E T S Praxis Series

Computerized Pre-Professional Skills Test: Writing (5720)

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Sample Test Questions

Current section: Essay > Scoring Guide

This section presents an essay topic and sample essay responses along with the standards used in scoring the essays. When you read these sample responses, keep in mind that they will be less polished than if they had been developed at home, edited, and carefully presented. The examinee does not know what question will be asked and must decide, on the spot, how to respond. Readers take these circumstances into account when scoring the essays; they have been trained to judge the overall quality rather than to attempt to count errors.

Each essay will be scored holistically, on the basis of its total quality. In computing your total Computerized Pre-Professional Skills Test: Writing score, the essay score is combined with the score for the multiple-choice part of the Writing test.

Readers will assign scores based on the following scoring guide.

Scoring Guide

Score Description
6

A 6 essay demonstrates a high degree of competence in response to the assignment but may have a few minor errors.

An essay in this category

  • states or clearly implies the writer's position or thesis
  • organizes and develops ideas logically, making insightful connections between them
  • clearly explains key ideas, supporting them with well-chosen reasons, examples, or details
  • displays effective sentence variety
  • clearly displays facility in the use of language
  • is generally free from errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
5

A 5 essay demonstrates clear competence in response to the assignment but may have minor errors.

An essay in this category

  • states or clearly implies the writer's position or thesis
  • organizes and develops ideas clearly, making connections between them
  • explains key ideas, supporting them with relevant reasons, examples, or details
  • displays some sentence variety
  • displays facility in the use of language
  • is generally free from errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
4

A 4 essay demonstrates competence in response to the assignment.

An essay in this category

  • states or implies the writer's position or thesis
  • shows control in the organization and development of ideas
  • explains some key ideas, supporting them with adequate reasons, examples, or details
  • displays adequate use of language
  • shows control of grammar, usage, and mechanics, but may display errors
3

A 3 essay demonstrates some competence in response to the assignment but is obviously flawed.

An essay in this category reveals one or more of the following weaknesses:

  • limited in stating or implying a position or thesis
  • limited control in the organization and development of ideas
  • inadequate reasons, examples, or details to explain key ideas
  • an accumulation of errors in the use of language
  • an accumulation of errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
2

A 2 essay is seriously flawed.

An essay in this category reveals one or more of the following weaknesses:

  • no clear position or thesis
  • weak organization or very little development
  • few or no relevant reasons, examples, or details
  • frequent serious errors in the use of language
  • frequent serious errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
1

A 1 essay demonstrates fundamental deficiencies in writing skills.

An essay in this category

  • contains serious and persistent writing errors or
  • is incoherent or
  • is undeveloped