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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Scoring Guides for Legacy Composition

Below you will find the scoring guides for the ELA Composition that are used to score student responses to writing prompts in the areas of Topic/Idea Development and Standard English conventions for grade 10 legacy retests. Student compositions that do not address the writing prompt will be deemed non-scorable (NS), earning them a 0 out of a possible 12 points for topic development and 0 out of a possible 8 points for standard English conventions. Refer to Off-Topic Compositions on MCAS English Language Arts Tests memo.

Scoring Guide for Topic/Idea Development

ScoreDescription
6
  • Rich topic/idea development
  • Careful and/or subtle organization
  • Effective/rich use of language
5
  • Full topic/idea development
  • Logical organization
  • Strong details
  • Appropriate use of language
4
  • Moderate topic/idea development and organization
  • Adequate, relevant details
  • Some variety in language
3
  • Rudimentary topic/idea development and/or organization
  • Basic supporting details
  • Simplistic language
2
  • Limited or weak topic/idea development, organization, and/or details
  • Limited awareness of audience and/or task
1
  • Little topic/idea development, organization, and/or details
  • Little or no awareness of audience and/or task

Scoring Guide for Standard English Conventions

ScoreDescription
4
  • Control of sentence structure, grammar and usage, and mechanics (length and complexity of essay provide opportunity for student to show control of standard English conventions)
3
  • Errors do not interfere with communication and/or
  • Few errors relative to length of essay or complexity of sentence structure, grammar and usage, and mechanics
2
  • Errors interfere somewhat with communication and/or
  • Too many errors relative to the length of the essay or complexity of sentence structure, grammar and usage, and mechanics
1
  • Errors seriously interfere with communication and
  • Little control of sentence structure, grammar and usage, and mechanics


Last Updated: November 7, 2018
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