You are on page 1of 60


com/doc/25138295/Constructing-and-Scoring-Essay-Test Scribd Upload a Document

Top of Form

Search Documents

Bottom of Form



Books - Fiction Books - Non-fiction Health & Medicine Brochures/Catalogs Government Docs How-To Guides/Manuals Magazines/Newspapers Recipes/Menus School Work + all categories Featured Recent


Authors Students Researchers Publishers Government & Nonprofits Businesses

Musicians Artists & Designers Teachers + all categories Most Followed Popular Sign Up | Log In

First Page Previous Page Next Page

Sections not available Zoom Out Zoom In Fullscreen Exit Fullscreen Select View Mode

/ 5

View Mode SlideshowScroll

Top of Form

Readcast Add a Comment Embed & Share

Bottom of Form

Reading should be social! Post a message on your social networks to let others know what you're reading. Select the sites below and start sharing.

Readcast this Document

Top of Form


Login to Add a Comment

Bottom of Form

Share & Embed

Add to Collections

Download this Document for Free

Auto-hide: on


EXTENDED RESPONSE ESSAY ITEM - is one that allow for an in-depth

sampling of students knowledge, thinking processes, and problemsolving behavior relative to a specific fact.

RESTRICTED RESPONSE ESSAT ITEM is one where the examinee is

required to provide limited response based on a specified criterion for answering the question.

According to Gronlund and Linn (1990), there are 12 complex learning outcomes that can be measured effectively with essay items. These are the abilities to:

Explain cause- effects relationships;

Describe application of principles;

Present relevant arguments;

Formulate tenable hypotheses;

State necessary assumptions;

Describe the limitations of data;

Explain method and procedures;

Produce, organize and express ideas;

Integrate learning in different areas;

Create original forms; and

Evaluate the worth of ideas. A.CONTENT VERSUS EXPRESSION-It is frequent claimed that essay item allows the students to present his/her knowledge and understanding. More often or not, factors like expression, grammar, spelling and the like are evaluated in relation to content. If the teacher has attempted to develop students skills in expression, and if these learning outcomes are included in the table of specifications, assessment of such skills is just right and valid.


1. What is the chemical formula for sodium bicarbonate? 2. Who wrote the novel, The Last of the Mohicans? a)SELECTIVE RECALL- in which a basis foe evaluation or judgment is suggested

1. Who among the Greek philosophers affected your thinking as a student? 2. Which method of recycling is the most appropriate to use at home?

a) Comparison of two phenomena on a single designated basis. 1. Compare 19TH century and present-day Filipino writers with respect to their involvement and societal affairs. a) Comparison of the phenomena in general 1. Compare the Philippine Revolution of 1896 with that peoples of the Philippine Revolution of 1985. a) Explanation of the use or extract meaning of a phrase or statement. 1. The legal system of the Mesopotamians was anchored on the principle of an eye for an eye, tooth far a tooth. What does this principle mean? a) Summary of text or some portion on it. 1. What is the central idea of communism as an economic system? a) Statement of an artists purpose in the selection or organization of material. 1. Why did Hemingway describe in detail the episode in which Gordon, lying wounded, engages the oncoming enemy?
I. APPLICATIONS It should be

clearly understood that whether or not a question requires applications depend on the preliminary educational experience.


1. Why did Fascism prevail in Germany and Italy but not in Great Britain and France? 2. Why does frequent dependence in penicillin for treatment of minor ailment results in its reduced effectiveness against major innovation of body tissues by infectious bacteria?

1. Why does Hamlet torn by conflicting desire? 2. Why was the Propaganda Movement a successful failure? A. STATEMENT OF RELATIONSHIP 1. A researcher reported that the teaching styles correlates with students achievement about 0.75. What does this correlation mean?

1. Identify three examples of the uses of the hammer in a typical Filipino home. 1. Would you weigh more/less in the moon? Why or why not?


1. Some radical Filipino historians assert that the Filipino revolution against Spain was from the top not from below. Using the same observation, what conclusion is possible?

a) DECISION FOR / AGAINST 1. Should members of the Communist Party of the Philippines be allowed to teach in college or universities? Why or why not? 2. Nature is more influential than the environment in shaping an individuals personality. Prove or disprove this statement. a) DISCUSSION 1. Trace the events that led to the downfall of the dictatorial regime of Ferdinand Marcos. a) CRITICISM OF THE ADEQUACY, CORRECTNESS, OR RELEVANCE OF STAEMENT. 1. Former president Joseph Estrada was convicted for the case of plunder by the Sandigang Bayan. Comment on the adequacy of the evidence used b the said tribunal reaching the decision on the cased filed against the chief executive of the country. a) FORMULATION OF A NEW QUESTIONS 1. What should be the focus of researches of education TO explain the incidence of failure among students with high intelligence quotient? 2. What question should parents ask their children in order to determine the reasons why that join fraternities and sororities? I.EXAMPLES OF ESSAY QUESTION BASED IN BLOOMS TAXANOMY


Explain why Egypt came to be called the gift of the Nile.


What is meant when a person says, I had just crossed the bridge?

Give at least three examples of how the law of supply operates in our economy today?

Explain the causes and effects of the Peoples Power Revolution on the political and the social life of the Filipino people.

Describe the origin and the significance of the celebration of Christmas the world over.

T h e r e a r e f o u r ( s o u r c e s o f d i f f i c a r e l i k e l y e n c o u n teachers in the use of essay test (Greenberg et al, 19960) and they are enumerated are as follows:

4 u t

) l e

t r

y e

t d

h b

a y



1) Limit the problem that the question possesses so that it will have a clear or definite meaning to most students. 2) Use simple words which will convey clear meaning to the students. 3) Prepare enough questions to sample the material of the subject area broadly, within a reasonable idea and writing. 4) Use the essay question for purposes it best serves, like organization, handling complicated ideas and writing. 5) Prepare questions which require considerable thought, but which can be answered in relatively words. 6) Determine in advance how much weight will be accorded each of the various elements expected in a complete answer. 7) Without knowledge of the students name, score for each question for all students. 8) Require all students to answer all questions on the test. 9) Write questions about the material s immediately relevant to the subject. 10)Make a gross judgment of the relative excellence of answer as a first step in grading. 11)Word a question as simple as possible in order to make the task clear.

12)Do not judge papers on the basis of external factors unless they have been clearly stipulated. 13)Do not make a generalized estimate of an entire papers worth.

14)Do not construct a test consisting of only one question.


A.METHODS IN SCORING ESSAY TESTS 1. It is critical that the teacher prepare, in advance a detailed ideal answer. 2. Student papers should be scored anonymously and that all answers to a given item be scored one at a time, rather than grading each total separately.

1. Handwriting 2. Style 3. Grammar 4. Knowledge of the students 5. Neatness


1. HOLISTIC SCORING- In this type, a total score is assigned in each essay items based the teachers general impression or over-all assessment. 2. ANALYTIC SCORING- In this type, the essay is scored in terms of each components

1. Decide what factors constitute a good answer before administering an essay question. 2. Explain these factors in the test item. 3. Read all the answers to a single essay question before reading other questions 4. Reread essay answers a second time after initial scoring.

Constructing and Scoring Essay Test

Download this Document for FreePrintMobileCollectionsReport Document Report this document? Please tell us reason(s) for reporting this document
Top of Form

2d520a2cb11902 doc

Spam or junk

Porn adult content Hateful or offensive If you are the copyright owner of this document and want to report it, please follow these directions to submit a copyright infringement notice. Report Cancel
Bottom of Form

This is a private document.

Info and Rating

Reads: 2,072 Uploaded: 01/13/2010 Category: Books - Non-fiction>Travel Rated:
0 5 false false 0

Copyright: Attribution Non-commercial Follow tomines25

Share & Embed Related Documents

PreviousNext 1.



p. 2.



p. 3.



p. 4.



p. 5.



p. 6.



p. 7.



p. 8.



p. 9.



p. 10.



More from this user

PreviousNext 1.

49 p.

7 p.

34 p. 2.

5 p.

Add a Comment
Top of Form


Submit Characters: 400

document_comme 4gen
Bottom of Form

Print this document High Quality

Open the downloaded document, and select print from the file menu (PDF reader required). Download and Print

Sign up
Use your Facebook login and see what your friends are reading and sharing. Other login options Login with Facebook
http://w w w .scrib http://w w w .scrib
Bottom of Form Top of Form

I don't have a Facebook account
Top of Form

2d520a2cb11902 default

email address (required) create username (required) password (required) Send me the Scribd Newsletter, and occasional account related communications. Sign Up Privacy policy You will receive email notifications regarding your account activity. You can manage these notifications in your account settings. We promise to respect your privacy.
Bottom of Form

Why Sign up?

Discover and connect with people of similar interests. Publish your documents quickly and easily.

Share your reading interests on Scribd and social sites.

Already have a Scribd account?

Top of Form


email address or username password Log In Trouble logging in?

Bottom of Form

Login Successful
Now bringing you back...

Back to Login

Reset your password

Please enter your email address below to reset your password. We will send you an email with instructions on how to continue.
Top of Form


Email address: You need to provide a login for this account as well. Login: Submit
Bottom of Form

Upload a Document Search Documents

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Follow Us! About Press Blog Partners Scribd 101 Web Stuff Scribd Store Support FAQ Developers / API Jobs Terms Copyright Privacy

Copyright 2011 Scribd Inc. Language: English Choose the language in which you want to experience Scribd: English Espaol Portugus (Brasil)

scribd. scribd. scribd. scribd. scribd. scribd.

Essay Scoring Manual

Copyright, Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, 30334, 1990. All rights reserved .

This manual has been compiled to provide information about the scoring of essays written for the Regents' Testing Program of the University System of Georgia. The first section of the manual (Information for New Raters) contains information that should be read by new raters of Regents' Testing Program essays. Any questions about the information provided in this manual should be referred to the Regents' Testing Program office.

Table of Contents: SECTION I - Information for New Raters

Introduction Instructions for Scoring Regents' Testing Program Essays Description of Essay Scoring Procedure Model Essays and Analyses of Model Essays Questions and Answers on the Rating of Regents' Test Essays Examples of Rated Essays Practice Essays

Ratings for Practice Essays General Description of Procedures at Scoring Centers Instructions for Completing Expense Statements and W-9 Forms Procedure for Recording Ratings Handling Problems

SECTION II - Miscellaneous Materials

List of Approved Essay Topics Development of Instructions to Raters and Selection of Essay Topics Procedures for Maintaining the Anonymity of Essay Writers Schedule of Regents' Testing Program Activities Scoring Sites and Selection of Raters Sample Rater Performance Report and Summary Regents' Testing Program Policy and Procedures Policy Administrative Procedures Procedures for Special Administration (Students with learning disabilities or test anxiety Dictionary Use Suggestions for the Essay Review Process

Overview of the Regents' Testing Program

The Content of the Regents' Test: The Reading Test The Essay Test Administration and Scoring of the Regents' Test: Administration Scoring the Reading Test Scoring the Essay Test Score Reporting

Information for New Raters Introduction

This manual has been compiled to provide information about the scoring of essays written for the Regents' Testing Program of the University System of Georgia. The first section of the manual is provided specifically to help new raters of Regents' Test essays become familiar with the procedures that are used to rate these essays.

