Okay, you’ve managed to be brutally honest with yourself: you admit that only some miracle of subjective scoring of standardized English essay writing tests could possibly gain you a perfect score of 6. And it would be only slightly less miraculous for you to somehow convince one of those English majors who perform assessments and evaluations of standardized tests requiring essays to even let you get a less than perfect 5 out of 6. You’ve set the bar realistically low enough to allow for the possibility of getting a 4 out of 6. But in order to do that you just must first learn how to avoid writing an essay on a standardized test that scores between 0 and 3. And, let’s face it, if you think there is even the most remote possibility of writing an essay that only gets a 0 from scorers, the answers you seek are definitely not found here and probably not found in college. Oh, and just in case you’re wondering how I know so much about what a low-scoring essay looks like…I have occasionally found employment grading essays written for standardized tests. Meaning that, yes, I was one of those English majors.
How to Avoid Writing an Essay That Scores a 3 out of 6
To receive a 3 out of 6 score on the essay portion of a standardized test is to show a general absence of solid English writing skills while still managing to craft an essay that avoids being judged seriously flawed in elements of sentence construction. An essay capable of scoring 3 out of 6 will still need to provide some basic examples of applying critical insight into the prompt, but the development of these insights will not be exhibited throughout the body of the essay. As an example, your first two paragraphs may directly engage the prompt, but the final body paragraph may veer completely away from the topic. Another common failure that earns an essay on a standardized test a 3 out of 6 score is the use of insubstantial evidence as support for your argument. Coherent writing begins to fall apart as the essay demonstrates a notable lack of command of the language. An essay judged to be worth 3 out of 6 points are those which contain inappropriate word choices such as the use of slang, are defined by extensive use of phrases devoid of any real meaning and are too dependent on clichés to make their point.
How to Avoid Writing an Essay that Scores a 2 out of 6
The only score left above an utter failure is a 2 out of 6. Such a score should immediately send a signal to the writer that his essay has been judged as a very seriously flawed effort that most likely was written with very little effort. An essay grader usually doesn’t have to get very far into the body of the writing to make the decision to drop the score from a 3 to a 2. The difference between getting a score of 3 and getting a score of 2 is usually pretty obvious: an obvious lack of organization right from the first two paragraphs, a deficiency of focus and no consistent point of view. The latter is most typically demonstrated through arguments that are vague to the point of barely existing or arguments in succeeding paragraphs that directly contradict the supporting evidence offered in previous paragraphs. If you want to avoid writing an essay that scores a 2 out of 6, you would do well to overloading paragraphs with unnecessary, extraneous and superfluous words in a vain and desperate attempt to masquerade your inability fully comprehend the prompt. Another reason to avoid paragraph stuffing is that the more words you use to make your point, the more you open the essay up to subjective interpretation of the point you are making. Essay grading is already subjective enough; you aren’t helping yourself by making it more so.
How to Avoid Writing an Essay that Scores a 1 out of 6
So what is left for an essay that is part of a standardized test to receive a score of 1 if a score of 2 is that bad? Aside from addressing an issue that has little if anything to do with the prompt, the poorest scoring essay is so utterly disorganized that you don’t need to be an English major to recognize that what you’ve got there is a great big mess. An essay receiving 1 out of 6 from scorers can only strive for mere incoherence. As for critically engaging the prompt, the more likely scenario is that if it touches at all upon the real topic at hand, it does so only by accident. If it were possible to take an essay written as part of a standardized test that received a score of 1 before a jury to argue your case, the only defense that could even possibly get you acquitted would be a failure to fully comprehend exactly what prompt was asking. An essay that is nothing but a collection of opinions and that barely even makes an attempt at supporting those opinions with factual evidence is one guaranteed to receive the lowest grade possible when there is no option for a 0. Mechanical errors will be made throughout and cover everything from simple grammatical errors like consistent mistakes in verb tense to an overwhelming number of sentence fragments. Point of view may be entirely absent or it may fluctuate throughout the essay and within a single paragraph. An easy way to receive a score of 1 out of 6 when taking the essay writing portion of a standardized test is to craft a classic five paragraph response with a word count anywhere below 300.
How to Avoid Writing an Essay that Scores a 0
Write an essay that at least has something to do with the prompt. If you are actively seeking to get a 0 on 6 point essay grading system, write about your favorite video game no matter what the prompt. Unless, of course, the prompt has anything to do with video games. In which case, write about your favorite toe.