

  • The ACT essay rescore is the process of requesting the regrading of an ACT essay score.
  • The common errors in grading include misreading, severe scoring, and technical issues.
  • The appeal process requires filling an appeal request with a $50 fee and includes submitting an analysis of the scoring inaccuracies.
  • Before initiating a rescore, understand the potential risks and the chance of the grade change being worth the fee and effort.


1. Is it common to request a rescore of an ACT essay?

It is not very common to request a rescore, but for students who feel that their ACT essay score doesn’t accurately represent their writing skills, it might be worth the effort and fee required.

2. Will my ACT essay score change after a rescore?

The answer is not always. There’s a possibility that the score remains the same or goes even lower, or it may increase.

3. Can I request a rescore for any section of the ACT?

No, the rescore is only applicable to your ACT essay score.

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