It is essential that all raters be thoroughly familiar with the instructions that are provided in the first section. These instructions include the "Description of Essay Scoring Procedure", the model essays and analyses, and the "Questions and Answers on the Rating of Regents' Test Essays". Each quarter, all raters receive a copy of these instructions to review before the scoring session and to use at the scoring session. New raters should read the set of sample rated essays provided in the "Examples of Rated Essays" section. The sample essays and their ratings illustrate how the essay rating procedures are applied to a variety of essays. After reviewing the sample rated essays, new raters should practice by rating the essays provided in the "Practice Essays" section. Ratings for these essays are given in the "Ratings for Practice Essays" section. The general procedures employed at the scoring centers are described in "General Description of Procedures at Scoring Centers". This description includes additional instructions for raters and should be useful in helping new raters understand the operation of a scoring center. Raters are paid an honorarium and are reimbursed for allowable expenses for each scoring session they attend. Rules governing the payment of expenses and instructions for completing expense statements are provided in "Instructions for Completing Expense Statements and W-9 Forms". The procedure for recording essay ratings on the computer-scanned rating sheets is given in "Procedure for Recording Ratings".
return to table of contents

Instructions for Scoring Regents' Testing Program Essays Description of Essay Scoring Procedure
Raters should read each essay quickly to gain a general impression of its quality in relation to the model essays and assign a rating based on that comparison. This approach, holistic rating, contrasts with the analytic grading commonly used in essay evaluation, but evidence indicates that holistic rating is much faster and produces more uniform results. The essays are rated on a four-point scale in which "1" is the lowest score and "4" is the highest score. The model essays represent borderline cases; each essay to be rated must, by definition, fall above or below a model. RATINGS MODELS 4 4/3 3 3/2 2 2/1 1

One model essay represents each dividing line. An essay better than the "2/1" model and worse than the "3/2" model would be rated "2." An essay worse than the "2/1" model becomes "1." An essay better than the "4/3" model becomes "4." Note carefully that raters should compare the essays they read with the models. They should not rate in terms of their usual grading standards or some abstract standard. They should not associate the ratings with the traditional grades A, B, C, D, F. The testing subcommittee of the University System Academic Committee on English attempts to choose models by using the following definitions of competency, although it realizes that these definitions are by no means exhaustive.
The "4" essay has a clear central idea that relates directly to the assigned topic. The essay has a clear organizational plan. The major points are developed logically and are supported with concrete, specific evidence or details that arouse the reader's interest. The essay reveals the writer's ability to select effective, appropriate words and phrases; to write varied, sophisticated sentences; to make careful use of effective transitional devices; and to maintain a consistent, appropriate tone. The essay is essentially free from mechanical errors, it contains no serious grammatical errors, and the ideas are expressed freshly and vividly. The "3" essay has a clear central idea that relates directly to the assigned topic. It contains most of the qualities of good writing itemized above. The essay generally differs from a "4" in that it shows definite competence, but lacks distinction. The examples and details are pertinent, but may not be particularly vivid or sharply observed; the word choice is generally accurate, but seldom -- if ever -- really felicitous. The writer adopts an appropriate, consistent tone. The essay may contain a few errors in grammar and mechanics. The "2" essay meets only the basic criteria, and those in a minimal way. The essay has a central idea related directly to the assigned topic and presented with sufficient clarity that the reader is aware of the writer's purpose. The organization is clear enough for the reader to perceive the writer's plan. The paragraphs coherently present some evidence or details to substantiate the points. The writer uses ordinary, everyday words accurately and idiomatically and generally avoids both the monotony created by series of choppy, simple sentences and the incoherence caused by long, tangled sentences. Although the essay may contain a few serious grammatical errors and several mechanical errors, they are not of sufficient severity or frequency to obscure the sense of what the writer is saying. The "1" essay has any one of the following problems to an extraordinary degree or it has several to a limited degree: it lacks a central idea; it lacks a clear organizational plan; it does not develop its points or develops them in a repetitious, incoherent, or illogical way; it does not relate directly to the assigned topic; it contains several serious grammatical errors; it contains numerous mechanical errors; ordinary, everyday words are used inaccurately and unidiomatically; it contains a limited vocabulary so that the words chosen frequently do not serve the writer's purpose; syntax is frequently rudimentary or tangled; or the essay is so brief that the rater cannot make an accurate judgement of the writer's ability.

return to table of contents

Model Essays and Analyses of Model Essays

Model #1 - 2/1: TOPIC: WHY WOULD YOU LIKE OR DISLIKE OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS? Going out of Business Sale! Signs of this nature can be seen everywhere. Today opening up a business can be scary, because of the extensive risk, high cost, and extreme stress.

The chief reason I would not want to start my own business is the great risk of failure. Today statistics show that four out of every six businesses fail within the first year. Those are not very good odds for one just starting his or her own business. The second reason not to start my own business is the high cost of starting a business. Businesses take a great deal of money to get started, and for that matter to keep running. The first thing one has to do is find a place to put the business. Lots are very expensive. Then a building has to be built, and merchandise to fill the building has to be purchased. Finally owning a business can be stressful. Being ones own boss can be stressful to her or him by the way of having to make all of the important decisions, or can cause stress at home. The stress at home can be very detrimental to the marriage, or even the family as a whole. Concluding this owning a business is just one big headache. On the other hand some people are very successful, and they got that way by taking the risk of owning their own business. I personally don't think that owning a business is worth the risk, when working for someone else is a lot safer. Analysis: The essay is not a clear "2" because only the third paragraph is adequately developed; the nextto-the-last sentence of the essay violates the unity and coherence of the paragraph in which it appears; several phrases are unidiomatic; some words and phrases are repeated excessively; the second sentence of the fourth paragraph contains a jarring shift in construction; throughout the essay the point of view vacillates between the first person and the third; and in the first sentence of the last paragraph, "concluding this," a dangling modifier, is particularly confusing because "this" lacks a referent and the phrase is not set off with a comma. The essay is not a clear "1" because it has a central idea that directly answers the question raised by the topic and that is developed through a clear organizational plan; the transitions are clear, although blatant and conventional; the third paragraph is reasonably coherent, logical, and free from repetition; the essay contains only a few serious grammatical errors, no spelling errors, and no errors in diction that block communication; the syntax is neither consistently rudimentary nor hopelessly tangled; and the essay has an interest-catching opening. Model #2 - 3/2:

Advertising has a large influence on my life and the lives of my friends. Advertising has an influence on the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, and the food we eat.

Advertising influences the cars my friends and I drive. The television commercials paint an unrealistic picture of how good life is once you own their product. For example, one of the commercials for Volvo implies that a person doesn't have class unless he drives a Volvo. According to the Cadillac commercial, a car can not be elegant unless it is a Cadillac. Magazine ads are very similar to television ads. Magazine ads show beautiful women and handsome men gathered around an automobile, and imply that the reader can be like the people in the ad. Advertising has an influence on those clothes we wear. Television and magazines show hair-thin models wearing different articles of clothing. The ads for Jordache or Calvin Klein are a good example of this fact. My friends and I sometimes feel that if the clothes look good, then they must be made good. We also hope the clothes look as good on us as they did on the models. Finally, advertising influences our eating habits. There are ads for hamburgers, hotdogs, pizzas, beer, candies, cakes, and the list keeps going. Pizza Inn gives us more of the things we like. The people at Burger King treat us right. Everyone wants to be an Oscar Mayer hot dog. Michelob wants us to put a little weekend in our week. Of course, relief is spelled Rolaids. With ads like these facing us every night who could resist? In conclusion, I'd like to say that advertising influences the way everybody lives. The cars we drive, the clothes we wear, and the food we eat are all a result of advertising. Analysis: The essay demonstrates more than the "minimal competence" of a "2" essay, but fails to attain the "definite competence" of a "3." Although the central idea is related to the topic, this idea is not always in clear focus: details, particularly in the second paragraph, describe more the appeals than the effects of advertisements. The opening paragraph has no introduction, merely the thesis divided into two sentences, and the conclusion is a gratuitous restatement of the opening. Transitional phrases are either non-existent or uninspired. The essay rates above a "2" because it has clear organization, adequate development, and parallel structure. Details are vivid, occasionally novel, and the point of view and tone are generally consistent, the latter being lightly ironic. With the exception of the overuse and misuse of "good" in paragraph three, the extraneous comma in paragraph two, and the necessary comma omitted from paragraph four, word choice is accurate and punctuation correct. Grammatically the essay is altogether sound. Model #3 - 4/3:
TOPIC: DISCUSS WHY PEOPLE ARE FASCINATED BY AMUSEMENT PARKS SUCH AS DISNEY WORLD AND SIX FLAGS. People of all ages, shapes, sizes, financial statuses, and interests pour, in vast numbers each year into such amusement parks as Disney World and Six Flags. Why the fascination with these places, even to the point of repetitive visits? Each individual has his own reason, but there are a few common to all. Here in a makebelieve world can be found something for everyone.

On stepping from a sometimes harsh, ugly world through the gates of a "magic kingdom," one can do for a short while anything he desires. Vicarious living, with all the thrills and dangers of adventure in faraway places or daring escapades unavailable in everyday life, is here for the price of a ticket. There are wild rides: twisting, dipping, now fast, then slow, breath-taking, almost dangerous. For a few minutes one can live on the edge of danger, but always with the knowledge that safety is only inches and seconds away. Tamer rides are available for the children of all ages who prefer their thrills in more sedate doses. There are beautiful, clean, and true-to-life (better than life?) amusements here also; here everything is pretty, always works, and ends before boredom sets in. There are rides that take one through other countries, fantasy worlds, even into a mildly threatening outer space, and always with the surety of a safe return! Threatening animals become friends, and are totally predictable, clean, and nicer than the real thing. One can even return to the past, seeing of course only nostalgic beauty in the "good old days," and handily passing over any unpleasant memories. The future can be attained in seconds, showing the wonders in store for one as a result of the marvelous technilogical advances of mankind. Of lesser importance, but still a valid reason for amusement park popularity, is the availability of food of many different types. Cuisine of exotic foreign countries is presented in a fairly reasonable form for a decent price. Where else could be tasted a bean-paste sweet typical of Japan, a delicate, flaky Napoleon of France, or a foaming cold beer served in a bier haus of Germany? All this, and more, is available at one price, as often as wished. So are seen two reasons for the tremendous popularity of the amusement parks. All in one package, for one price, instant gratification is there, every day, year-round. All need and desire escape from mundane lives. The amusement parks provide this escape. Analysis: The essay is not quite a "4" chiefly because the organizational plan is rather ineffective. The second paragraph lacks a clear focus -- given the variety of details contained in it, the writer might very well have gone on to discuss food along with the rides, the animals, and the nostalgic vistas. Of less importance, in the second sentence of the second paragraph, the verb should be nearer its subject; transitional devices are not used skillfully; the writer overuses the "there are" construction in the second paragraph; "technological" is misspelled; and punctuation is sometimes questionable. The essay is better than a "3" because some of the details are sharply -or wryly -- observed; the writer turns some nice phrases; the writer manifests a certain sophistication in diction as reflected in the correct use of "sedate," "vicarious," and "gratification"; and the essay contains no grammatical or mechanical errors and only one spelling error.
return to table of contents

Questions and Answers on the Rating of Regents' Test Essays 1. Why do we have 2/1, 3/2, and 4/3 models? Why don't we have models of "1," "2," "3," and "4" essays?
All of the discrete ratings cover a wide range of writing performance, particularly the "1." An essay may be assigned a "1" because it is only one sentence long, because it is off the topic, because it contains grammatical errors that frustrate the writer's attempt to communicate, because it is totally lacking in structure, because its points are undeveloped, and so on. There are very, very low "1's," and there are "1's" that are almost

passing. While "2," "3," and "4" do not cover so wide a range, it would still be impossible simply to pick one model and say, "This is it." The example would, of necessity, be a low "3," a middling "3," or a high "3." The 4/3, 3/2, and 2/1 models are intended to represent a very fine borderline.

2. What specifically does the 2/1 model represent?

The essay chosen as a 2/1 model represents the absolute balance point between the "1" and the "2" essay. The committee which selected the essay would hope that, if the 2/1 model essay were rated by fifty raters, it would receive twenty-five "1's" and twenty-five "2's." A tiny nudge could swing the balance either way. It would be a clear "2," if, for example: a few more supporting details were supplied, the diction were more appropriate, the mechanical and grammatical errors were fewer, or the coherence were improved. On the other hand, it would be a clear "1" if it were a trifle weaker in any one of these aspects.

