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Anchor Papers

For each constructed-response item, a set of anchor papers are used to illustrate the item-specific scoring guide. Anchor sets include papers that show three or four clear examples of each score category. The paper’s correct score is written on the top center of each paper. Papers within an anchor set are ordered from the highest to the lowest score category.

To put the scoring guide in context, it is discussed in conjunction with the anchor papers.  Each anchor paper is read aloud, and the trainer explains why each paper fits into the particular score category level.  Scorers also receive annotations which explain the scoring rationale for each anchor paper.  Scorers are encouraged to ask questions, but the trainer discourages over-generalizations until scorers have seen more examples.  Scorers use the anchor papers as a primary reference during scoring.

Last updated 22 September 2008 (JL)

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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education