Come September 12, the first ACT national test date of the academic year, those students who opt to take the essay portion of the exam will face something new. Of course, for those taking the exam for the very first time, there will be no change. But for students who have already taken the ACT before September 2015, the change will be noticeable.
Even with the changes, the ACT essay will still be OPTIONAL, because the ACT doesn’t require that students complete the Writing section, but most colleges will want to see an essay score. So it’s best if students check with admissions at the school(s) to which they plan to apply before deciding to skip the ACT’s essay.