3. Must an essay have a thesis sentence to pass?

Not necessarily. Although an explicit thesis sentence is perfectly acceptable, and many perhaps most - of our students need one, many a good writer can make the implied thesis clear and can organize the essay well enough so that the reader can follow the line of thought without the writer's having revealed the organizational plan in the introductory paragraph.

4. Must the essay follow a set formula?


5. What should be done with essays that are off the topic?
We face two problems here. One involves the student who has a prepared essay and tries to fit it to the topic; the other involves the student who misreads or misunderstands the topic. When raters find an essay that is completely off the topic, they must fail the essay. Misreading is more problematic. Many students who wrote on the topic "Children should never be disciplined by corporal punishment. Defend or attack the statement." thought that corporal punishment was the same as capital punishment. Similarly, a few students who wrote on the topic "Name two or three qualities which you feel a person should possess in order to be a good employee." discussed qualities of a good employer rather than a good employee. When a writer misreads the topic this grossly, the essay should be failed. Most of the misreadings, however, are not so blatant. Many raters found themselves perplexed by the responses to the following twotopics: "Discuss the most important moral qualities an elected official should have." and "What qualities of character do you regard as important in a person you would choose as a friend?" Students writing on the latter topic would blithely talk about how their friends should have good looks, an effervescent personality, and plenty of money more often (or so it seemed) than they would talk about qualities of character such as honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness. Much of the same was true of the former topic, where students would talk about charisma, intelligence, and charm. Seldom, if ever, was an essay totally off the topic: a typical thesis sentence might read "My friends should be loyal, intelligent, honest, and easy to get along with." The raters must penalize the essay for this type of misunderstanding, but such an essay should not be failed out of hand. If the essay is well-

written and the student does not seem to be deliberately evading the topic, the essay might well deserve one of the passing scores. The question of whether the writer can both attack and defend an issue when the topic says "attack or defend" has been raised. When the student deals with pro and con arguments but takes a clear stand on one side of the issue, the answer is definitely yes. Doing so is not merely acceptable, it is meritorious: "although the 55 mph speed limit costs motorists some time and encourages many citizens to break the law, it should be retained because it saves lives, conserves gas, and reduces the number and severity of accidents" is clearly more sophisticated than "the 55 mph speed limit should be retained because it saves money, lives, and gasoline." The student who simply attacks and defends without coming down on one side or the other does imperil the chances of passing. However, the student who writes a good fence-straddling essay should be passed.

6. May the student modify the topic?

Students may make reasonable modifications of the topic. For example, given the topic "What courses that you did not take in high school do you now wish you had taken?" students may state that there are no such courses and explain why. Also, students do not have to discuss specific courses, but may state that they should have taken more courses in an area such as English or history. Students should not be penalized for narrowing the topic. For example, given a topic which asks for a discussion of the goals of the women's liberation movement, students could narrow the topic by discussing only economic issues. Students may handle the topic in the first person or the third person, regardless of the person in which the topic is stated. For example, given the topic "Do you agree with the goals of the women's liberation movement?" students may answer, "The goals of the women's liberation movement are valid," and continue in the third person.

7. How should the rater react to obviously spurious statistics and obviously counterfeit examples?
We must keep in mind that the student writing for the Regents' Test does not have access to an almanac or a set of encyclopedias. Raters should, therefore, be very patient with approximate statistics and with dubious uncles. At the same time, raters must keep in mind that, to the extent examples and statistics are incredible, they are rhetorically ineffective and thus lessen the essay's chances of passing. Writers who say that the accident rate dropped by approximately 10% after the 55 mph speed limit was put into effect strengthen their case; writers who say that the accident rate was cut in half when the 55 mph speed limit was put into effect weaken theirs.

8. How should we rate an essay of comic or satiric intent?

Reward the successful and penalize the inept.
return to table of contents

Examples of Rated Essays

The examples of rated essays provided in this section illustrate how the essay rating procedures are applied to a variety of essays. The rating is given at the

end of each essay, and the essays are grouped in the order of the ratings. New raters should review each essay and its rating.

After reviewing these rated essays, new raters should practice applying the rating procedures to the essays provided in the next section, "Practice Essays." Rating - 1: How does a person make a favorable first impression in an interview? We as college students, have ahead of us possibly one of the most difficult tasks left to master. As we come to the crossroads, for which our years of education have been directing us, it is important to realize that knowledge alone may not lead to the occupation that we desire. The task of searching for a job may be made somewhat simplified if we take some time to consider that all-important interview; and more specifically the qualities we have demonstrated in the interview, once we leave the office. The qualities most likely to allow us to have a second interview are punctuality and sincerity. Punctuality is viewed by perspective employers as a very honorable quality. Honorable in the sense that we are there out of a feeling of respect for the employer's time. Arriving on time also demonstrates the kind of eagerness that reminds interviewer's how determined we are to have a position with them. Our sincerity, secondly, remains on the mind of the interviewer longer than any grading statistics that may appear on our resume. Shake your perspective employer's hand with a firm grip, our body language says alot about us. Answer questions thoughtfully and forcefully so as to be understood as well as heard. Our sincere answers to questions may get us the position we are looking for. Punctuality means money to your boss, don't allow him to see you as a bad investment. Sincerity is one of the few impressions we leave and it may be the only side of us an employer has an opportunity to see. Rating - 1: If you were made the programming director of a major television network, what changes in programming would you make? Explain. If chosen programming director of a major television network many changes would be implemented for the viewers. There would be less advertising during the family television hours. There would be more educational programs for children. Also, there would be a cut back on the stereotype movies and advertising. Perhaps, one of the first changes to be made in the television network is less advertising, during family viewing. A smaller amount of commercials would definitely give its audience more of the program. There would be no interruptions every ten minutes between scenes. Also, a minimum amount of advertising benefits the viewer in which he can get a better understanding of the program. In addition, more educational programs would be provided during the children hours. However, these programs would be presented during the time most children are at home. They would not have to watch those programs which relay violence. Children would not have to view the daily soap operas because there would be special educational presentations just for them. However, some children might not get to see those programs.

Although, many changes would be made, equally important is the cut back of stereotype movies. This cut back would eliminate sexist movies on television. Also, the viewer would not get ideas such as, the only roles males and females play are sex symbols. In addition, female place is in the home. The male place is outside doing a hard days work. Therefore, being a programming director of a major television network many major changes would be made to better television for society. This would include giving families more viewing time of programs. The output of more educational programs for children would be implemented. Another change would be the limited number of stereotype pictures. These are some changes and practices which would be used to upgrade the programming of television. Rating - 1: Should the government do more to discourage smoking? Why or why not? "The High Rate for Cancer Has Decreased Because Cigarettes are Off the Market" would be a nice headline if the government did more to discourage cigarette smoking and succeeds. The government should do more to discourage cigarette smoking because this would decrease the high cancer percentage and help many people break their habit. First, if the government does do more to discourage cigarette smoking it may succeed and there would be a tremendous decrease in the cancer percentage. Although, cigarettes are not the only items on market that cause cancer, but if cigarettes are removed, then there would be one less item on market that does cause cancer. Second, if the government does more to discourage cigarette smoking it would help many people kick the smoking habit. There are many people trying to stop smoking but can not. If the government succeeds at it's effort to discourage cigarette smoking many people, especially the smokers, would be very happy because they would no longer have to worry about trying to stop smoking. In conclusion, if the government succeeds at it's attempt to discourage cigarette smoking, this would be a great benefit for the smokers, because they would have kicked the habit and helped the cancer rate to decrease in the non smokers. Rating - 1: What do you think are the major effects of divorce upon children? Discuss. From birth to the first few years, life is filled with new, exciting and influential experiences. Familarization with the people and things in the surroundings makes lasting impressions. For years doctors and psychologists have been pondering the question of the effect divorce has on the offspring of a marriage. Although the information is still inconclusive, I will attempt to define my feelings on the subject based on the first few lines of this essay. With the passing of time, even a very short time, parents become a symbol in an infant's eyes. The infant becomes dependent on the faces, the hands, the bodies that feeds loves and protect it. As the infant grows in to a child, it becomes more and more attached to its parents. If at some point, the child senses something wrong between the parents it will respond in some way. This response also holds true if the parents are seperated and eventually divorced. Divorce creates problems with children that few couples or parents realize or understand. For instance if for 3 years the father, mother and child has been living together as a

family unit. Suddenly (in the childs eyes) the father disappears, he simply walkes out. This 3 year old child cant understand what's going on. But he knows and responds to his fathers absence. This holds true for children of almost any age. Along with the confusion of "where is Daddy, the child will go through phases which will show that divorce affects him in some devistating ways. The security I spoke of earlier is one of the things that could have an impact on the child. For 3 years, father has watched over the family unit, he is big strong and protects mother too. Now that father is gone who will be there. The child could resent his fathers leaving or resent his mother for letting him go. While this is important, the childs loss of companionship could be more important. Father has been spending a great deal of time playing with talking to and holding this child. If this is suddenly lost, the child will or could resent it. While resentment maybe easiely overcome by a child of 3 years, mental and emotional difficulties may not be. The tension, stress, and strain of a divorce tend to play the biggest role in how a child will adjust afterward. I'm sure we all know how attached most children are to their parents. There are emotional ties that could never be broken. However if a child understand what is going on or senses hostility between his parents he tends to be torn between them. He may experience confusion, resentment, hostility mental and emotional stresses. If the problem continue to exist, this could lead to longlasting if not permanant mental and emotional strain. As the study of divorce and its effect on children continue, parents should keep in mind what they are doing to thier children. Apprehension about future fathers (step-fathers), could spark a new and more tragic experience. While I realize that not all marriages work out, I also realize that not all children respond or recover the same. So parents be aware of the consequences, you could be destroying the most precious thing(s) in your lives, your children. Rating - 1: Some states now permit single men and women to adopt children. Do you favor such a policy? Explain why or why not. Adopting a child is a big responsibility for both the child and adult. In todays society, more and more people are becoming more independent on themselves. In turn, people are not taking the vows of marriage for the security of a mate. Adopting a child as a single parent would give the parent child relationship a stronger personalised relationship while building a more secure home invironment. Single parents adopting children would also reduce the divorce rate by over 25%. A single parent would be able to offer a child more attention while not having to worry about the lost attention a mate may feel. Single parents feel more independent and directly teach their children how to become more independent on themselves. Children also feel that the time they spend with their single parent is more meaningful and advantages than if they were to have two parents. The children would not be forced to choose sides if a parental argument borke out. Children do feel a closer relationship if they have one parent and one set of rules. When children feel closer to their parent, they feel more secure. Security for a single parent is very important to maintain with the child. Children to trust people more if the person is not conterdicted. With one parent, the child feels secure about what is right and

what is wrong. The children are also able to develop faster with emotions that they share with one parent. The children do not have to worry about telling the mother or the father; they can confide directly to their single parent. People are trying many different ways to have a child of their own. People have even been know to steel children. People will go to almost any length to get a child including marriage. Marriges are failing at a rate of 50%. A divorce puts untold amounts of strain on children as well as parents. People do not need to put themself through these needless hardships. Single parents do not face the pain involved in a divorce which ends up making the children pick sides. Single parents represents the one personal intructer without the conflict of an emotional family unit. In the homes of today, people are reaching out for care and guidence that a single parent could offer. Children are respecting and understanding why their mother or father did not get married. They also understand that their parent wanted them more than a mate. Children understand that they can get enough love from one parent. A policy of a single parent is one that should also be supported by the government. Rating - 1: Is it better to have brothers and sisters than to be an only child? Explain. Growing up with brothers and sisters is important to a young child. It is better to have brothers and sisters than to be an only child. Growing up as an only child can Growing up as an only child can be very lonely. Many children today need the companionship of a brother and sister to keep them in line. When a child is without a brother or sister, there seems to be missing a large part of what life is all about. Growing up means learning to cope with those around you and learning from your brother or sister what is the difference between right and wrong. The spare time a child has should be spent with brothers and sisters. The fellowship of a family plays a vital role in how a child creates an idea of how to treat others around him. Loneliness can lead to emotional problems throughout a child's life. A big brother showing a little brother how to play baseball or how to build a treehouse is an example why a brother is important. A big sister showing a little sister how to cook or fix supper can show the need for a sister. Not having brothers and sisters can lead to a lonely life. Influence from a brother or sister can be important as a child. Many children do things without knowing whether they did right or wrong. An older brother can be there to show little things like how to treat guests or the difference in respect or rudeness. Older brothers and sisters play a major part in how the younger child grows up. Many times a younger brother or sister will act as the older brother or sister did. Having an older sister can mean the difference between knowing proper manners or not, because older sisters seem to teach the younger ones how to act at the table or how to act while company is present. A big brother who is a big standout at school can play a large role in how a younger brother strives to do as he is growing up. Brothers and sisters hold the true meaning of friendship and love. The influence a brother and sister have on another brother and sister can be important in the outcome of each other. Love many times comes from brothers and sisters. A child that is mistreated at school may come home looking for a good word from a brother. If there is no brother or sister then the emotions can stagger and create an obstacle in the child's social life. A brother or sister at home can mean having someone to talk to and share good times.

