How to Score the AP English Test

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    • 1). Arrange essays to be graded according to essay topic, rather than according to student. This makes it easier to score essays objectively, giving you a frame of reference for what constitutes a strong essay and a poor essay. It will also discourage you from grading a student's essays with bias. For instance, if you read an essay that is particularly strong or poor, you may be influenced when you read that student's next essay.

    • 2). Read the essay thoroughly and carefully without making any notes or comments.

    • 3). Read the essay again, this time noting the essay's strengths and weaknesses. The AP English exam is intended to assess a student's stylistic maturity as demonstrated by the following: a wide range of vocabulary words used accurately and resourcefully, a variety of sentence structures, logical organization, effective use of transition sentences, illustrative detail to support arguments, general balance and controlled tone and voice. Use this criteria as guidelines when assessing an essay's strengths and weaknesses.

    • 4). Use your notes to assign the essay a holistic score between 1 and 9. Although free-response sections are evaluated according to a rubric of categories (as listed in previous step), they are scored in their entirety. Do not assign half points.

    • 5). Refrain from indulging any personal biases you may have in relation to the topic of the essay. Sometimes, essay prompts (particularly those that require a student to argue a point) are polemical in nature. You may or may not agree with the student's perspective, but make an effort to grade objectively.

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