Sample Essay (Score = 2)

If you ever ask a highschool student whether they would want to go one more year very few would say yes. I would, not because I like school, not because I enjoy spending six hours cooped up inside, but because I could use one more year to just be sure I am completely prepared for college. Along with this I feel that because we are required to take tenth grade graduation test and most of our tenth grade year is spent preparing for this test.

Highschool students today are highly prepared for the world, but that one extra year in high school could possibly be spent taking time on preparatory courses in college type setting. Students get thrown into the college setting which is a major shock to them due to the major differences. Maybe doing this our freshmen's first quarter wouldn't be as much of a change.

Because we have to take the graduation test in tenth grade we don't learn anything that year. We need another year due to that, so we should go one more year to make sure we are ready.

Scoring Explanation

This essay demonstrates inconsistent skill in responding to the task. The writer takes a position but displays no recognition of a counter-argument to that position.

Development of ideas is thin with general statements to explain the first idea (Students get thrown into the college setting which is a major shock to them due to the major differences) and very little explanation of the second idea (Because we have to take the graduation test in tenth grade we don't learn anything that year).

There is some indication of an organizational structure: a discernible introduction offers two ideas, with each discussed in its own paragraph. The conclusion is minimal and not clearly separated from discussion of the writer's second idea (We need another year due to that, so we should go one more year to make sure we are ready). Transitions are simple (but, because).

Sentence structure shows some variety (I would, not because I like school, not because I enjoy spending six hours cooped up inside, but because I could use one more year to just be sure I am completely prepared for college) and word choice is appropriate to the discussion (cooped up inside, preparatory courses, freshmen's first quarter).

Additional Sample (Score = 2)