Being an only child seems to produce a spoiled person later in life. Children that growup as an only child seem to receive everything their hearts desire. The child that gets anything he wants grows up wanting more than he truely needs to survive. As a spoiled child gets older, then the demands for earthly possession get greater. If a want goes unanswered, then a child may began to look for other ways to get these things. Children who do not have brothers and sisters do not respect other people's possessions. A spoiled child is obviously the lack of a brother or sister as a companion. Sharing with someone else can mean respecting other people's feelings. A child without a brother or sister won't share because sharing with others has never been experienced as a young child. Spoiled children sometimes take longer to mature because of the lack of guidance by a brother or sister. An only child can not know the meaning of sharing without growing up with a brother and sister. The company of brothers and sisters is important to a young child while growing up. Loneliness, influence and sharing of possessions are reasons why having brothers and sisters is important for a child. Rating - 2: Which of the four seasons of the year appeals to you the most? Why? Fall appeals to me most because it seems to be the "calm" season. During this time of year, not many people are seen about the streets, or just hanging out on corners. Even the trees look calm. Their coats change into different hues of yellow, orange, and even red. After this transition has taken place, the trees begin to shed these beautiful colors until they are naked and asleep. The air is cool and a great relief from the hot, still air of summer which brings people out of their houses and into the streets, swimming pools, and onto beaches filled with noises such as loud music. This cool air, instead, makes people want to stay inside, surrounded by the calming warmth of a house whose firplace exudes a lazy contentment, and whose walls reflect a myriad of illusions shaped by dancing flame. Nonetheless, taking walks alone and enjoying the sights and stillness of Fall is enough to calm and relax the soul, especially mine when I need it. While I walk, I hear no noise and its so easy to imagine that there's only me and the trees. I, personally, look forward to Fall each year, hoping that maybe it will last longer than the last time it came around with all of its different and interesting colors, and its "calmness". Even Winter fails to compare favorably in my mind because that beautiful blanket of white becomes dirty and temperatures grow harsh. Spring is for the birds. Rating - 2: Choose a profession whose members make a worthwhile contribution to society and discuss the benefits that society receives from members of this profession. One necessity of life for living things is food. Without food people cannot live long. With today's large population, high costs of production, and low energy supplies much improvement is needed on our present agricultural production systems to meet the needs of the world. Agricultural researchers are the answer to the problems. Agricultural researchers make a worthwhile contribution in society in that they are constantly coming up with new and better methods to produce the food required by the world. Today's food requirements for the world are higher than ever before simply because there are more people than ever before. While the population grows, the amount of land available for production does not, if anything the amount gets smaller. More food must be produced on less land. Agricultural researchers have done much work in this area. They

have developed the practice of triple-cropping, which is producing three crops in one year on one field. The practice of fertilizing the soil has been developed to provide more nutrients for the crops, and improved feeds that tend to make livestock grow at faster rates have been produced. Farmers of today have a real problem in trying to deal with the higher costs of production. Agricultural researchers have developed methods of crop production where once the crop has been planted you do not need to go back into the field until harvest time. The main way Ag. researchers have tried to deal with high production costs is by increasing production sharply so that the farmer will recieve more money. With all the other problems facing them, agricultural researchers must still work their way around today's dwindling energy supplies. They have captured the rays of the sun to dry crops and heat livestock facilities. They have used the wind to power machines such as windmills, which pump water from the ground. They have invented tractors and machines that are more fuel efficient or run off of alternate forms of fuel. The work still goes on. Agricultural researchers have done much to improve our production methods. Improvement is a necessity if the world is to survive. Our old agricultural production practices are a thing of the past, the world's needs can only be met with new and improved methods. The sky is the limit for agricultural researchers. Rating - 2: What characteristics do you regard as important in a person you would choose as a friend?
The Qualities in My Friends The characteristics that I look for in a friend do not hinge upon that person's appearance or physical prowess but that person's inner self. The qualities that I look for in a friend are the ones that take time to find. The qualities I consider most important are honesty, loyalty, and kindness.

When I look for honesty in a friend I, of course, look for someone who does not cheat or steal. For example, I would not like to cover up for a friend I saw stealing from a store or from someone else. Although this I do consider important, I also want a friend who is honest about his emotions or feelings on a subject. I want a friend who will tell me how he feels even if it might hurt my feelings. Another important quality that I look for is loyalty. The term loyalty, to me, means someone who would stick by me when my convictions were on the line even if it meant he would also be rediculed by the majority. This I believe shows a person of great inner strength. The characteristic that I consider most important is kindness. A person who would go well out of his way to see a sick friend is a person that I would consider kind. Kindness, to me, is also someone who would go to comfort a friend who had a relative die or care for a sick animal even though it was not his own. Although there are many more characteristics that I look for in a friend these are the ones that I consider most important. These qualities show to me a well rounded person.

Rating - 2: "As we grow older, our toys cost more". Discuss. "As we get older, our toys begin to cost more." It seems in this day and age people are relying more and more on material things. It is very important to some people to gain prestige by owning a new sportscar or an expensive home. People do this when they get older for the same reasons they did as children, because they have a sense of competitiveness that tells them to be the best. Only as children their toys were not priced so high. As children our sense of competition shines through at a very early age. It becomes important to us when we begin to play with the other children on the block that our barbie dolls or toy guns are as nice as theirs. This "competitive sense" continues as we grow. We move on to wanting even better things such as ten-speed bikes, designer clothes, and even at the early age of 16 we begin to dream of having that new Corvett. Once we are adults we try to become a bit more subtle about our wanting things. We want the 165,000 home in Martha's Vineyard because it would be a good investment, but not because our friends from college are living in expensive homes. We also want to belong to the country club because we need a good workout on the golf course now and then, but not because our neighbor belongs to it. All in all people grow-up and end up just spending more on their toys. It is no longer money on toy cars now it is sports cars. It is not money for a big new doll house but money for that expensive new home in the best subdivision. None of us really ever outgrow our sense of wanting to have the best things, we just find better ways of making what we want seem practical. Rating - 2: "The current generation is lazy and lacks discipline". Defend or attack this statement. Each generation has been accused of being lazy and lacking discipline at one time or another. Eventually each generation becomes productive, despite previous predictions to the contrary. The "Roaring Twenties" era is a good example of a generation of people wrongly accused as lazy and undisciplined. The great "Prohibition" of 1919 did little to stop the consumption of alcohol. Speakeasy saloons became easily accessible -- And what mother did not gasp at the revolutionary styles so-called "Flappers" donned? However, this very same generation faced a great depression just ten years later. Many families were ruined financially and the poor were even poorer. Somehow they survived and became a better people for it. I doubt if the outcome had anything to do with being "lazy" or "lacking discipline." An even more recent example of a generation "gone bad" is the "sixties." On every campus students wore ragged blue jeans with at least one patch, usually a peace sign. Music of that generation was acid rock and anti-war. Girls wore short hair, men wore long hair. The older people wondered what to think of this new "lazy" generation that "lacked" discipline. This generation grew-up, too, many of them whizzing us into the computer age and forging the fields of technology. Surely there will be more generations in the future prematurely judged, and unjustly labeled "lazy", "undisciplined." Do not be so quick to stereotype and find fault with generations yet to come. Someone once said "For every time there is a season". I believe this is to be true. What a better world this would be if everyone would revel in another persons' "spring."

Rating - 3: The "living will" directs a person's family and physicians not to keep that person alive by artificial means if that person were to suffer a totally incapacitating disease or illness. Would you consider signing such a document and giving to to your own family? Why or why not? Beyond a shadow of doubt I would sign a "Living Will" document and give it to my parents. I have very strong feelings for this issue based upon personal experiences. To me the choice is an easy one that I made several years ago because of an incident that involved my best friend. Four years ago there was a terrible car wreck that took place in a small town in Southeast Georgia. On a rainy day two kids were out joy riding when their car skidded beneath a tractor trailer rig. The impact killed the driver instantly and sent the passenger at the age of seventeen into a coma. When I went to the hospital with my best friend we saw her brother hooked up to some kind of machine that had tubes running everywhere. There were some in his nose, some on his arms and there were even a few in his legs. My friend and I stood there for hours staring in disbelief, sometimes crying and sometimes trying to laugh. It has been almost five years since that horrible day but none of us are over the shock of it. For my friend's brother is still hooked up to that cold machine and he always will be. Some vital organs had been smashed and he cannot function on his own. He will never speak to any of us or hear or see us. I have watched that family suffer more than any one family ever deserves too. I have witnessed their daily visits turn into weekly ones and their weekly ones into monthly ones. All this family wants is for their son and loved one to die so that he may go to heaven. Based upon this personal experience it is an easy choice for me to sign the "Living Will" document and give it to my family. For I would never want them to have to suffer every day like my friends family. I would much rather my family remember me as a human being as opposed to a vegetable. Rating - 3: How do you expect your college education to change the rest of your life? Discuss. Having a college education can be beneficial to anyone regardless of his/her chosen profession. Because I began my college education in mid-life and am happy with my job situation, I do not expect to make a major career change. I do however expect my college education to change the rest of my life as a secretary, a wife and mother, and as a member of my community. An essential part of being a good secretary is having good communication skills. The knowledge I have gained through English 101 and English 102 has already improved my skill in written communication. Quite often I am tasked to write letters for my organization but more often I am expected to change or rearrange a letter, a presentation or other material written by a co-worker. This task requires not only skill in correct writing procedures but that and good oral communication as well. I am learning to better communicate orally through interaction with other students as well as with college professors. Through my college education I am gaining more self-confidence and higher self-esteem which contribute to good oral communication. My co-workers have learned to trust my ability more (even those with Masters Degrees and Ph.D's) and are assigning me additional responsibilities as a result. I feel confident that with these added skills and the college education I am working toward that there will be promotions in my job future.

