All exam essays for American Board Courses are evaluated using this Rubric:
All essays are scored between 1 and 6, with 6 being the highest possible score an essay can receive. The rubric above spells out exactly what components your essay must have in order to earn a passing score. An essay must score 4 or higher to be considered passing. Below are examples of essays from each scoring bracket. Please review to familiarize yourself with what a passing essay looks like.
A score of six indicates an outstanding analysis of the literary work. The response demonstrates a sophisticated and carefully observed understanding of the text as well as a thoughtful and illuminating analysis and interpretation of the text including elaborating on meanings evoked by the metaphoric or symbolic structure of the text. Unresolved textual problems or ambiguities may be explored. The response may offer a critical response to the text, explaining what the text accomplishes as a moral or ethical or aesthetic achievement.
The response is extremely well organized with a clear and logical progression neatly organized around a clear and well-articulated central idea. The response is fully developed with significant detail and relevant examples drawn from the text and frequent reference to literary devices to support statements offered. There are virtually no errors in mechanics or conventions.
A score of five indicates a very strong analysis of the literary work. The response demonstrates a strong understanding of the text and a thoughtful analysis or interpretation addressing the broader or deeper meanings evoked by the text. Significant examples and quotations, details, and other evidence, including literary devices, from the reading are provided and are linked to the meaning and interpretation presented. The writer recognizes and addresses unresolved textual problems and may offer an evaluation or criticism of the text.The response is well organized with a logical progression of ideas, with a sustained focus. There is significant development of those ideas supported with several examples from the text that identify the literary devices or features that account for evoked or metaphoric or symbolic meanings. The writer shows a command of mechanics and conventions, although there may be a few errors that do not significantly detract from the message.
A score of four indicates an adequate analysis of the literary work. The response presents a clear understanding, interpretation and analysis of the text at the representational or literal level that also evokes broader or deeper meanings. An organizational pattern is evident with a clear beginning, middle and conclusion developed around a central focus or idea. Ideas are supported with quotations, details, and other evidence drawn from the text and literary devices used to support the meaning are presented.The writer shows a command of mechanics and conventions, although there may be a few errors that do not significantly detract from the message.
A score of three indicates a limited analysis of the literary work. The writer offers some explanation of the text, but shows only a limited understanding, interpretation or analysis of the meaning of the work. Although there is an attempt at organization, the sequence of ideas may not have a clear logic and the focus may not be clearly evident. The writer attempts to develop the ideas presented, but there are few quotations, details, and other evidence in support of the meaning and little account for literary devices.The writer shows a command of mechanics and conventions, although there may be a few errors that do not significantly detract from the message.
A score of two indicates a seriously flawed analysis of the literary work. While there is some rudimentary attempt at articulating the meaning of the work, the response demonstrates very little understanding, interpretation or analysis of the text.The response is poorly organized, with no clear focus and little development of the ideas presented. The response contains several distracting errors in mechanics and grammar.
A score of one indicates a fundamentally deficient analysis of the literary work. The writer offers little explanation or interpretation of the work and offers little content. The response shows little evidence of organization and development and contains many distracting errors in mechanics and grammar.