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Scoring Guidelines

The essays from a single test administration are read and evaluated at the same time. The readers are trained to evaluate the essays "holistically," that is, with a single assessment for overall quality. The reading is conducted under carefully controlled conditions designed to ensure fair and reliable results free of bias or preconception. Readers base their assessments on quality of insight or central idea, sense of audience, clarity, consistency of point of view, cohesiveness, strength and logic of supporting information, rhetorical force, appropriateness of diction and syntax, and correctness of mechanics and usage.

The essay is independently evaluated by at least two readers, each of whom determines whether the essay demonstrates "Clear Competence," "Developing Competence," or "Limited Competence." If the essay receives a "Clear Competence" then you will receive a pass on the WST and will have completed the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) also known as University Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR.) If your essay demonstrates a "Developing Competence" then you will not receive a pass on the WST, you will not have completed the GWAR/UWSR, and you will need to re-attempt the WST* or pass a second-tier writing course (ENGL 302, or MKTG 305) to try and satisfy the requirement. If your essay demonstrates a "Limited Competence" then you will not receive a pass on the WST, you will not have completed the GWAR, and you will need to re-attempt the WST* or take first-tier writing course (ENGL 300 OR ENGL 301) to begin satisfaction of the GWAR. You may be required to take a second-tier writing course depending upon your instructor's recommendation at the end of ENG 300 OR 301 (English 3000 or English 3001).

* Note: You may only re-attempt the WST one time. If you do not satisfy the GWAR/UWSR on your second attempt, then go with the "better" of your two results to determine which course(s) you must take in order to satisfy the GWAR/UWSR requirement.

Be aware that readers do not make any written comments on the essay, and no feedback result of passing or not passing is provided on your transcripts or student record.  There will be no rescoring of the test.  You will not be allowed to have a copy of your essay.

The following table highlights the scoring guidelines used by the essay readers in evaluating your essay.

CLEAR COMPETENCE

This assessment indicates basic competence in writing at the rhetorical and syntactic levels. The essay has a thesis that adequately addresses the topic. The paragraphs are adequately organized and developed with some appropriate details and examples. The writer responds to the writing task but may slight some aspects. Though a few sentences may show syntactic problems, overall the sentences demonstrate an adequate facility with language; sentence variety may be limited but there should be some subordination. Minor errors in grammar or punctuation should not interfere with meaning and should be of the type that could be easily remedied given time for proofreading. This writer will not be required to take any additional writing courses to meet the University Writing Requirement.

DEVELOPING COMPETENCE

This assessment indicates developing competence at the rhetorical or syntactic levels. Any of the following deficiencies may exist. The essay may have a vague thesis or the thesis may not be developed adequately. The paragraphs may lack adequate organization or development. The writer may distort some aspects of the task. Sentences may lack variety or may show an accumulation of error that sometimes interferes with meaning. This writer will be required to complete a second-tier course to meet the University Writing Requirement.

LIMITED COMPETENCE

This assessment indicates limited competence at the rhetorical or syntactic level. This essay may reveal one or more of the following weaknesses: It has a vague thesis. The paragraphs lack adequate organization and/or development. Generalizations are unsupported by details, or details may lack generalizations. The writer distorts or neglects some aspect(s) of the task. Sentences have an accumulation of errors in sentence structure, grammar, and diction that frequently interfere with meaning. This student will be required to complete a first-tier course and either produce a clearly competent portfolio or complete a second-tier course to meet the University Writing Requirement.

If you are checking your results under your "MYCSUEB" account's Unofficial Transcript option, please note that a designation code of "8" indicates that you received a "CLEAR COMPETENCE" and have passed and satisfied the requirement, a designation code of "7" indicates that you have received a "DEVELOPING COMPETENCE" and have not passed nor satisfied the requirement (you may re-attempt the WST one time or take one of the following courses: MKTG 305, or ENGL 302), and a designation code of "6" indicates that you have received a "LIMITED COMPETENCE" and have not passed nor satisfied the requirement (you may re-attempt the WST one time or take up to two courses, beginning with ENGL 300 or ENGL 301).

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