As a mother my college education will help me to better understand my children and the various problems they will encounter growing up and working on their own college educations. I will be able to advise them on curriculum choices, when to seek advise from a counselor and other problems than can be overwhelming to a new college student. As a wife I have already begun to see the effects of gaining a college education. My husband is also an evening college student. We have begun to communicate better and to understand each others problems in regards to attending college and working. Our interest in music and art has broadened and we now enjoy attending plays, museums and art shows together. In a community and in a church there is always more work to be done than there are workers. Many times there are workers who seem to be waiting for a leader. I expect that speech classes taken in college will help tremendously in this area as well as assertiveness training and economics. As a representative of our neighborhood organization it is often necessary to speak with government officials and representatives in order to get an ordinance passed or to get other desired neighborhood projects approved. Here again I am sure knowledge gained in communication, government and economics will be helpful. Although I do not plan a major job change as a result of my college education I am sure I will reap the benefits of this education in all walks of life but especially in my present job as a secretary, as a wife and mother, and as a community member. College thus far has broadened my outlook, made me a better communicator, and given me a better understanding of the world around me. Rating - 3: Analyze the qualifications in a person who wishes to be a leader Marlene Rubenstein would lose a beauty contest to an army boot. With her flatnose and thick glasses, she was the ugliest member of my highschool class, including the goat used as team mascot. But Marlene was chosen president during her sophomore, junior, and senior years; and in college she led student government for three years. Marlene's success is not a mystery: she wins because she possesses the qualities of a good leader. Although many qualities contribute to leadership, Marlene's major assets are her ability to accept responsibility and her resourcefulness. Accepting responsibility means being able to carry a project through to completion. In the tenth grade, Harvey Williams, the boy in charge of the Sophomore Class Float, had an appendectomy. Marlene took over as float chairman. She organized two teams of workers to build frames after school and divided the whole class into three groups who took turns on weekends. We completed the float four days ahead of schedule and had plenty of time to make changes in the final form. As a result we won First Place. What I didn't know at the time was that Marlene had promised Mr. Stevens, the chemistry teacher, that she would build a Vandegraf generator for the science fair. I later discovered that Marlene got up each morning at 6:00 to work on her science project. Needless to say, she also won first place in the fair competition. In addition to accepting responsibility and completing the obligations required, Marlene could always be counted on to solve problems through her resourcefulness. For example, when the paper mache walls on our tenth grade float fell over, Marlene had us dip pillow cases in wet flour and hang them on ropes stretched horizontally between the wooden pillars. This gave us a perfect textured wall! Just before the parade, we discovered a flat tire on the float wagon. Marlene immediately turned a wheelbarrow upside down as a

fulcrum and had three boys use an extra four by four as a Jack while two of the others quickly changed tires! Marlene's resourcefulness, like her willingness to accept responsibility, made us respect her and want her as a leader. It is not surprising that Marlene is now running for the U.S. Senate. Rating - 4: Should college students be required to take physical education classes? Why or why not? For the average college student, formal physical education courses may prove to be too much of a good thing. Oh no, I'm not knocking physical fitness, but for sheer physical endurance both required and acquired, consider one day in the life of a commuting college student -- me. Rolling out of bed is my first warm-up exercise. At the breakfast table, I exercise great restraint -- no butter, dry toast. I stretch my imagination as I creatively pair yet another Tshirt with my old reliable jeans. Having given my teeth a brush and a promise, I leap into my Honda Civic and race to the Kiss-Ride parking lot. With amazing dexterity I run up a down escalator, fingers clutching a moist little pile of coins. With incredible manual dexterity I manage to exert sufficient force to move the turnstile one notch. With moments to spare, I leap onto the platform, and from there into the train. Once in my seat, the now demure Pavlova, I enjoy my ten minute break. The trip from train into classroom is much the same -- same muscles, same exercises, same inherent obstacles. The classroom, however, offers exercise of a different sort. There are certain core curriculum courses which, if allowed the full power of their existence, will bore one to extinction. One must exercise great restraint in such a situation. Then, of course, we have the intense isotonic exercise for the buttocks of sitting on them, relieved only by the occasional squirm for a two hour lecture on "The Curiously Erotic Art of Chinese Footbinding." (I love these new ethnic studies!) And no class would be complete without having to cope with a full bladder and an absolute necessity to take furious and copious notes. My sphincter muscle has acquired a tone here-to-fore only written up in the medical literature. I now have only to sprint back to the transit station to qualify for a Presidential Sports Award. Woe be unto the unsuspecting mugger who attempts to mug my mug, for I am poised, ready and aware. My bulging eyeballs rotate quickly in a muscular peripheral sweep of the station. Anyone who dares to monkey with my inner city paranoia risks a sound thrashing. I don't usually brag, but my umbrella thwack got me to the Olympic trials. Test me if you dare. So, you see, physical fitness is already inherent in the commuting college student. From home to train to class and back again, a person must be in shape. I've got the biceps to prove it.
return to table of contents

Practice Essays
Rating: 4

The following essays are provided for practice for new raters. Raters should read and rate these essays and compare their ratings with those in "Ratings for Practice Essays". Raters

with ratings different from those provided should carefully reread the scoring criteria, the model essays, and the examples of rated essays. >Essay 1: Discuss what you like or do not like about the South. For many, the colorful landscapes and warm climate make the South an enjoyable place to live. But the evergrowing problem of racism scars our beautiful land. The South has many qualities which are both likeable and unlikeable. To some people the land is one of the most likeable qualities of the South. In the South children can play in the lush hills of Alabama. The mountains of North Carolina are everchanging with the seasons. Along the coasts of the Atlanta Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico one can feel the cool ocean air while walking on the sandy, white beaches. In the spring and summer the South is green with vegetation. In the fall and winter everything across the land is golden brown. For many people one of the most unlikeable things in the South is the problem of racism. One can experience racial prejudice from both blacks and whites while in the South. Many white people feel that blacks are subordinate to them because they were once slaves. Many blacks think that white people owe them something because of something that happened in the past. A person can read about racial riots in Georgia in the newspaper or can watch whites and blacks fight on Florida television stations. Sometimes it seems as if no one wants to solve this problem and heal an infectious wound. The landscapes and warm climate make the South an enjoyable place to live for many. However, the growing problem of racism scars our beautiful land. Essay 2: Should people on welfare be forced to work? Explain why or why not. Welfare is for the betterment of the poor. People receive Welfare benefits to help support their families. These benefits include provision for medical, food, and clothing expenses. People on welfare should not be forced to work because some are unable to work and they could lose their welfare benefits. Some people that receive welfare benefits are unable to work. Welfare provides benefits for those who are unemployed and disabled. The welfare benefits help the people who have an uncurable illness. Also, when they need to attend the doctor their medical expenses will be paid for. Furthermore, the welfare benefits will help them to pay for food and clothing expenses. As a result, it would be very unfair to force these people to work because they are receiving welfare. Secondly, people on welfare could lose their benefits if they are forced to work. Those who receive welfare get financial aid from the government. If the government finds out that they are working, their welfare benefits will be taken away. Also, the government feels if they can work, they should not be receiving welfare. In addition, these people will save the government money if they are able to work. These people will have to pay the government a large sum of money on the welfare that they received. Finally, being on welfare has it advantages and disadvantages. People on welfare should not be forced to work because some are unable to work and they could lose their welfare benefits. Welfare should mainly be for the elderly, not the young teenagers. Essay 3: Have your eating habits changed since you've been in college? Discuss. College can help to bring about many changes in an individual. Intellectual changes, perceptual changes, and even changes in personal habits may all play a role in the college experience. The area of personal eating habits is perhaps one of the most commonly

discussed changes observed in college freshmen. The concept of the "freshman fifteen," referring to the tendency of college freshmen to gain weight, has proven itself no myth in my own experience. When I began college, I had generally healthy eating habits, a product of having lived with my parents all my life and being forced to eat my vegetables. In my first four months of college life I tried to continue these habits which had been ingrained in me since the early days of strained spinach; however, as the freedoms of college became more apparent, I realized that I did not have to finish my green beans in order to have chocolate cake. I seemed to come to this decision simultaneously with the rest of the girls in my freshman dorm. Soon the lobby of our building became a receiving line for the Domino's Pizza delivery man. This trend continued as evidenced by the boxes of candy and bags of potato chips lined up across our desks that gave a whole new meaning to the term "cramming." By the end of my freshman year I had gained close to twenty-five pounds. Two main factors made this transformation take place so smoothly that I never even noticed it happening: the fact that everyone else did the same thing and the absolute absence of any type of measuring device such as a simple bathroom scale. Fortunately, since my first year at an institute of higher learning, I have learned that I will have to take responsibility for my own eating habits. I now know that my mother will no longer watch over my shoulder to make sure I have eaten my carrots instead of slipping them to the dog; I will have to do that job for her. I have also discovered that chocolate cake can be a wonderful thing when taken in moderation, but when eaten in excess, it becomes the nemesis of my hips. I have also realized that when I eat better, I feel better, and I perform better. Essay 4: Name some place you would not like to go on a date and explain why you would not like to go there. Mark Twain's, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is an exciting piece of literature to read. In it, Huckleberry Finn enjoys fishing, climbing, swimming and exploring. He, however, does not like to attend school, take baths nor live in a family environment. This portrays him as an illiterate, savage, unclean and aloof boy. Yet, he is quite clever and very adventurous. Like Huckleberry Finn, monotony is not a lifestyle which is particularly appealing. Because dating is an adventure, I would not like to go to the movies for a date. The movies have always been a common attraction, rather a conventional solution in the rule book of dating. The movies for dating is always a premiere choice in ten, it allows for a first-date couple, two hours of time to relax in each others presence and in that chronological sequence it allots time for the couple to segment their conversational speech patterns. Thus, with a lengthy conversation the outing may end. When the "dutch", "my treat" or "traditional" date has adjourned, the mind reflects on the evening as well as the pockets. Thus the spender, cheap or not, tells himself that the evening went well sociable and monetarily. Viewing television is like being at the movies, except that one has no commercials. Well enough, there is a new toy in town called a video cassette recorder/player, VCR for short. It is exactly like the movies with a few more advantages. One can rewind, fast forward, or pause if the restroom is being utilized. Because the movies is similar to television it can be attended to anytime.

The movies is a dying attraction, it is monotaneous, rather general. Holding no type of adventure, in the sense that it is not a physical or exploring outing. It is not challenging like dancing, horseback riding, mountain climbing, existing historical landmarks or going to a museum. These sort of outings are challenging mentally and physically. They withdraw skills, intellect and endurance. By far a limbo contest is for everyone, fear of heights is damaging and knowing who invented the can opener, cannot be too thrilling. But it provides a change of pace from being a "couch potato", (a fanatic television or movie viewer). Dating is not specifically restricted to movie-going, but a movie is primarily the first choice for many. It has its advantages providing it is a film which is going to be shown only once. However, its drawbacks prevail: reputation, slight boredom as well as that of a minor backache and hemoroidal symptoms. On the whole, a date should give one something to talk about for at least a week. You may have fallen off your horse or gotten your historical data confused, but it shows that you withstood the challenge. That of skill, intellect, endurance and good commaderie. Essay 5: Should Georgia legalize gambling to raise more revenue? Discuss. For many years, gambling has been a controversial issue within many state governments. The question of the legalization of gambling is not an easy one. Some states, such as Nevada, have chosen to legalize gambling as a means of additional revenue. Other states, such as Georgia, have not legalized gambling for many reasons including moral issues and concern about public welfare. Even though there may be some economical advantages to legalizing gambling in Georgia, the overall effects of gambling in the lives of however many compulsive gamblers there may be in Georgia would ruin these people, their families, and their friends. Gambling can be a good source of revenue in some states by providing extra money that the government might not have had otherwise. This money may be spent on the educational system, public utilities or any type of community programs. In addition to its economical advantages, gambling is also enjoyable entertainment for many people. What people fail to see is the destruction in the lives of the people for whom this entertainment becomes a habit they cannot break. The life of a compulsive gambler can be destroyed in so many ways. A man may lose his job because he is falling behind in office work worrying about where all his money has gone. If the gambler loses all of his savings and no longer has a job, he cannot provide for his family or himself and may fall deeper into debt with no way out. If a gambler borrows money to gamble or even to pay back gambling debts, he may still find himself unable to keep any money to live on. This problem will not only affect him, but also his children and wife will be harmed by his problem. If gambling were legalized, this viscous cycle of behaviors would be an easier trap to fall into than it already is. Look at the statistics of compulsive gambling in Georgia when gambling is not even legal yet. How many more people would fall prey to gambling? How many more lives would be ruined? Besides the effects in the personal lives of gambling victims, another negative aspect of gambling is crime. In cities such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the organized crime rate is astounding. Do Georgians want the mob or loan sharks roaming their cities? There is enough crime to deal with already without worrying about more coming in as a result of legalizing gambling.

