FREE New ACT Sample Essay Prompts

The ACT recently reworked its essay, but have released very few official example essay topics.  You can download the two examples the ACT folks have released here:

Example 1

and at the end of the sample test here (pg 54-55):

Example 2

If you’re looking for a bit more practice, SupertutorTV has developed two more prompts to help you prepare:  

Essay 1

The Source of Innovation

Oftentimes our society praises individuals as the forces responsible for our greatest achievements. Whether it’s the CEO of a top corporation on the front page of a magazine or a civil rights activist of a past decade with her face on a postage stamp, these individuals often receive a great deal of commendation. But is this praise warranted?  Not only are other individuals often involved in great innovative endeavors, but large groups of people also serve to create change in our society. Research institutes, global corporations, and grass roots organizations also stimulate innovation. Does the best innovation come from amazing individuals or from great organizations? Does our society place too much emphasis on the individual and fail to recognize the role that everyone plays in innovative progress?

Read and carefully consider these perspectives. Each suggests a particular way of thinking about how innovations develop.

 

Perspective One

The great minds of individuals are responsible for some of society’s greatest innovations. Without exceptional individuals, many of our greatest human achievements would not exist.

 

Perspective Two

No one innovates in a vacuum. Individuals by nature must rely on the research, thoughts, and discoveries of others in order to make progress.

 

Perspective Three

Groups of people working together lead to greater innovation and change. Many minds working together are more conducive to ideas and progress than an individual working alone.

Essay Task
Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the topic described.

In your essay, be sure to:

  • analyze and evaluate the perspectives given
  • state and develop your own perspective on the issue
  • explain the relationship between your perspective and those given

Your perspective may be in full agreement with any of the others, in partial agreement, or wholly different. Whatever the case, support your ideas with logical reasoning and detailed, persuasive examples.

Planning Your Essay

Your work on these prewriting pages will not be scored.

Use the space below and on the back cover to generate ideas and plan your essay. You may wish to consider the following as you think critically about the task:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of the three given perspectives
  • What insights do they offer, and what do they fail to consider?
  • Why might they be persuasive to others, or why might they fail to persuade?
  • Your own knowledge, experience, and values
  • What is your perspective on this issue, and what are its strengths and weaknesses?
  • How will you support your perspective in your essay?

 

The Arts in Education

As technology becomes more prevalent in today’s society, some have proposed that our education system should adapt to the times. With the demand for people educated in technical fields increasing, some say that classes in topics such as theater, music, or photography should be scrapped, and monies spent instead on courses such as computer science. Still others define the arts more broadly and believe that too many students graduate from college majoring in humanities courses, such as philosophy or world history, with few related, highly paid career options.  They propose that college students focus more on technical fields such as engineering.  Does a well-rounded education provide essential skills much needed in today’s world? Should society reduce its emphasis on education in the arts?

Read and carefully consider these perspectives. Each suggests a particular way of thinking about how much emphasis the arts deserve in education.

Perspective One

Our society needs more qualified workers in math and science fields. As our world becomes more technologically advanced, emphasizing math and science in education will help our society to prosper and innovate.

 

Perspective Two

A well-rounded education provides immense, though perhaps not readily apparent, advantages.  When a society provides a diverse panoply of learning opportunities to students, its citizens can create a more vibrant, balanced, and productive society.

 

Perspective Three

The arts are the soul of our humanity, and our society needs to teach the arts today more than ever.  The arts and humanities bring a richness to our world that would diminish should our education system divert resources from them.

 

Essay Task
Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the topic described.

In your essay, be sure to:

  • analyze and evaluate the perspectives given
  • state and develop your own perspective on the issue
  • explain the relationship between your perspective and those given

Your perspective may be in full agreement with any of the others, in partial agreement, or wholly different. Whatever the case, support your ideas with logical reasoning and detailed, persuasive examples.

Planning Your Essay
Your work on these prewriting pages will not be scored.

Use the space below and on the back cover to generate ideas and plan your essay. You may wish to consider the following as you think critically about the task:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of the three given perspectives
  • What insights do they offer, and what do they fail to consider?
  • Why might they be persuasive to others, or why might they fail to persuade?
  • Your own knowledge, experience, and values
  • What is your perspective on this issue, and what are its strengths and weaknesses?
  • How will you support your perspective in your essay?

 

 

 

Want to know more about essays? Check out these related posts!

How to Write the NEW ACT Essay

The NEW ACT Essay vs. The NEW SAT Essay

 

Looking for awesome ACT prep for free?  Check out our free course here:

FREE ACT Prep Video Practice Test Explanations for the OFFICIAL ACT Practice Test!

 

Photo credit: Brendan DeBrincat