Before each scoring session, the Regents' Testing Program office sends rater packets to the institution's Academic Committee on English representative, who distributes the packets to individual raters and provides new raters with a copy of the Essay Scoring Manual to review. The rater packets contain instructions to raters and expense forms. All raters should bring these packets to the scoring session. All scoring sessions are scheduled on Saturdays at regional centers around the state and begin at 9:30 a.m. The Scoring Coordinator, who is responsible for conducting the session, begins by reviewing raters' instructions, answering any questions, and distributing a set of practice essays to each rater. Raters read and rate the practice essays and then discuss their ratings.

At the scoring session the Scoring Coordinator circulates an Honorarium List for each rater to sign. Raters who have been to previous scoring sessions have their names and rater numbers preprinted on the Honorarium List. New raters refer to the last pages of the Honorarium List to find rater numbers which have not been assigned to other raters. A new rater records his or her name and address next to one of these numbers and uses that number for the current and all subsequent scoring sessions.

Raters also complete the expense forms necessary to arrange for the reimbursement of allowable expenses. Instructions for completing the expense forms and a description of the allowable expenses are presented in the "Instructions for Completing Expense Statements" section.

When it is time to start rating the essays, the Scoring Coordinator distributes one stack of 15 essays to each rater. When a student's essay is rated, the rater records on the essay scanner sheet the rater's identification number, the topic number, and the essay rating. Detailed instructions for filling out the essay scanner sheet are presented in the "Procedure for Recording Ratings" section and are provided to raters at the beginning of each scoring session. In addition to filling out the essay scanner sheet, the rater writes his or her initials on the upper left-hand corner of the essay. When the 15 essays have been rated, the rater should check to make sure that all 15 ratings have been recorded and that all essays have been initialed. The stack of essays is then returned to the Scoring Coordinator, who gives another stack to the rater.

The average number of essays read by each rater during a scoring session is approximately 115 to 120. In recent years, approximately 25% of the essays have received ratings of 1 (failing), and 75% have received one of the passing ratings. The following is the distribution of essay ratings for 2001-2002:

Rating    Percent of Essays

1            25%

2            58%

3            15%

4             2%

Any questions or problems raters have concerning the scoring procedures or the essays that they are rating should be referred to the Scoring Coordinator. If a rater has reason to believe that an essay writer has cheated on the essay test, the rater should discuss this matter with the Scoring Coordinator.

Periodically, a Rater Performance Report is provided to the members of the Academic Committee on English and to Scoring Coordinators. Each committee member receives a list of raters from his or her institution and information on these raters' essay-scoring performance. Each Scoring Coordinator also receives statistics on raters' performance but, in this case, raters are identified only by social security numbers. All raters receive individual letters which describe their performance. Raters should examine their statistics carefully. A description of the Rater Performance Report and a sample report are provided in the "Sample Rater Performance Report and Summary" section.

Last updated: September 4, 2002