Georgia has had a good record of economy for many years. Why should Georgia allow people to possibly risk their lives, homes, families, jobs, and safety over an entertaining pastime? The revenue is not worth it. If gambling is so important to some people, then they can always get on a plane to Atlantic City, because Georgia does not need gambling to keep its economy alive. Essay 6: If you were awarded an expense paid trip to any one place in the world, where would you go? Why? The world is full of many beautyful places. I plan on traveling to those places which fill my mind with beauty and wonder. However, if I were awarded an expense paid trip to any one place in the world, I would immediately travel to Heidelberg Germany. I've already spent seven years of my life in Heidelberg. I was an adolescent then and all of my memories are detailed and happy. I know that the best cherry tree is off Romerstrasse, I know where the best fishing hole is in the Necker river and I know the quickest route through the wood to the Heidelberg castle. The reason I want to return to the city now however, is because I would like to view it in my eyes as an adult. I would like to visit the bars, buy "things" from the boutiques and camp along the river side. Not only do I want to go to Heidelberg to capture old and new memories but also to hook up with old and make some new friends. I've been back in the states for eleven year but I've kept in touch with my German friends as this time has past. Over these years, the letters I've mailed and received have changed tremendously. I used to write about bubble gum and beating up boys but now I write about bourbon and kissing boys. The letters I've received have also changed in the same effect. Just to see the people I've written too over the years would make my trip worthwhile. Capturing memories and seeing old friends is great, but it always has been the culture and the language that has kept me interested in the country itself. When I lived in Heidelberg, I insisted on going to the local German public school. Therefore now, I can speak German and would love to delve into a conversation with an older cultured Heidelberg person who would tell me its history. Stories told about history through the eyes of older "experienced" individuals have always facinated me. The city of Heidelberg has always facinated me, therefore I want to travel there and indulge in German conversation with older beer drinking men in bars. If I were awarded an expense paid trip to Heidelberg Germany, I would leap for joy. I want to travel down memory lane. I want to meet up with my "old" friends and I want to use my German speaking skills.
return to table of contents

Ratings for Practice Essays

Essay 1: - Rating 2 Essay 2: - Rating 1 Essay 3: - Rating 3 Essay 4: - Rating 1

Essay 5: - Rating 3 Essay 6: - Rating 2

return to table of contents

General Description of Procedures at Scoring Centers

Before each scoring session, the Regents' Testing Program office sends rater packets to the institution's Academic Committee on English representative, who distributes the packets to individual raters and provides new raters with a copy of the Essay Scoring Manual to review. The rater packets contain instructions to raters and expense forms. All raters should bring these packets to the scoring session. All scoring sessions are scheduled on Saturdays at six different centers around the state and begin at 9:30 a.m. The Scoring Coordinator, who is responsible for conducting the session, begins by reviewing raters' instructions, answering any questions, and distributing a set of practice essays to each rater. Raters read and rate the practice essays and then discuss their ratings.

At the scoring session the Scoring Coordinator circulates an Honorarium List for each rater to sign. Raters who have been to previous scoring sessions have their names and rater numbers preprinted on the Honorarium List. New raters refer to the last pages of the Honorarium List to find rater numbers which have not been assigned to other raters. A new rater records his or her name and address next to one of these numbers and uses that number for the current and all subsequent scoring sessions. Raters who have not attended a scoring session since Spring, 1990, must also complete a W-9 form. The honorarium will not be paid if the W-9 Form is not completed. However, the W-9 Form needs to be completed only once by each rater because the Regents' Testing Program office keeps the W-9 Forms on file. Raters also complete the expense forms necessary to arrange for the reimbursement of allowable expenses. Instructions for completing the expense forms and a description of the allowable expenses are presented in "Instructions for Completing Expense Statements and W-9 Forms". When it is time to start rating the essays, the Scoring Coordinator distributes one stack of 15 essays to each rater. When a student's essay is rated, the rater records on the essay scanner sheet the rater's identification number, the topic number, and the essay rating. Detailed instructions for filling out the essay scanner sheet are presented in "Procedure for Recording Ratings", and are provided to raters at the beginning of each scoring session. In addition to filling out the essay scanner sheet, the rater writes his or her initials on the upper left-hand corner of the essay. When the 15 essays have been rated, the rater should check to make sure that all 15 ratings have been recorded and that all essays have been initialed. The stack of essays is then returned to the Scoring Coordinator, who gives another stack to the rater.

The average number of essays read by each rater during a scoring session is approximately 115 to 120. In recent years, approximately 25% of the essays have received ratings of 1 (failing), and 75% have received one of the passing ratings. The following is the distribution of essay ratings for 1989-1990:
Rating Percent of Essays 1 2 3 4 25% 62% 12% 1%

Any questions or problems raters have concerning the scoring procedures or the essays that they are rating should be referred to the Scoring Coordinator. If a rater has reason to believe that an essay writer has cheated on the essay test, the rater should discuss this matter with the Scoring Coordinator. Periodically, a Rater Performance Report is provided to the members of the Academic Committee on English and to Scoring Coordinators. Each committee member receives a list of raters from his or her institution and information on these raters' essay-scoring performance. Each Scoring Coordinator also receives statistics on raters' performance but, in this case, raters are identified only by social security numbers. All raters receive individual letters which describe their performance. Raters should examine their statistics carefully. A description of the Rater Performance Report and a sample report are provided in "Sample Rater Performance Report and Summary".
return to table of contents

Instructions for Completing Expense Statements and W-9 Forms

Copies of the expense statement and W-9 forms are provided on the next two pages.

Expense statements are included in the rater packets that are provided to raters prior to scoring sessions. Raters are reimbursed according to the rules of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Any expense reported that is above the maximum will be disallowed; a rater can be reimbursed only for the allowable maximum. On the expense form, a rater must record:
1. Name, social security number, and institution; 2. Allowable expenses (lunch, bus or train, parking, mileage) if any. 3. The license number of the car driven and the odometer readings if mileage is claimed. 4. Signature.

The reimbursement for mileage is .21 per mile; the maximum reimbursement for lunch is $4.50.

Incomplete or inaccurate expense forms will be returned to raters for completion or correction. In particular, raters should make sure that the expense statement is signed and that the car license number and odometer readings are recorded if mileage expense is claimed. If the expense form must be returned to the rater, reimbursement will be delayed. Raters cannot receive the honorarium payment unless a W-9 form is on file with the Regents' Testing Program office. The W-9 Form needs to be completed only once by each rater because the Regents' Testing Program office keeps the W-9 Forms on file. A rater who has rated and received an honorarium for rating at a scoring session beginning with Summer Quarter, 1990, should have a W-9 on file and does not need to complete another W-9 form. Raters who are uncertain about whether they have completed W-9 forms in the past should complete the form. Completed expense statements and W-9 forms should be returned to the Scoring Coordinator by the end of the scoring session. A check for $80.00 and allowable expenses will be sent to the rater at the address shown on the Honorarium List circulated by the Scoring Coordinator. Address changes should be indicated on the Honorarium List. Replace this page with the rater expense statement. Replace this page with the W-9 form.
return to table of contents

Procedure for Recording Ratings

Essay ratings are recorded on a machine-readable rater sheet that is inserted in each essay. Each rater sheet has a pre-printed code that is used to match the rater sheet with another sheet that identifies the student who wrote the essay.

The rater sheets are designed so that the scanning machine can determine the ratings given to the essay, but raters cannot see the rating given by other raters. There are 16 different forms of the rater sheet with the numbers indicating the ratings in a different order on each form. After a rater records a rating on the sheet, he or she marks through the numbers indicating the ratings so that the next rater cannot tell what rating was given. Instructions for using the rater sheets and a sample of a completed rater sheet follow. Instructions:
Obtain your rater number from the Honorarium List that is circulated at the beginning of the scoring session. Write this number down. If you lose your number later, ask the coordinator for the list. Handle the essays carefully so that the rater sheets do not become separated from the essays. The pre-printed code on the sheet will be used by the computer to determine which student wrote the essay. Therefore, it is crucial that the rater sheet remain with the essay to which it belongs. (Social security numbers will not be used to identify students. However, the social security number is written on the back of

the rater sheet so that raters can verify that the correct sheet is inserted into the essay.) Follow the procedures indicated on the attached photocopy of the rater sheet and illustrated by the example of a completed rater sheet. Note that the procedures differ slightly depending on whether the essay is being rated by the first, second or third rater. Use only the pencil provided by the coordinator. Pens or other pencils may not be read by the scanning machine. When "bubbling in" circles, make each mark heavy and black enough to completely fill in the circle. Erase completely any mark you wish to change. Make no marks on the sheet (front or back) other than in the designated areas. Stray marks could interfere with accurate reading by the scanning machine. When "bubbling in" the rater number or topic number, right justify the number. (If the number has fewer digits than the spaces available, leave the blanks on left side.)
return to table of contents

The following directions must be used for marking the rater sheets:

Handling Problems
If any of the following problems occurs, do not rate the essay. Give the essay to the coordinator if: The essay does not have a rater sheet. The previous rater has not completely marked through the ratings (i.e., you can tell what rating was given by another rater). The topic number of the essay does not match the topic number recorded by the first rater . The essay is written in pencil.

If you mix up the rater sheets or have any doubt about whether a particular sheet belongs with an essay, check the social security number on the back of the sheet to see if it matches the social security number on the essay. If the numbers do not match, give the essay and the rater sheet to the coordinator.
return to table of contents

SECTION II - Miscellaneous Materials

List of Approved Essay Topics

Following is a complete list of the essay topics approved for use on the Regents' Test. Until additional topics are approved, all Essay Test forms will be constructed from topics that appear on this list. This list of topics should be made available to students. At some institutions, the list is sold at cost in the bookstore; at other institutions, copies are made available for student use in the library. All students planning to take the test should be informed of the availability of the list and the means for obtaining it.
return to table of contents

Development of Instructions to Raters and Selection of Essay Topics

The Academic Committee on English is responsible for the content of the Regents' Testing Program Essay Test and the development of the procedures used to rate Essay Tests. Each institution has a representative on this committee. The members of the Testing Subcommittee of the Academic Committee on English oversee many routine testing activities and make recommendations on testing issues to the full committee.

Development of Instructions to Raters The current version of the instructions to raters, which includes the 1987 revision of the "Description of Essay Scoring Procedures," the model essays and analyses, and the "Questions and Answers on the Rating of Regents' Test Essays," was developed by the Testing Subcommittee and Scoring Coordinators. The "Description of Essay Scoring Procedures" and the model essays and analyses were approved by the Academic Committee on English. Selection of Practice Essays The members of the Testing Subcommittee meet with the Scoring Coordinators each quarter before the first essay scoring session. At the meeting, the group selects practice essays for use at the scoring sessions. The ratings assigned to the practice essays are based on unanimous agreement of the group members. At the scoring sessions, Scoring Coordinators discuss the practice essays with essay raters. Selection of Topics: Proposed topics for the Essay Test are solicited periodically through the president of each institution, who is asked to obtain suggestions for topics from students, faculty, and administrators. These topics are reviewed by the members of the Testing Subcommittee and by Scoring Coordinators, who attempt to select topics narrow enough to elicit an essay in 60 minutes but broad enough to reflect common student knowledge and experience rather than specialized knowledge. Proposed topics are rejected or revised when they 1) contain difficult vocabulary, 2) require specialized knowledge, 3) appear to have rural-urban or ethnic bias, 4) are too similar to topics used previously, 5) involve highly controversial or emotional subjects, or 6) seem to encourage students to identify their institutions in essays. To ensure that topics are appropriate for students at all institutions, each topic must then be approved unanimously by the members of the Academic Committee on English. The topics are then put in pairs by the Regents' Testing Program staff for use on test forms. In general, each pair is composed of one topic bearing on a contemporary idea or event and another topic bearing on more personal issues and experiences. The Testing Subcommittee and Scoring Coordinators review and revise the pairs of topics to ensure

that the two topics on each form are sufficiently different from each other to offer students a reasonable choice of topics.
return to table of contents

Procedures for Maintaining the Anonymity of Essay Writers

The only identifying information that a student records on the Essay Test is his or her social security number.

