How to score a standardized essay [DOCUMENTS]

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This week's cover on the secret life of standardized test scorers.
In this week's cover story, we took you behind the scenes at standardized test scoring facilities across the Twin Cities.

As the story mentions, the essay companies use a rubric to judge how many points to give a written essay. Familiarizing themselves with the rubric through anchor papers, scorers are able to whip through essays and assign them a point value in a matter of seconds.

Here's a peek at an old essay used here in Minnesota and how it was scored.

The examples shown below are from a reading test administered to third-graders. The question was developed with Minnesota's testing contractor, Pearson. Minnesota has since removed human-scored items from its reading test, but they are still common on standardized tests all over the country--common enough that thousands of temporary workers are hired to score them each year.

In this particular item, students read a short story and then answered a question about what happened. The scores ranged from 0 to 3, and the rubric's justification is at the bottom of each response.

A "3" or excellent response.

A "2" response.

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