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WritePlacer

Guide with Sample Essays

Rev 12/10/2008

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved. College Board, ACCUPLACER, WritePlacer, and the acorn logo are registered trademarks of the College Board. inspiring minds is a trademark owned by the College Board. All other products and services may be trademarks of their respective owners. Visit the College Board on the Web: www.collegeboard.com.

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Introduction to WritePlacer
Prompts within the ACCUPLACER System have been carefully designed so that the student can respond quickly and in a variety of ways. Prompts are free of technical or specific literary references and do not require specialized knowledge. The prompts are designed to stimulate critical thinking and are relevant to any number of fields and interests. Students will be asked to draw on a broad range of experiences, learning and ideas to support their point of view on the issue in question. Scores on WritePlacer range from 1 to 8. An essay that is too short to be evaluated, written on a topic other than the one presented, or written in a language other than English will be given a score of zero. A prompt consists of a short passage adapted from some authentic text. Following the passage is an assignment that requires the student to focus on the issue addressed in the passage.

Instructions to Students
The essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can develop and express your ideas in writing. You will first read a short passage and an assignment question that are focused on an important issue. You will then write an essay in which you develop your own point of view on the issue. You should support your position with appropriate reasoning and examples. The position you take will not influence your score. Your essay will be given a holistic score that represents how clearly and effectively you expressed your position. The following six characteristics of writing will be considered: Purpose and Focus The extent to which you present information in a unified and coherent manner, clearly addressing the issue. Organization and Structure The extent to which you order and connect ideas. Development and Support The extent to which you develop and support ideas. Sentence Variety and Style The extent to which you craft sentences and paragraphs demonstrating control of vocabulary, voice and structure. Mechanical Conventions The extent to which you express ideas using Standard Written English. Critical Thinking The extent to which you communicate a point of view and demonstrate reasoned relationships among ideas.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

Sample Prompt
Passage An actor, when his cue came, was unable to move onto the stage. He said, I cant get in, the chair is in the way. And the producer said, Use the difficulty. If its a drama, pick the chair up and smash it. If its comedy, fall over it. From this experience the actor concluded that in any situation in life that is negative, there is something positive you can do with it. Adapted from Lawrence Eisenberg, Caine Scrutiny.

Assignment Can any obstacle or disadvantage be turned into something good?

Sample Essays
On the pages that follow there are descriptions of each of the eight WritePlacer score points followed by two sample essays that were assigned the indicated score. Annotations are provided for each essay explaining why the essay was given the score it received. Studying these sample essays and the accompanying annotations will point out the elements considered during the scoring process.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

SCORE of 1
Description of Score of 1 A response in this category demonstrates no mastery of on-demand essay writing; the response is severely flawed by many or most of the following weaknesses: Lacks a viable point of view on the issue Demonstrates no awareness of audience Fails to present a main idea Demonstrates flawed reasoning Demonstrates no complexity of thought Is disorganized and/or disjointed Displays fundamental errors in word choice, usage and sentence structure Contains pervasive spelling, grammar, punctuation and mechanical errors

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 1. The annotations explain why the essay received the indicated score.

SampleEssay#1Scoreof1 Thequestioniscananyobstacleordisadvantagebeturnedintosomethinggood?Yesitcan,because eveninthestoryhecouldntgetinbecauseofthechairandtheguytellshimifitsadrama,Smashit andifitsacomedyfalloverit.Butwhenyouthinkaboutit,ifagirlwasguiltyandwaspleadingto sayonhowshewasinocentandtheycatchherinalieitspracticallythesamething.Butthatsnot thepointbutyoucanchangeanegativeintoapositivesomeway.

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Annotations_________________

Thisessaylacksaviable,coherentpointofviewontheissue.Thewriterattemptstoexplainthatyou canchangeanegativeintoapositive,buttheideasprovidedareminimalanddisorganized,resulting inadisjointedand,attimes,incoherentessay(Yesitcan....Butwhenyouthinkaboutit,ifagirlwas guiltyandwaspleadingtosayonhowshewasinocentandtheycatchherinalieitspracticallythe samething).Theresponsedemonstratesflawedreasoning,nocomplexityofthoughtanddisplays fundamentalerrorsinsentencestructure(Butthatsnotthepointbutyoucanchange...). Demonstratingnomastery,thisessayreceivesascoreof1.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

SampleEssay#2Scoreof1 Yes,obstaclesanddisadvantagescanbeturnedintosomethinggoodbecauseyouwillknowhowto overcomeobstaclesanddisadvantagesinthefuture.Youcanhelpotherpeoplewithobstaclesand disadvantagesbecauseyouhavebeeninthesituation,thatneedshelp.Youalsocanlearnfromthem itcanalsohelpyouinlifeandwithyoursucess.

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Annotations_________________

Thisessayattemptstopresentapointofview(Yes,obstaclesanddisadvantagescanbeturnedinto somethinggood)butfailstodevelopanyofitsideas.Theabsenceofsupportresultsinadisjointed essaythatdemonstratesnocomplexityofthought(Youcanhelpotherpeoplewithobstaclesand disadvantagesbecauseyouhavebeeninthesituation,thatneedshelp).Theresponsealsocontains fundamentalerrorsinsentencestructure(Youalsocanlearnfromthemitcanalsohelpyouinlife). Theresponsedemonstratesnomasteryandearnsascoreof1.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

SCORE of 2
Description of Score of 2 A response in this category demonstrates very little mastery of on-demand essay writing; the response is flawed by many or most of the following weaknesses: Presents a vague or limited point of view on the issue Demonstrates little awareness of audience Presents an unclear main idea Demonstrates weak critical thinking with little complexity of thought or with flawed reasoning Organizes ideas ineffectively, demonstrating a problematic progression of ideas Displays numerous errors in word choice, usage and sentence structure Contains significant spelling, grammar, punctuation and mechanical errors

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 2. The annotations explain why the essay received the indicated score.

