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Important Facts About Essay Scoring

Readers undergo thorough training on the fine points of holistic scoring. It takes 2-3 full days of training to be certified as an essay reader.

Each reader takes only about 60-90 seconds to form an impression of an essay. The reader does not identify specific errors within the paper. In fact, readers do not make any marks on the paper at all.

Two readers read every essay. The two scores are added together and divided by 2 to get an average score for the essay. However, if the scores differ by more than 1 point, the Chief Reader reads the essay and assigns a final score.

Example 1:
Reader A gives the essay a 2. Reader B gives the essay a 3. The scores are averaged for a total score of 2.5.

Example 2:
Reader A gives the essay a 2. Reader B gives the essay a 4. The Chief Reader must assign the final score.

Remember, candidates receive a combined score for Parts I and II. However, a candidate must pass the essay with a score of 2 or higher in order to receive a score on the Language Arts Writing Test.

If a student gets less than a 2 on the essay, his or her score will be reported as **.