Because students' essays must be returned to their institutions, the Regents' Testing Program office assigns institutional identification numbers to essays before they are scored. After each administration of the Regents' Test, a number that has been randomly assigned to an institution is stamped on the back of each essay received from that institution. At no time does anyone outside the Regents' Testing Program office know what number has been assigned to an institution, and the numbers are changed each quarter. The only time a rater can identify an institution is when a student mentions in an essay the institution he or she attends. Although topics that encourage institutional identification (e.g., Discuss the advantages of attending your college.) are not used, some essays may contain references to a particular institution or city. When large numbers of students from one institution are tested, more than one number is assigned to the institution in order to reduce the chance that a rater might learn the identity of numerous essay writers' institutions from a reference made to the institution in one essay. After they have been stamped, the essays from all of the institutions are mixed together and put into stacks of15 for distribution to scoring centers. Some stacks may have more than one essay from the same institution; this situation cannot be avoided because some institutions test many more students than do others. However, the mixing of essays does ensure that each institution's essays will be distributed among all six scoring centers.
return to table of contents

Schedule of Regents' Testing Program Activities

return to table of contents

Scoring Sites and Selection of Raters

There are six scoring centers located in available facilities on campuses in the state. At the beginning of each Fall Quarter, a scoring center listing is sent to the president of each institution. This listing indicates the number of raters each institution is to send to the scoring sessions and the location of the center to which raters are to report. An example of the scoring center listing is provided on the next page.

Each institution's raters are assigned to the most convenient center. The number of raters from each institution is determined by the ratio of its number of students tested the

previous year to the number of students tested in the System. The selection of raters is generally delegated to the institution's Academic Committee on English member.
return to table of contents

Sample Rater Performance Report and Summary

X Y Z COLLEGE 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 69 1 84 1 68 1 77 1 96 1 84 1 96 1 74 1 54 1 92 2 317 1 91 3 268 2 149 69.0 84.0 68.0 77.0 96.0 84.0 96.0 74.0 54.0 92.0 158.5 91.0 89.3 74.5 81.0 82.0 97.0 96.0 89.0 87.0 78.0 86.0 87.0 80.0 87.0 93.0 88.0 89.0 27.54 34.52 13.24 14.29 38.54 27.38 38.54 27.03 24.07 36.96 26.81 14.29 19.78 16.11 46.38 46.43 67.65 58.44 45.83 47.62 51.04 47.30 51.85 47.83 64.35 62.64 59.70 58.39 24.64 19.05 17.65 25.97 13.54 22.62 9.38 22.97 24.07 13.04 7.89 23.08 19.78 22.82 1.45 0.00 1.47 1.30 2.08 2.38 1.04 2.70 0.00 2.17 0.95 0.00 0.75 2.68

return to table of contents

Regents' Testing Program Policy and Procedures Policy

Regents' Testing Program

Each institution of the University System of Georgia shall assure the other institutions, and the system as a whole, that students obtaining a degree from that institution possess certain minimum skills of reading and writing. The Regents' Testing Program has been

developed to help in the attainment of this goal. The objectives of the Testing Program are:
1. To provide Systemwide information on the status of student competence in the areas of reading and writing 2. To provide a uniform means of identifying those students who fail to attain the minimum levels of competence in the areas of reading and writing. Students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs leading to the baccalaureate degree shall pass the Regents' Test as a requirement for graduation. Students must take the Test in the quarter after they have completed 60 quarter credit hours if they have not taken it previously. Each institution shall provide an appropriate program of remediation and shall require students who have earned 75 quarter credit hours and have not passed the Test to enroll in the appropriate remedial course or courses until they pass the Test. Students with 60 or more college-level credit hours transferring from System programs that do not require the Regents' Test or from institutions outside the System shall take the Test no later than the second quarter of enrollment in the program leading to the baccalaureate degree and in subsequent quarters shall be subject to all provisions of this policy.

The Regents' Test is not a requirement for an Associate of Applied Science degree or an Associate of Science degree in an allied health field, although institutions may choose to require the Test for these degrees. A student holding a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education will not be required to complete the Regents' Test in order to receive a degree from a University System institution. The Chancellor will issue administrative procedures for the operation of the Regents' Testing Program.
return to table of contents

Administrative Procedures
These procedures implement Policy 306 of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

I. Testing and Remediation Requirements: A. Students in programs leading to the baccalaureate degree who have not taken the Regents' Test must be required to take the Test during the quarter of enrollment immediately following the completion of 60 college-level quarter credit hours. (Collegelevel credit hours include all credit with the exception of institutional credit.) This requirement applies regardless of whether the student has taken or passed specific courses, including English courses, or completed any other institutional requirements.

B. Passing the Regents' Test is defined as having passed both components of the Test by scoring at or above the cutoff score specified for each component. If one component of the Test has been passed, that component need not be retaken. C. Students who have earned 75 college-level quarter credit hours and who have not passed the Regents' Test shall take the appropriate nondegree credit courses(s) in remedial reading and/or remedial writing in each quarter of attendance until they have passed all components of the Test. (At some institutions, students take required remediation one quarter and take the Test the following quarter. This procedure is permissible; however, institutions using this procedure should carefully evaluate the progress of students to ensure that this procedure is not delaying students' completion of Regents' Testing requirements.) D. Students with 75 college-level credit hours who have not passed either part of the Test are required to take remediation in both reading and writing each quarter. The only exception that may be made is for part-time students taking one remedial course and no college-level credit courses. E. Students with fewer than 75 quarter hours of college-level credit are not required to take remediation and may be permitted to retake the Test without remediation. F. First-time examinees must take both parts of the Test. A student who has failed both parts of the Regents' Test may be allowed, at the discretion of the institution, to take the reading and essay portions of the Test in separate quarters. G. Having passed the Regents' Test shall not be a condition of transfer into an institution. All transferring students from programs leading to the baccalaureate degree within the System shall be subject to all provisions of this policy. Students with 60 or more collegelevel credit hours transferring from System programs that do not require the Regents' Test or from institutions outside the System shall take the Test no later than the second quarter of enrollment in the program leading to the baccalaureate degree and in subsequent quarters shall be subject to all provisions of this policy. H. The Regents' Test is not a requirement for an Associate of Applied Science degree or an Associate of Science degree in an allied health field, although institutions may choose to require the Test for these degrees. I. The Regents' Test is to be administered in accordance with the instructions provided in the program's administration manual. J. Institutions are responsible for enforcing the requirements related to the Regents' Testing Program. Institutions may increase these requirements provided that such increased requirements are authorized by the Chancellor and provided further that such requirements are published in the official catalog of the institution prior to implementation. Such additional requirements shall in no way affect the transferof students from one institution to another or the readmission of students to University System institutions. II. Guidelines for Remedial Courses A. Required remedial work shall be in keeping with regulations in satisfaction of federal and state student financial assistance and other such eligibility programs. B. Separate courses in remediation for the reading and the essay portions of the Test are to be provided. Courses developed for other purposes, such as those for Developmental

Studies students or for regular credit English, may not be used to fulfill the Regents' Test remediation requirement. C. Each required Regents' Test remedial course is to consist of a minimum of 25 hours of classroom/laboratory instruction provided before students retake the Test. D. Regents' Test remediation courses are to be classified as a regular part of the student's academic load, resulting in institutional credit, and should be handled as part of the regular registration procedure. III. Special Categories of Students A. A student holding a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution of higher educationwill not be required to complete the Regents' Test in order to receive a degree from a University System institution. B. Students whose mother tongue is not English may be exempted from taking the Regents' Test by the institution provided that appropriate local procedures are employed to certify the equivalent competence of these students in reading and writing. C. If any accommodations in the Test administration are to be made because a student has a learning disability, the attached approved procedures must be followed. Each institution shall develop special procedures for certifying the competence of other handicapped students. A written description of these procedures shall be submitted to the Chancellor for approval. Such procedures shall include provision for remediation if needed and formal examination prior to certifying competency. Such examination shall equal or exceed the standards of the Regents' Test Program. D. Students who took the Regents' Test before Fall Quarter, 1980, and who failed the reading portion of the Regents' Test shall not be held to a higher passing standard at a subsequent retaking of the Test than was in effect at the time of their original attempt. This interpretation is retroactive. E. Students who have moved out of state after completing all requirements for graduation with the exception of the Regents' Test requirement may be permitted to have the Regents' Test administered out of state if they have fulfilled remediation requirements and follow the procedures outlined in the Regents' Testing Program Administration Manual. IV. Essay Review A student may request a formal review of his or her failure on the essay component of the Regents' Test if that student's essay received at least one passing score among the three scores awarded. The review procedures shall be as follows: A. A student must initiate the review procedure by mid-term of his/her first quarter of enrollment after the quarter in which the essay was failed. The review must be initiated, however, within one calendar year from the quarter in which the failure occurred. B. All applicable regulations of the Regents' Test Policy remain in effect for those students whose essays are under review, including those regulations relating to remediation and to retaking the Test. C. The review will be initiated at the campus level, with procedural matters to be determined by the institution. The on-campus review, however, will be conducted by the three faculty members designated by the institution as a review panel. The on-campus

review panel may (1) sustain, by majority opinion, the essay's failing score, thus terminating the review process, or (2) recommend, by majority opinion, the re-scoring of the essay by the Regents' Testing Program central office. The student will be notified concerning the results of the on-campus review. A decision by the on-campus review panel to terminate the review process is final. D. If the on-campus panel recommends re-scoring of the essay, that recommendation will be transmitted in writing, along with the essay, to the office of the System Director of the Regents' Testing Program. The Director will utilize the services of three experienced Regents' essay scorers other than those involved in the original scoring of the essay to review the essay, following normal scoring procedures for the essay component of the Regents' Test. The decision of the panel on the merits of the essay will be final, thus terminating the review process. The student will be notified through the institution concerning the results of the review.
return to table of contents

Procedures for Special Administration (Students with learning disabilities or test anxiety):
The following procedure is for the accommodation of students who are competent in the skills required on the Regents' Test but are unable to demonstrate competence in a standardized administration of the Test. The procedure may be used for students with documented learning disabilities and for students with severe test anxiety. A diagnosis of learning disability must include evidence of a discrepancy between ability and achievement in an area affecting test performance and must be consistent with the definition and criteria for evaluation provided in Section 2.22 of the Academic Affairs Handbook. In order for a student to receive special accommodations because of test anxiety, the student must have enrolled in Regents' Test remediation at least two quarters. In addition, there must be substantial evidence that the student has the skills required for passing the Test but because of severe anxiety is unable to display the skills during a regular Test administration.

Procedure Each student requesting any of the allowable accommodations listed below because of a learning disability or because of severe test anxiety must be evaluated by a team of persons associated with an institution of the University System of Georgia. The team must consist of at least three persons, including a specialist in learning disabilities with a doctorate or equivalent experience in special education or a school, clinical, or counseling psychologist with appropriate experience. Students' disabilities will be evaluated by the team members. Those students with previous documentation of disabilities may submit such documentation to the team. The team members may use the existing documentation in making decisions but may also require further evaluation. Students should not assume that a previous diagnosis of disabilities from another source will be confirmed by the team.

