Essay Marking Scheme

You'll need to show your understanding of the text on two different levels: the surface level of getting your facts right and the deeper level of getting the relationship of the details and the central ideas right.

One of the most important ways you can show you've actually read the passage is making sure you stick to what is said in the text.

I'll break down what each item on the rubric means and what you need to do to meet those requirements.

On the SAT, the last section you'll encounter is the (optional) essay.

Here's an example of a statement about our fictional "hot dogs are sandwiches" passage that shows understanding of the central idea of the passage: Hodgman’s third primary defense of why hot dogs are not sandwiches is that a hot dog is not a subset of any other type of food.

He uses the analogy of asking the question “is cereal milk a broth, sauce, or gravy?

It's also important to be faithful to the text when you're using direct quotations from the passage.

Misquoting or badly paraphrasing the author’s words weakens your essay, because the evidence you’re using to support your points is faulty.

The response may contain errors of fact and/or interpretation with regard to the text.

The response makes limited and/or haphazard use of textual evidence (quotations, paraphrases, or both), demonstrating some understanding of the source text.


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