Essay Review

Administrative Procedures from the Academic Affairs Handbook, Section 2.08.02

A student may request a formal review of his or her failure on the essay component of the Regents' Test. The review procedures shall be as follows:

  1. A student must initiate the review procedure by mid-term of his/her first semester of enrollment after the semester in which the essay was failed. The review must be initiated, however, within one calendar year from the semester in which the failure occurred.

  2. All applicable requirements of the Regents' Test Policy remain in effect for those students whose essays are under review, including those regulations relating to remediation and to retaking the test.

  3. The review will be initiated at the campus level, with procedural matters to be determined by the institution. The on-campus review, however, will be conducted by the three faculty members designated by the institution as a review panel. The on-campus review panel may (1) sustain, by majority opinion, the essay's failing score, thus terminating the review process, or (2) recommend, by majority opinion, the re-scoring of the essay by the Regents Testing Program central office. The student will be notified concerning the results of the on-campus review. A decision by the on-campus review panel to terminate the review process is final.

  4. If the on-campus panel recommends re-scoring of the essay, that recommendation will be transmitted in writing, along with the essay, to the office of the System Director of the Regents' Testing Program. The Director will utilize the services of three experienced Regents' essay scorers other than those involved in the original scoring of the essay to review the essay, following normal scoring procedures for the essay component of the Regents' Test. The decision of the panel on the merits of the essay will be final, thus terminating the review process. The student will be notified through the institution concerning the results of the review.
Additional Procedures and Guidelines
  1. The purpose of the process is to correct errors in the rating of essays. It should be emphasized to students and faculty that the review is intended to deal with perceived errors and that few rating errors occur. The Regents' Test itself and the scoring criteria are not subject to review.

  2. The review procedures should be publicized, but with a clear statement that a failure on the essay is not itself a sufficient reason to support a formal review. There must be substantial question concerning the accuracy of the scoring.

  3. To determine if there is some basis for a formal review, the student should be requested to meet with a designated person on campus for initial review of the failed essay. This conference, in most cases, will answer the "why" of the failure.

  4. If after this conference, there remain questions about the accuracy of the scoring of the essay, the formal review process may be initiated.

  5. The three members of the on-campus review panel should be experienced essay raters; if not, each should have access to the Essay Scoring Manual and be thoroughly familiar with the rating process.

  6. Essays that are clearly passing and on which an error in evaluation has apparently been made may be submitted to the Regents' Testing Program Office for review. Raters serving on the campus review panel should use the following scale for rating the appealed essays:
    P Clearly passing: The failing rating the essay received cannot be justified and is clearly an error in evaluation.

    B Borderline: (marginal; similar to 2/1 model) Although the appeals rater may have passed the essay at a scoring session, the failing rating the essay received could be justified and is not clearly in error.

    F Clearly failing

  7. Essays sent to the Regents' Testing Program Office must have ratings of "P" from at least two of the three members of the campus review panel.

  8. Essays submitted by institutions for review are re-scored by members of the Testing Subcommittee of the Academic Committee on English and Scoring Coordinators each semester.