The Essay
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 dismissed.
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