Who Scores the Essay?
The cackling cabal? No, simply human beings like you and
me, with one crucial difference: they have a lot of experience in
teaching and evaluating writing, and they have gone through a lot
of specific training.
In order to become an essay-reader you must go through
an online training course. Along with an explanation of the scoring
rubric (the standards by which your essays will be scored—we’ll
cover this in the next section) and some technical training in computer
and Web technology, prospective readers train with prescored “anchor
papers” and are required to pass a qualification test.
It may give you some small satisfaction to know that in
order to earn the right to evaluate your essay, your readers themselves
have had to pass a tough, high-stakes test. This test requires prospective
readers to grade around 40 essays that experts at The College Board
have already scored. The prospective readers do not know what these
scores are. If the readers do not score at least 70 percent of these
essays exactly as the experts at The College Board did, they’re