SampleEssay#1Scoreof2 Iliveinahousethateverybodyinitcamefromacting.Iremembermymomtellingmethisityouin findyourselfbadsituation,dontforgetyoursmilewithyou.Ithinkshementthatwhateveristhe difficultythinkalwayspositive.Foranexample,Igrowupinplacethatfullwithbadpoepleandone timesomebodytrytoconvinsemetosmoke.Andsmokingitverybadthing.SoIstartedtotell joukesonpeoplethatcanserandafter2minutesIchangethesubject.OrthateverytimeIamgetting sickandfillnotsogood.IamtryingtoseecomedymoviesasmuchasIcan.BecauseIhavebeentold thatcomedyisthebestcure.Ithinkthatasanactoronthestageyouneedtobealwaysreadyfor somethingrong,andifyoureadyandprepard.Itwillbegoodandlifeforyourselfinyoualllifeand notonlythere.Thisexperienceimportentforyourbenfits,alwaysapositivepersonandpeoplewill loveyouandgetalongwithyou.Thismarkitthebest.

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Annotations_________________

Thisessaypresentsanextremelyvaguepointofviewontheissue.Thewriterdiscussesthevalueof thinkingalwayspositive,buttheideasprovidedareunclear,demonstratingweakcriticalthinking (Foranexample...onetimesomebodytrytoconvinsemetosmoke.Andsmokingitverybadthing. SoIstartedtotelljoukesonpeoplethatcanserandafter2minutesIchangethesubject).The responsecontainsnumerousandsignificanterrorsinspelling,grammar,punctuationandmechanics (...youneedtobealwaysreadyforsomethingrong,andifyoureadyandprepard.Itwillbegood andlifeforyourselfinyoualllifeandnotonlythere).Demonstratingverylittlemastery,thisessay receivesascoreof2.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

SampleEssay#2Scoreof2 Thissentencisverygoodandrightbecauseyoumustbelivethethaveagoodandpositive,something alsoinabedsituation.Iyouthinkso,yousucceedinyourlife.alsoinabadsituation,youmustthink agoodandbeagood. Ihave3,examplesfrommylife: 1IbasketballplayerIhavealotofgamesandtughgames.Iwantagreatplayer.Iamalawaysthink goodbeforeverygameandalsobeforeverypractice.thisthinkinghelpmetosecceed.IfIlosea gameIdontcryItrytotakethegoodthingsfromthebadgame,thisisnothelpmeifIcryallthe time. 2.Ihadaimportanttextbefor3yearsIrememberthistextallthetime,beacusethatIgotahigh score,becauseIlearnedalotbeforethistext,thistextallthetimeinmymemorybecausetheway wasverydifficulte,Ithoughtgoodbeforthetext,andIseccededIallthetimethoughtgoodand positive. 3.Ididntseccededinthefirst,textdriving.Ididntcry,Itriedtolearnfrommymistakes.Inthe secondtextdrivingIseccededbeacuseIthoughtpositiveandIsaidtomyselfthatIgooddriverandI willsecceed. FromthisexamplsIcantolearnthatIyouthinkgoodandpositiveyousecceedallthetime.Alsoif youmistakeordontsecceedyoumusttotakethegoodandthepositivefromyourmistakes.Icanto saytotheendthatifyouthoughtgoodandpositiveandyoulearntotakeallthepositivethings.you beenjoyandyouwillbefunandyousucceed,allthetime,youneedtolearnfromthemistakes. Tharearnetperfectpeople! Bieliveyourself!

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Annotations_________________

Thisessaypresentsapointofview(...youmusttotakethegoodandthepositivefromyour mistakes)butisunabletodevelopitsideasclearly.Althoughthereisanattempttoorganizethe responsearoundthreeexamples,errorsinwordchoice,usage,sentencestructure,spelling,grammar andpunctuationaresonumerousandsignificantthatmeaningisobscured(Ihadaimportanttext befor3years...becauseIlearnedalotbeforethistext,thistextallthetimeinmymemory...andI seccededIallthetimethoughtgoodandpositive).Theresponsedemonstratesverylittlemasteryand earnsascoreof2.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

SCORE of 3
Description of Score of 3 A response in this category demonstrates little mastery of on-demand essay writing; the response is flawed by one or more of the following weaknesses: Presents a vague or limited point of view on the issue Demonstrates little awareness of audience Attempts to develop the main idea though that attempt is inadequate Demonstrates weak critical thinking with little complexity of thought or with flawed reasoning Provides inappropriate or insufficient examples, reasons, or other evidence to support its position Is poorly organized and/or focused or demonstrates serious problems with coherence or progression of ideas Displays limited word choice and little sentence variety Contains many errors in mechanical conventions of usage, sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 3. The annotations explain why the essay received the indicated score.

SampleEssay#1Scoreof3 Idobelievethatanyobstacleordisadvantagecanbeturnedintosomethinggood.Ibelievethis becausepeoplelearnmanythingsfromtheirmistakesandthatstheonlyway.Intheexamplethatis provided,theactorisobviouslyconfused.Thedirectormakesagoodpointonhowtoworkaroundit, andinacasewheretheymakeuseofthechairthatsintheway,whichhelpsmakeitfunny,exciting, ordepressing.Inaplayormusicalofanytype,itaddsmeaning.Notonlydoesanobstacleor disadvantagegetturnedintosomethinggood,butitcandiscovernewthings.Wheneveranysituation happens,suchasinthiscase,Idlaughifitsfunny,cryifitsdramatic,makeajokeoutofit,oractlike itdidnthappen.Justkeepinmindthatthepurposeoflifeistolearnfrommistakes,whichcanturn intosomethinggood.

