A system and method for administering a composition problem in a language, such as English, to an examinee. The examinee is provided with textual items such as brief essays needing correction. The examinee selects a predetermined segment of the text and moves it to an editing window where the examinee may change the segment using standard word processing techniques. The segment may be deleted or modified and then replaced in the text. The examinee continues this process by selecting other predetermined text segments. When the examinee has finished selecting and editing all the segments that the examinee wishes to change, the examinee continues to the next textual item by, for example, pressing a "next" indicator. When all the textual items have been edited, scoring is performed by comparing the examinee's solutions to acceptable solutions stored in a database.