Essay Scoring Guide
from ETS
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

www.ets.org
Each PRAXIS I
essay is scored by
two judges using the
criteria in the center
of the page. Their
scores are then
combined, resulting
in a total score of 0
to 12.
If the two judges
scores are different
by more than one
point, a third judge
is brought in to
score the essay.
How can an essay
receive a score of
0?
An essay that does
not respond to the
prompt (essay
question)
automatically receives
a 0 score!
It is essential that you
answer the question.
Steps to Success
1)
Read the prompt
carefully.
2) Clearly respond to
the question.
3) Organize you
essay before you
begin  to write.
4) Express only one
idea per paragraph.
5) Give details and/or
examples to support
your answer (thesis).
6) Use transition
words; these words,
like
first, second, for
example
, and to
clarify
, make your
essay easier to
understand.
Are you taking the
Computer-Based
Test? Visit
Computer and
Typing Links to
improve your typing
and mouse skills.
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