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Annotations_________________

Demonstratingweakcriticalthinking,thisessaystatesapointofview(Idobelievethatanyobstacle ordisadvantagecanbeturnedintosomethinggood)butofferslittlesupportbeyondaninsufficient discussionoftheactingexamplegiveninthepassage.Despitesomeattempttodevelopthemain idea,poororganizationleadstoseriousproblemsinprogressionofideas(Wheneveranysituation happens,suchasinthiscase,Idlaughifitsfunny,cryifitsdramatic,makeajokeoutofit,oractlike itdidnthappen.Justkeepinmindthatthepurposeoflifeistolearnfrommistakes,whichcanturn intosomethinggood).Theresponsecontainsmanyerrorsinusageandsentencestructure.Thisessay demonstrateslittlemasteryandreceivesascoreof3.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

SampleEssay#2Scoreof3 Cananydisadvantageturnintosomethinggood?Everypersonanswersthisquestiondifferently,and thatishiswaytolive.Someareoptimistic,somearepasimistic,eitherway,thewayweanswerthis questionis,inaway,ourwayoflife. Somepeoplecanlookonsomethingthattomeitiswonderfulandfinditterrible,andothercan chearmeupwhensomethingsadhappens,andshowmeanicerandchearfulwayoflookingonit. Agoodexampleiswhathappendtoday,thismorning.Icametotakethistestfrommyhomewhichis afewdrivefromthetestcenterfordifferentreasonsIcameinlateinabouttenminutes,butinstead ofbeingstressedbecauseofit,Iwas(andstillam)quitecalm,andactuallyinveryhappyandsatisfied withmyapproachtothisincomparetomyfatherwhotookitveryhard. Ibelievethattheabilitytolookonthebrightside,inbothbetterandworsecases,isarecipiefora betterandcalmerlife.

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Annotations_________________

ThisessayanswersthequestionCananydisadvantageturnintosomethinggood?withavague discussionofoptimisticandpessimisticapproaches,demonstratingweakcriticalthinking.Despite providingonlylimitedassertionsandaninsufficientexample,thewriterisabletoarriveatapointof view,concludingthattheabilitytolookonthebrightside...isarecipieforabetterandcalmerlife. However,flawedreasoningseriouslyimpedesprogressionofideas(Somepeoplecanlookon somethingthattomeitiswonderfulandfinditterrible,andothercanchearmeupwhensomething sadhappens....Agoodexampleiswhathappendtoday....Icameinlateinabouttenminutes,but insteadofbeingstressedbecauseofit,Iwas(andstillam)quitecalm).Vocabularyislimitedand manyerrorsinwordchoice,usage,andsentencestructureoccur.Demonstratinglittlemastery,this essayearnsascoreof3.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

SCORE of 4
Description of Score of 4 An essay in this category demonstrates developing mastery of on-demand essay writing. A typical essay Develops a viable point of view on the issue May stray from audience and purpose Demonstrates some critical thinking but may do so inconsistently or use inadequate examples, reasons, or other evidence to support its position May lack control of organization or focus, demonstrating some lapses in coherence or progression of ideas Contains some errors in sentence structure and use of grammatical conventions such as word choice, usage, spelling and punctuation

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 4. The annotations explain why the essay received the indicated score.

SampleEssay#1Scoreof4 Ithinkthatmostoflifesobstaclesordisadvantagescanbeturnedintosomethinggood.Thewayyou lookatsituationsdeterminestheoutcomeofasituationbecauseifyoulookatthesituation negativelyyoudonthaveanyhopethattheoutcomewouldbepositive;butifyoulookatthe situationpositivelyyouwouldhaveabetterchanceatbeingsuccessfulatwhatyoudo.Thewriterin thepassagesawthechairinhiswayasanobstructiontohisperformancebuttheproducerhada broaderperspectivesayingthathecouldusethechairaccordingtowhatthegenreoftheplaywas. Forbadthingstoworkoutweneedtostopbeingsonarrowmindedandbroadenourperspectiveon life.Ifyoucommittedacrimeandgotcaughtdontjustconcentrateonthebadthathappenedin yourlife,usethatexperiencetosharewithothersshowingthemthehardshipthatgoeswiththat typeoflifestylediscouragingthemnottodoit.Theoutcomeofasituationisdeterminedbyhowyou lookatit.

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Annotations_________________

Thisessaydevelopsthepointofviewthatmostoflifesobstaclesordisadvantagescanbeturned intosomethinggood,demonstratingsomecriticalthinkingasitexplainsthevalueofpositive thinking.However,theevidenceprovidedonesentenceonthechairexampleandonesentence aboutbreakingthelawisinadequatelydevelopedtosupporttheposition(Forbadthingstowork outweneedtostopbeingsonarrowmindedandbroadenourperspectiveonlife.Ifyoucommitteda crimeandgotcaughtdontjustconcentrateonthebadthathappenedinyourlife).Theresponse lacksfocusandcontainssomeerrorsingrammarandsentencestructure(usethatexperienceto sharewithothersshowingthemthehardshipthatgoeswiththattypeoflifestylediscouragingthem nottodoit).Thisessaydemonstratesdevelopingmasteryandmeritsascoreof4.


