Essay Option – Schools that still require or recommend the essay
Many of the free, school-day ACTs and SATs offered across the country do not include the Essay sections. In fact, 46% of school-day ACT takers don’t take the Essay, and 29% of school-day SAT takers don’t. In part, this is because the Essay costs states more and increases test-taking time. But it’s also because colleges are rapidly dumping the Essay requirement, including Harvard, which announced the change in 2018.
Fewer colleges require the SAT Essay or ACT writing for admissions.
There’s an interesting takedown of the Essay section here. The most convincing argument in this post is that there’s never been any study by the exam writers to show the ACT and SAT Essays have any predictive value when it comes to college performance.
Both organizations seem to be backing away from any claims of the sort. The post does make an argument that the essays are primarily a money-making machine for both organizations, but it doesn’t take into consideration how expensive it is to score the exams—the essay section is the only one that requires human graders (two of them!) to read and score every student test. We can imagine that given that expense and logistical annoyance, both ACT and SAT would like to get rid of the essay, too.”
Schools That Still Consider, Require or Recommend the EssaySAT-ACT Essay Recommended or Required Schools