If the team approves one of the accommodations listed below, the attached form must be completed and returned to the Regents' Testing Program office at least one week before testing. Allowable Accomodations and Restrictions The accommodations that may be made for learning disabled students through the use of the procedure described above are limited to the following:
Extended time Extended use of dictionary or electronic dictionary for the essay test Use of word processor, typewriter, or scratch paper for composing the essay (The student must handwrite the essay on the regular essay form for grading, or, if the student's diagnosis indicates an inability to copy the essay, the test administrator or proctor must copy the essay as written by the student with no changes and send both the original and copied essay to the Regents' Testing Program office). Reading of the essay to the student (If the student's diagnosis indicates a visual processing deficit that prevents the student from reading his or her own essay accurately, the proctor may read the essay aloud exactly as written while the student makes corrections to the essay).

Essays will be rated through the usual rating process, which does not allow for the provision of any information about the student to the raters. Raters cannot be asked to take a student's disabilities into account when rating an essay. Instead, appropriate modifications in the test administration process must allow a disabled student's essay to be rated through the usual process.

The only accommodation that may be made for students with severe test anxiety is the provision of extended time. All Test administrations must meet the following conditions:
1. The essay and reading test responses must be submitted to the Regents' Testing Program office for scoring. 2. The product submitted must be in the standard format for grading: the essay must be handwritten on the regular essay form with no extra paper, and the reading test responses must be recorded on the student's scanner sheet. 3. Except as indicated above under allowable exceptions for students who are unable to copy or read their own essays, the product submitted for grading must be produced by the student with no assistance provided or changes made by any other person. 4. The test must be administered under secure conditions, and all work must be completed under supervision. Other Accomodations:

The procedures described above do not need to be followed if the only accommodation required is a separate supervised room for test administration or a large-print version of

the reading test. (Large-print tests may be ordered from the Regents' Testing Program office.) If accommodations other than those described above are recommended by the team, approval must be received from the System Committee on Learning Disabilities. The documentation submitted to the Committee must be consistent with the definition and criteria for evaluation provided in Section 2.22 of the Academic Affairs Handbook. Documentation must be sent to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at least one full quarter in advance of the test administration. The Committee may request additional information in its consideration of the recommendation. Remediation Requirement: The remediation requirement may not be waived for students with learning disabilities or test anxiety. However, the team will determine whether the regular Regents' Test remediation course or another remedial experience is needed to accommodate the student. The student must complete the remediation requirement prescribed by the team prior to retaking the Test.

Special Administration of the Regents' Test

NAME:______________________________________________ SOC. SEC. NUMBER:_________________________________ INSTITUTION:_______________________________________ QUARTER:__________________________________________ Problem diagnosed:

Basis for diagnosis (Summary of evidence on which the decision was based):

Number of quarters enrolled in Regents' Test remediation: Essay _____ Reading _____

Approved accommodations: (Check those that apply.) Essay Test: ___ extended time ___ extended use of dictionary or electronic dictionary ___ use of word processor, typewriter, or scratch paper (Check a. or b. below.) a. The student will handwrite the essay on the regular essay form for grading ___ b. The student's diagnosis indicates an inability to copy the essay. The test administrator or proctor will copy the essay as written by the student with no changes and send both the original and copied essay to the Regents' Testing Program office ___ reading of essay to the student (If the student's diagnosis indicates a visual processing deficit that prevents the student from reading his or her own essay accurately, the proctor may read the essay aloud exactly as written while the student makes corrections to the essay.) Reading Test: ___ extended time

Team Members:

__________________________________________________________________________ ______Signature Title

__________________________________________________________________________ ______Signature Title

__________________________________________________________________________ ______Signature Title

return to table of contents

Dictionary Use
Students are permitted to use dictionaries during the final fifteen minutes of the administration of the essay portion of the Regents' Test. Students who wish to use dictionaries must bring their own dictionaries to the test administration. In order to insure the smooth implementation of this provision, it is essential that each student be informed, in advance of the test administration, of the opportunity to bring a dictionary. Written notification should be provided to students registered to take the test and may be provided as part of test registration materials if students receive such materials on your campus.

The use of dictionaries as described above was recommended by the Academic Committee on English and the Administrative Committee on Academic Affairs, and was subsequently approved for implementation by the Chancellor on May 19, 1986.
return to table of contents

Suggestions for the Essay Review Process

The Regents' Test policy and procedures include the procedures for the review of the rating given to a student's essay test. Specific procedures for the on-campus review are to be determined by the institution. Below are suggestions from the Chancellor's memorandum of December 28, 1979, which may be helpful in the implementation of the procedures. 5. The formal review process should not be considered to be automatically open to all students who meet the "eligibility" requirement (lack of rater unanimity). The purpose of the process is to correct errors in the rating of essays. It should be emphasized to students and faculty that the review is intended to deal with perceived errors and that few rating errors occur. 6. The review procedures should be publicized, but with a clear statement that a failure on the essay is not itself a sufficient reason to support a

formal review. Students should understand that they do not automatically have the right to request review simply because there was lack of rater unanimity in the scoring of the essay. There must be substantial question concerning the accuracy of the scoring. 7. To determine if there is some basis for a formal review, the student should be requested to meet with a designated person on campus for initial review of the failed essay. This conference, in most cases, will answer the "why" of the failure. 8. If after this conference, there remain questions about the accuracy of the scoring of the essay, the formal review process may be initiated. 9. The three members of the on-campus review panel should be experienced essay raters; if not, each should have access to the Essay Scoring Manual and be thoroughly familiar with the rating process. 10.The Regents' Test itself and the scoring criteria are not subject to review; the same method of scoring should be used during the review process as that used in the original scoring. Scoring should follow the normal holistic procedure. However, if the on-campus panel sustains the essay's failure, reasons for that failure should be provided to the student. Essays submitted by institutions for review are re-scored at the quarterly meeting of the Testing Subcommittee of the Academic Committee on English and Scoring Coordinators. Essays received at the Regents' Testing Program office after the deadline cannot be re-scored until the following quarter.
return to table of contents

Overview of the Regents' Testing Program

By a policy statement issued in 1972, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia instituted the Regents' Testing Program. As described in this statement, the Program serves as one means by which each institution in the University System can ensure that students receiving degrees from the institution possess certain minimum skills of reading and writing. The Board of Regents identified two specific objectives for the Testing Program: 11.To provide Systemwide information on the status of student competence in the areas of reading and writing; and 12.To provide a uniform means of identifying those students who fail to attain the minimum levels of competence in the areas of reading and writing. The Regents' Test was developed to satisfy these objectives. It is composed of two components, a Reading Test and an Essay Test. Students' scores on the tests are used to determine whether they have the minimum levels of reading and writing skills required for graduation.

According to the Regents' policy, students must take the test in the quarter after they have completed 60 quarter credit hours if they have not taken it previously. Students who have earned 75 quarter credit hours and have not passed both parts of the test must enroll in remedial courses until they pass both parts. There is no limit on the number of times a student may take remediation and retake the test. Provided in the paragraphs that follow is a brief description of the content of both the reading and the essay components of the Regents' Test. Also described is the manner in which these tests are administered and scored and the manner in which students' scores are reported. Further information about the Regents' Test is provided in Regents' Testing Program: Description and Documentation, available from the Regents' Testing Program office.
return to table of contents

The Content of the Regents' Test:

The Reading Test The Reading Test, which has an administration time of one hour, is a 60-item, multiplechoice test that consists often reading passages and five to eight questions about each passage. The passages usually range from 175 to 325words in length, treat topics drawn from a variety of subject areas (social science, mathematics and natural science,and humanities), and entail various modes of discourse (exposition, narration, and argumentation). The questions that accompany the passages of the Reading Test have been designed to assess four major aspects of reading: (1)Vocabulary, (2) Literal Comprehension, (3) Inferential Comprehension, and (4) Analysis. A sample form of the Regents' Reading Test, which provides examples of the types of passages and items comprising the test, has been distributed to the Regents' Test coordinator at each institution.
return to table of contents

The Essay Test Students who take the Essay Test have one hour in which to write on one of two topics that are given. A list of the topics that are used has been provided to all institutions in the System.
return to table of contents

Administration and Scoring of the Regents' Test:

Administration Each quarter, during a two-day testing period specified by the Regents' Testing Program office, the Regents' Test is administered to eligible students at all institutions in the University System. Just before the testing period, the Regents' Testing Program office sends to the Regents' Test Coordinator at each institution the test materials that are needed. Because each institution is responsible for its own test administrations, the Test Coordinator oversees the distribution of these materials and arranges for supervisors and

proctors to administer the test. An Administration Manual that is provided by the Regents' Program Testing office details the testing procedures that are to be followed so that all test administrations are standardized. Administration sites are also monitored periodically by staff from the Regents' Testing Program office to ensure that the standardized procedures are followed at each institution. After the last test administration at an institution, all testing materials are returned to the Regents' Testing Program office so that the students' responses can be scored.
return to table of contents

Scoring the Reading Test Students' responses to the items of the Reading Test are recorded on machine-readable answer sheets so that these responses can be read and scored by computer. A standard score is used to describe the Reading Test performance of each examinee. This score is derived by translating the student's total raw (number-right) score on the test to a Rasch score scale with a range from 0 to 99. Whether the student has met the minimum requirements established for reading is determined by comparing this translated score to the passing score of 61 that has been set for the Reading Test. Scoring the Essay Test The essays to be scored are distributed by the Regents' Testing Program office among six scoring centers in the state. All institutions in the System send representatives to serve as raters at the nearest scoring center. The number of raters sent by each institution is determined by the ratio of its number of examinees to the number of examinees in the entire System. Because each essay is identified only by the student's social security number, the essay raters do not know the identity or the institution of the students whose papers are graded. Each essay is graded independently by three raters who use a holistic procedure to assign ratings to the essay. When rating the essays, raters use a four-point scale. A "4" on the scale indicates superior performance, a "3" clearly passing performance, a "2" minimal passing performance, and a "1" substandard or failing performance. Model essays define the four points of the rating scale by indicating the meaning of the division points (i.e., 4/3, 3/2, 2/1) between the ratings on the scale:
RATINGS MODELS 4 4/3 3 3/2 2 2/1 1

One model essay is used to represent each division point. An essay that is judged to be better than the 4/3 model is given a "4"; an essay judged to be better than the 3/2 model but not as good as the 4/3 model is given a "3"; an essay judged to be better than the 2/1 model but not as good as the 3/2 model is given a "2"; and an essay judged to be poorer than the 2/1 model is given a "1." The set of standard model essays used to define the division points on the scale is included in the Description of Essay Scoring Procedures. Also included in this description are analyses of the model essays, definitions of the four score levels used as the basis for selecting model essays, and answers to questions that raters frequently ask about the procedures for scoring the Essay Test. These materials are provided to all raters before each quarterly scoring session. For raters who are grading

essays for the first time, additional information and samples of essays that have been graded are provided in the Essay Scoring Manual. The final score assigned to an essay is usually the rating on which at least two out of three raters agree. When there is no agreement among the raters, the final score is the middle rating of the three assigned to the essay. One consequence of this scoring procedure is that no essay can receive a failing grade unless at least two of three raters have given it a failing grade. As indicated in the Regents' policy, a student may request formal review of a failing essay if there is one passing score among the three grades the essay was assigned. The review is initiated on the student's campus. If the student's appeal is sustained, the essay is sent to the Regents' Testing Program office to be rescored by a systemwide review panel.
return to table of contents

Score Reporting Within the four-week period following a quarterly administration of the Regents' Test, each institution in the University System is issued a Report of Results. In an institution's report, data are provided that describe the test performance of each student from the institution who participated in the quarterly administration of the Regents' Test. Also provided to each institution is an Institutional Summary Report, which includes the following information: a summary of the performance of the institution's examinees on the Reading Test and the Essay Test for first-time examinees, repeaters, and these two groups combined; a description of the institution's performance on each skill category of the Reading Test; and, to facilitate year-to-year comparisons, an historical summary of results for first-time examinees and repeaters. Various statistics are reported by institutional type (university, senior college, and two-year college). Also provided is a summary of the test performance of students at each institution in the System. Personnel at each institution are responsible for reporting scores to individual students.
return to table of contents