2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

SampleEssay#2Scoreof4 Therearemanythingsinlifethatmayseemtohaveadifficultordepressingoutlookbutifyoutry someofthosethingscanbeturnedintosomethingoutstanding.Forexampletheremaybecertain peopleyoumayrunintoonadaytodaybasisthatmayseemtocarrythemselvesinabadwaybut youhavetotrytogettoknowthembecauseyouneverknowthatcanturnouttobeoneofthebest peopleintheworld. Manypeopleinoursocietylookatthingssuchasdrivingacar,tobeaveryhardobstaclebecause theyfeelthatitssomethingthatishardtodo,butuntiltheytrytheywillneverknow.Ifwedlearnto lookatthebrightsideofthingsinsteadofthenegativethenmanythingsthatwefaceinourlife wouldturnoutforthebetter.Whenyouthinkyoumayhavedownallthatisinyourpowertodoto trytogetthegoodoutofsomething,believemethereisalwayssomeonewhowillbeabletohelp you.Iknowthattherearethingsthatmayseemtoohardordifficultbutifyouputyourmindtoit everythingwillcomeoutforthebetter.IknowtherehavebeensometimesinmylifewhenIhave beeninsomedifficultsituationssuchasthetimeIlostmoneyoutofmywalletandIdidntknow whatIwasgoingtodo.ButIstoppedworryingaboutitanditwasntlongbeforeIhadmymoney back.Wheneveryoucomeuponsomethinginyourlifethatyoumaythinkthatthereisnowayof accomplishing

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Annotations_________________

Demonstratingsomecriticalthinking,thisessaydevelopsapointofview(Ifwedlearntolookatthe brightsideofthingsinsteadofthenegativethenmanythingsthatwefaceinourlifewouldturnout forthebetter)butprovidesreasonsandexamplesthatareinadequatetosupporttheposition.Lapses inprogressionofideasoccurduetobriefsupportandrepetitivegeneralities(...believemethereis alwayssomeonewhowillbeabletohelpyou....Ilostmoneyoutofmywallet....ButIstopped worryingaboutitanditwasntlongbeforeIhadmymoneyback).Someerrorsinwordchoiceand sentencestructurearepresent(Forexampletheremaybecertainpeopleyoumayruninto...thatcan turnouttobeoneofthebestpeopleintheworld).Displayingdevelopingmastery,thisessayreceives ascoreof4.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

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SCORE of 5
Description of Score of 5 An essay in this category demonstrates adequate mastery of on-demand essay writing although it will have lapses in quality. A typical essay Develops a viable point of view on the issue May stray from the audience and purpose but is able to refocus Demonstrates competent critical thinking, using adequate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position Is generally organized and focused but could lack coherence and logical progression of ideas Exhibits adequate but inconsistent control of language Demonstrates some variety in sentence structure Contains some minor errors in sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 5. The annotations explain why the essay received the indicated score.

SampleEssay#1Scoreof5 Inmylifetime,Ihaveseenmanywaysanobstacleordisadvantagecanbeturnedintoagoodthing. Sometimeswhensomethingbadhappens,itcanprepareyouforthefutureobstaclestocome.For example,ifapersongetsaseriousburntheywouldpanicandnotknowwhattodo.Ifthesamething happendagain,thepersonwouldbemorepreparedandhaveknowledgefromtheprevious experience. Ifsomeoneisoncrutches,abouttoopenthedoor,wouldyouopenthedoorforthem?Ifyouarethe persononcrutchesyouwouldbeatadisadvantagetoothers.Butthiscanbeturnedintoagood thing.Younowhavesomeonetoopenthedoorforyou,andthisisagoodwaytomeetpeopleand makefriends. Sometimeswhenthingsarentgoingyourway,youhavetoimprovisealittle.Forexample,beforea basketballgameyouseethattheotherteamismuchtallerthanyourteam.Thecoachmighthave onlymadeupplaysforashortteam.Theotherteamistall,butslow.Youuseyourspeedtowinthe game.Intheblinkofaneye,youvechangedadisadvantageintoagoodthing. Thebestcomediansalwaysturnanobstacleordisadvantageintoagoodthing.Iftheaudienceisnot laughingathisperformance,thenhehastochangewhathesdoing.Thisobstacleabouttheaudience notlaughinghecouldmakeajokeabout,thenmakingtheobstacleintoagoodthing.

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Annotations_________________

Thisessaydemonstratescompetentcriticalthinking,providingadequatereasonsandexamplesto supporttheclaimthatanobstacleordisadvantagecanbeturnedintoagoodthing.Althoughthe responseoffersavarietyofadequatesupportingexamples,itdemonstratesanoccasionallackof progressionofideasasitjumpsfromoneideatothenext(...ifapersongetsaseriousburn....If someoneisoncrutches....Thebestcomediansalwaysturnanobstacleordisadvantageintoagood thing).Theessaydemonstratesadequatebutinconsistentcontroloflanguageandfeaturessome minorerrors(Iftheaudianceisnotlaughing....Thisobstacleabouttheaudiencenotlaughinghe couldmakeajokeabout,thenmakingtheobstacleintoagoodthing).Demonstratingadequate mastery,thisessayreceivesascoreof5. SampleEssay#2Scoreof5 Lifeconstantlyharrassesmodernsocietywithavarietyofproblemsandobstacles.But,negatives nevercomeoutwithoutitspositives.EventssuchastheCivilWarandmessagesthatstemfrom RomeoandJulietstragicendingincludesomethinggoodeventhoughtheyshowobstaclesoflife. Therefore,societycangaingoodthingsthroughbadthings. TheCivilWarbrokeoutin1861andleftaterribletearonAmericanculture.Evenafterhorrible battleslikeinGettysburg,Americanscouldstillcometogetherinthelate1800stoformamore unifiedsociety.EvenafterslaughteringsofAmericanbrothersbetweentheNorthandSouth,our countrystillhadtheabilitytotransformitselftowhatitistoday. Moreover,RomeoandJulietalsoactsasanexcellentexampleofhowdisadvantagesproves somethinggoodintheend.Shakespearedecidedtoendboththemaincharacterslivesattheendof theplaybutbydoingso,hesendsthegoodmessageoflove.Loveisthemostbeautifulthinginthe world.Loveconnectssociety/peopletogetherbyacknowledgingthatthroughdeathpeoplecancome together(theCapuletsandMontagues)thatisoneofthemostbeautifulthingsever.Lifewill constantlybefilledwithproblemsbuttheycanleadtogood.

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Annotations_________________

Demonstratingcompetentcriticalthinking,thisessaydevelopsitspointofview(...societycangain goodthingsthroughbadthings)withadequateexamplesfromhistoryandliterature.Theevidence providedisgenerallyorganizedandfocused,withonlyanoccasionallackofcoherence(Romeoand Julietalsoactsasanexcellentexample....Shakespearedecidedtoendboththemaincharacters livesattheendoftheplaybutbydoingso,hesendsthegoodmessageoflove.Loveisthemost beautifulthingintheworld).Theessayexhibitsadequatebutinconsistentcontroloflanguage(Life constantlyharassesmodernsocietywithavarietyofproblemsandobstacles.But,negativesnever comeoutwithoutitspositives).Thisessayexhibitsadequatemasteryandearnsascoreof5.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

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SCORE of 6
Description of Score of 6 An essay in this category demonstrates reasonably consistent mastery of on-demand essay writing although it may have occasional lapses in quality. A typical essay Effectively develops a point of view on the issue Addresses an appropriate audience and demonstrates a clear purpose for writing Demonstrates strong critical thinking, generally using appropriate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position Is well organized and focused, demonstrating coherence and a logical progression of ideas Exhibits consistent control in the use of language Demonstrates adequate variety in sentence structure Is generally free of errors in sentence structure, grammar, usage, spelling and punctuation

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 6. The annotations explain why the essay received the indicated score.

SampleEssay#1Scoreof6

Obstaclesanddisadvantagesareinourliveseverysecondoftheday.Whetheritisabigtestinschool inanimportantsubjectoratrafficejamkeepingusfromgettingtoworkontime,wecanalways countonsomethinggoingawry.However,eventhebiggestobstaclescanbeturnedintosomething goodifenoughworkisputintoit.

Smallobstacles,likethebigtestinschool,canbeovercomewithhardworkanddetermination.Ifyou spendenoughtimestudyingbeforehand,anddoingpracticequestionstobuildyourconfidence, chancesareyouwilldoverywell.Ontheotherhand,ifyouprocrastinateanddonotprepareforthe testuntilthenightbeforeit,chancesareyouwilldopoorly.

Largeobstaclescanbeovercomewithhardworkanddeterminationaswell,butdependingonthe sizeoftheobstalce,carefullyplanning,organization,andcoordinationareneededaswell.For example,inWorldWarIItheAlliedpowerswerefightingtheAxispowersinbattleafterbattle.The AlliesneededtogetintoWesternEuropethroughFranceandthroughaheavilyfortifiedenemy.With carefulplanning,organization,andcoordination,theylaunchedthelargestamphibiousinvasionin historyandtookthebeachesofNormandyinwhatwouldbecalledDday,andliberateFrancesoon thereafter.

Inconclusion,anyobstaclecanbeovercomeintosomethinggood.Testscanbestudiedfor,traffic jamscanbeovertedbydetours,andwarscanbewonagainstimpossibleodds.Sinceobstacles confrontuseverydayofourlives,weneedtobeabletoovercomethem.Ifwecouldnot,thenlife wouldnotbeenjoyable.

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2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

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Annotations_________________

Thisessayeffectivelydevelopsapointofview(...anyobstaclecanbeovercomeintosomething good)andprovidesgenerallyappropriateexamplesofobstaclesovercomewithhardworkand determination,demonstratingstrongcriticalthinking.Theresponseiswellorganizedaroundits examples,exhibitingcoherenceandalogicalprogressionofideas(Smallobstacles,likethebigtestin school,canbeovercomewithhardworkanddetermination.Ifyouspendenoughtimestudying... chancesareyouwilldoverywell).Controloflanguageisconsistent,andadequatesentencevarietyis evidentthroughout(Withcarefulplanning,organization,andcoordination,theylaunchedthelargest amphibiousinvasioninhistory).Thisessaydisplaysreasonablyconsistentmasteryandreceivesa scoreof6.

SampleEssay#2Scoreof6 Lifeiswhatyoumakeit.Timeaftertimewearestuckwithdisadvantagesandstruggles,butitishow wereceiveitthatmakesaworldofadifference.Itispossibletoturnobstaclesintobuildingblocks,to reachsuccess. Mymostdifficultschoolyearwasduringthe8thand9thgrade.TheschoolIwasattendingplaced alotofstressonmethehomeworkwasunbearableandtheteachersseemedtocarenothingforit. ManytimesasIwentseekinghelpbutwouldreceiveacoldshoulderoraslamintheface.Notonly that,butIwasnotdoingwellsociallywiththerestofmypeers.Itwasextremelydifficultfindinga waytofitin. IcouldhavestayedandwalloedinmymiserybutIdecidedtotaketheinitiativeandtalktomy parentsaboutthesituation.Togetherwebeganbuildingtheblockstowardsmysuccess. ThatnextyearIlefttheschoolandwebeganhomeschool.InonetermItaughtmyselfthesubjects andthispreparedmeforwhatwascomingnext.MyparentswiththedisciplineIneededandI decideditwastimetomoveon.Itookatesttoenteraveryhighacademicperhapsthehigheston myIslandschooltoseeifIwouldgetin.Ireachedsomethingbeyondmywildestdreamsandwas accepted.Notonlythat,butthenextyearIwasappointedheadgirlandamtrainingtoattend HarvardCollegenextyear. Mypainfulstrugglethroughmyearlyhighschoolyearsleadmetomaketherightdecisionsfor whichschoolIshouldattendtomakethebestofmyfuture.Obstaclesareonlyputtomakeus stronger,hurdlesareplacedsothatwejumphigher.

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Annotations_________________

Thisessaydisplaysstrongcriticalthinking,effectivelydevelopingitspointofview(Itispossibletoturn obstaclesintobuildingblocks,toreachsuccess)byprovidingagenerallyappropriateexamplefrom thewriterspersonalexperience.Wellorganizedandfocusedasitdiscusseshowthewriterspainful struggleultimatelyledtohersuccess,theresponseexhibitscoherenceandalogicalprogressionof ideas(IcouldhavestayedandwalloedinmymiserybutIdecidedtotaketheinitiativeandtalktomy parentsaboutthesituation....Ireachedsomethingbeyondmywildestdreamsandwasaccepted). Controloflanguageisconsistent,andthereisadequatevarietyinsentencestructure(Notonlythat, butthenextyearIwasappointedheadgirlandamtrainingtoattendHarvardCollegenextyear). Demonstratingreasonablyconsistentmastery,thisessayearnsascoreof6.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

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SCORE of 7
Description of Score of 7 An essay in this category demonstrates consistent mastery of on-demand essay writing, although it may have occasional minor errors. A typical essay Effectively and insightfully develops a point of view on the issue Addresses an appropriate audience and demonstrates a clear purpose for writing in the thesis statement Demonstrates outstanding critical thinking, using appropriate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position Is well organized and focused, demonstrating clear coherence and smooth progression of ideas Exhibits appropriate language, using a varied and accurate vocabulary Demonstrates varied sentence structure Is practically free of errors in sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 7. The annotations explain why the essay received the indicated score.

SampleEssay#1Scoreof7

Ibelievethatanobstacleordisadvantagecanbeturnedintosomethinggood.LanceArmstrong,the mostsuccessfulcyclistofalltime,hadtoovercomecancerbeforeachievingsuchgreatness.Another possibleexampleisLouisArmstrong.Louiswasborntoasinglemotherandlivedaroughlife.Hewas convictedofacrimeandwassenttoprisonwhichiswherehelearnedhowtoplaythetrumpet.

BeforehewasaseventimeTourdeFrancechampion,LanceArmstronghadtoovercomecancer,a veryextremeobstacletoovercome.Lancewasdiagnosedwithtesticularcancerandbythetimethe doctorsfoundit,ithadalreadyspreadtohisbrain,lungs,andotherintrinsicorgans.Afternumerous surgeries,Lancewasgivenafiftypercentchancetolive.Armstrongdidnotgiveup.Aftermonthsof treatmentandanothersurgery,thedoctorsfoundabsolutelynocancerinhisbody.Withinayear, Lancewasbackonthebike.HewentontowinsevenTourdeFrancesinarowandheremainsoneof thegreatestcyclists,ifnotthegreatestcyclistofalltime.

LouisArmstrong,oneofthegreatestJazztrumpetplayersofalltime,alsohadtoovercomedifficult obstaclesinhislifebeforeachievinggreatness.Louiswasborntoasinglemother.Theywerepoverty stricken,andwerebasicallystuckwithnothing.AsaboyLouiswasconvictedofacrimeandsentto prison.Whileservinghistime,Louislearnedhowtoplaythetrumpetfromafellowinmate.Louis immediatelyfellinlovewithmusic.Heformedajazzgroupwhenhewasreleasedfromprisonand theystartedplayingatlocalclubsandbars.Ononefatefulday,arecordcompanyrepresentative heardthegroupandimmediatelywantedtosignthem.IfitwerentforprisonLouismightnothave everevenpickedupatrumpet.

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Fromthesetwoexamples,wecanclearlyseethatobstaclesordisadvantagescanbecomesomething good.BothLouisandLanceovercameextremelydifficultobstaclesandbecamesomeofthebest thereeverwas.Theyknewthatanythingwaspossibleandwerenotdiscouragedbyhardships.

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Thisessaydemonstratesoutstandingcriticalthinking,effectivelyandinsightfullydevelopingthepoint ofviewthatanobstacleordisadvantagecanbeturnedintosomethinggoodwithtwoappropriate supportingexamples.Wellorganizedandfocused,theessaydisplaysclearcoherenceandasmooth progressionofideasasitexplainshowtheArmstrongs,LanceandLouis,overcameextremely difficultobstaclesandbecamesomeofthebestthereeverwas(Louiswasborntoasinglemother. Theywerepovertystricken....Heformedajazzgroupwhenhewasreleasedfromprison....On onefatefulday,arecordcompanyrepresentativeheardthegroupandimmediatelywantedtosign them).Theessaydisplaysappropriatelanguage,usingavariedandaccuratevocabulary,andvaried sentencestructureappearsthroughout(Withinayear,Lancewasbackonthebike.Hewentontowin sevenTourdeFrancesinarowandheremainsoneofthegreatestcyclists,ifnotthegreatestcyclist ofalltime).Demonstratingconsistentmastery,thisresponsemeritsascoreof7.

SampleEssay#2Scoreof7 Itistruethatanyobstacleordisadvantagecanbeturnedintosomethingpositive.Inanegative situationthereisalwaysalessonthatislearned,oragoalthatisachieved.Thisideaissupportedby aspectsofADollsHouseandtheroadtotheRevolutionaryWar. ADollsHouse,aplaybyHeinrickIbsen,provesthatanunfortunatesituationcanhaveafortunate outcome.TheplaytellsthestoryofNoraHolmesandherquestforpersonalindependence.Noras situationatthebeginingoftheplayseemedpromising.NorawasmarriedtoTorvald,hadtwo children,andhadastablefinancialsituation.Howeverbeneaththefacade,Noraslifewasnot satisfactortoher.TorvardtreatedNoraasachildanddidnotrespectheropinionsasanadult.Aftera particularlyharshincidentinwhichTorvardthreatenedherpositioninthefamily,Noraknewthatshe hadtoleavepermanently.Sheeitherhadtocontinuetoendurethepainandemotionaldistress causedbyherhusband,orlearnfromthisobstacleanduseittoachievehergoal.WhenNorafinally left,shewalkedintohernewlifeasanindependentwoman.

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TheeventsthatunfoldedonthepathtotheRevolutionaryWar,supportthethoughtmentioned above.Atthestartoftheprocess,thecolonieswereagroupofseperateentitiesundertheruleof Britain.EachcolonyledanindividualexistenceandgrewandprosperedunderBritishrule.However, afteranumberofhappyyears,theBritishdecidedtotightenitsholdonthecolonies.Theylimited thefreedomsofthecolonistswithactssuchastheSugarAct,StampAct,andTownsherActs.The colonistswereoutragedatthissuddenremovaloffreedomswhichtheyfeltwererightfullytheirs.To overcomethisobstacle,thecolonistsknewtheywouldhavetojointogetheranduniteagainstthe commonenemy.WhenthecoloniesDeclaredIndependance,theywerenolongeragroupofseparate entities,butoneUnitedwholethatwentontobecomeoneoftheStrongestNations. Anyobstacleorchallengecanbelookedatfromapositiveangle.Theexamplesmentionedabove provethatthereisalwayssomethingpositivethatcanresultfromanegativesituation.Weshould lookatchallengesnotasunfortunateexperiences,butaschancestoimproveourselvesandourlives.

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Demonstratingoutstandingcriticalthinking,thisessayeffectivelyandinsightfullydevelopsitspointof view(Itistruethatanyobstacleordisadvantagecanbeturnedintosomethingpositive)byproviding appropriateexamplesfromliteratureandhistoryassupport.Theresponseiswellorganizedand focused,displayingclearcoherenceandasmoothprogressionofideas(ADollsHouse....tellsthe storyofNoraHolmesandherquestforpersonalindependence....Sheeitherhadtocontinueto endurethepainandemotionaldistresscausedbyherhusband,orlearnfromthisobstacleanduseit toachievehergoal).Practicallyfreeoferrors,theessayshowsappropriateuseoflanguageand varietyinsentencestructure(Weshouldlookatchallengesnotasunfortunateexperiences,butas chancestoimproveourselvesandourlives).Thisessayexhibitsconsistentmasteryandreceivesa scoreof7.

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SCORE of 8
Description of Score of 8 An essay in this category demonstrates clear and consistent mastery of on-demand essay writing with a few minor errors. A typical essay Effectively and insightfully develops a point of view on the issue Addresses an appropriate audience and demonstrates a clear purpose for writing in the thesis statement Demonstrates outstanding critical thinking, using effective examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position Is well organized and clearly focused, demonstrating clear coherence and smooth progression of ideas Exhibits skillful use of language, using a varied, accurate, and apt vocabulary Demonstrates varied and effective sentence structure Is free of major errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation

Shown below are sample essays that received a score of 8. The annotations explain why the essay received the indicated score.

SampleEssay#1Scoreof8 Anobstacleordisadvantagemayappeartobeasetback,thougheitherhastheabilitytobeturned intosomethinggood.Forinstance,RosaParksparticipatedintheCivilRightsMovementinthe1950s and60sandwasjailedforherinvolvement.Thoughherjailtimewasinitiallyasetbackandan obstacleshehadtoovercome,iteventuallyledtotheMontgomeryBusBoycottandthegradual desegregationoftheUnitedStates.Similarly,theDeanofStudentsatmyschoolhastoovercomethe obstacleofparaplegiaeachday,yethedescribeshimselfasastrongerandmoresensitiveindividual asaresult.RosaParksandmyDeanareclearexamplesofobstaclesbeingturnedintosomething good. InMontgomery,AlabamaduringtheCivilRightsMovement,AfricanAmericanswererequiredtositin thebackofpublicbuses.OnedayRosaParksrefusedtositinthebackofthebusandwassenttojail forheractsofcivildisobedience.ThisactionresonatedwithAfricanAmericansnationwidebut particularlyinMontgomery.TheAfricanAmericanpeoplestagedaboycottandcontributedtothe desegregationwhichwasagoaloftheirmovement.RosaParksservedasasymbolofwhatwas possibleifonewouldsimplytakeastandandturntheirsituationfromunjustanddegradingtoone thatmadeaprofounddifferenceintodayssociety.

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TheDeanofStudentatmyschool,wasanEnglishteacher,atrackcoach,andtheDeanofStudents beforetheroofofhisbarncollapsedonhimafewyearsago.Hehadalwaysbeenastrongmanwho genuinelycaredforhisstudents.Whorespectedandlovedhim.Afterhisaccident,helosttheuseof hislegsandfeetandhislifedrasticallychanged.Hehadbecomeunabletocareforhimselfandlost greatamountsofselfesteem.Heultimatelydecidedhehadtogethislifebacksohelearnedhowto liveindependentlythroughphysicaltrainingcourses,helearnedtodriveacar,andhereturnedto school.Hisexperiencewhichcouldhavedestroyedhimandthegoalshehadactuallyallowedforhim tobuildstrengthheneverknewhehad.Throughhisactionshemadeaseveredisadvantageintoa verypositivelifechange.

Throughtheirvaryingexperiences,RosaParksandmydeandemonstratethatanyobstacleor disadvantagecanbeturnedintosomethinggood.

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Thisessaydemonstratesoutstandingcriticalthinkingasitinsightfullydevelopsapointofview(An obstacleordisadvantagemayappeartobeasetback,thougheitherhastheabilitytobeturnedinto somethinggood),supportingitwitheffective,fullydevelopedexamples.Wellorganizedandfocused asitshowshowpeoplesactionscanmakeaseveredisadvantageintoaverypositivelifechange, theresponseexhibitsclearcoherenceandsmoothprogressionofideas(Afterhisaccident,helostthe useofhislegsandfeetandhislifedrasticallychanged....Hisexperiencewhichcouldhavedestroyed himandthegoalshehadactuallyallowedforhimtobuildstrengthheneverknewhehad).Theessay exhibitsaskillfuluseoflanguage,usingavaried,accurate,andaptvocabulary(Thisactionresonated withAfricanAmericansnationwide),andavariedsentencestructureappearsthroughout.Displaying clearandconsistentmastery,thisessayearnsascoreof8.

SampleEssay#2Scoreof8

Intimesofdesperation,itisoftendifficulttoseethepositivesinasituation.Moreoftenthannot,our survivalinstinctdemandsthatweobliterateanyobstaclesinourpath,withoutheedingthepotential consequences.However,Ibelieve,usingEmilyBrontesWutheringHeightsandearlyAmerican history,thatitisindeedpossibletousetheseapparentdisadvantagesasameanstoimprove yourself.

TheheroofWutheringHeights,Heathcliff,wasbyanyaccount,amanofhumbleorigins.Notonly washeanorphanwithoutalastname,buthewasalsoabusedandtormentedbyotherchildrensuch asHindleyofhisnewhousehold.Constantlyfrustratedateveryturninlife,Heathcliffasaboycould notmarryCatherinewhohelovedpartiallybecauseofhislowlysocialstatus.AfterCatherineleftto marryhernewhusband,Heathcliffundertookajourney,inwhichheamassesagooddealofmoney andseeminglyelevateshisplaceinsociety.

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Althoughthesechangesaresuperficial,Heathcliff,usedtheadversityfacinghimasaboyas motivationtoimprovehimself,tomarryCatherine;thushisearlyobstacleswereturnedinto somethinggood(atleastforhim).FromEmilyBrontesWutheringHeights,itisevidentthatobstacles canbetransformedintomotivation,averypositiveemotion. Inthe1770s,AmericawasundertheruleofatyrantinEngland.Legislation,suchasthosethatwere calledtheIntolerableActsthatforbidsuchpracticesasformingamilitiainMassachusetts,andthe infamousStampAct,whichwasessentiallyataxforcedonAmericanstogainrevenueforthe BritishEmpire,werepassedcontinuouslyagainstGreatBritainscoloniesinAmerica.TheQuartering ActforcedAmericanstoallowBritishsoldierstoliveintheirhomes,whichresultedinmanyfightsand thesituationwasnotgood.However,theearlyAmericanpoliticalleadersusedthesediretimesto rallytheAmericanpeople.Thecountry,incensedbyBritishpractices,joinedthoserebelliousleaders, suchasPatrickHenry,GeorgeWashington,andJohnAdams,tofightintheRevolutionaryWaragainst acorruptmonarchy.IftheAmericanpeoplehadnotsufferedthroughtheseindignitiesleadingupto theRevolutionaryWar,theUnitedStatesofAmericaprobablywouldnotexisttoday. Clearly,whenoneisfacedbyobstaclesateveryturn,itisextremelydifficulttotrytotwistnegative experiencesintopositiveones.However,ifonetakesthemodelshownbyHeathcliffofWuthering HeightsandAmericasearlypoliticalleaders,onecanusethesebadexperiencestototallychange oneslifeforthebetter.

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Demonstratingoutstandingcriticalthinking,thisessayeffectivelyandinsightfullydevelopsitspointof view(...itisindeedpossibletousetheseapparentdisadvantagesasameanstoimproveyourself). UsingtheeffectiveexamplesofHeathcliffinWutheringHeightsandAmericainthepreRevolutionary Wareratoillustratehowobstaclescanbetransformedintomotivation,thewellorganizedand focusedresponsedisplaysclearcoherenceandsmoothprogressionofideas(Inthe1770s,America wasundertheruleofatyrantinEngland....However,theearlyAmericanpoliticalleadersused thesediretimestorallytheAmericanpeople).Theessayfeaturesaskillfuluseoflanguage,displaying avaried,accurate,andaptvocabulary,anddemonstratesvarietyinsentencestructure(Moreoften thannot,oursurvivalinstinctdemandsthatweobliterateanyobstaclesinourpath,withoutheeding thepotentialconsequences).Thisessayexhibitsclearandconsistentmasteryandmeritsascoreof8.

2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

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