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Practice Sets

After the anchor set exercise, scorers are given practice sets that they score independently. One or two sets of 10 to 12 papers (depending on the complexity of the item, with options for larger sets for some items) are identified as practice sets. Each set covers

  • the range of scores on the scoring guide,
  • different levels of responses within a score (e.g., high “2” and low “2”),
  • practice sets contain both clear examples of each score level as well as some borderline papers (responses on the border of two adjacent score levels), and
  • examples of common student responses 

The papers are randomly ordered within each set. Usually, the first practice set includes examples that may be more straightforward, while more challenging papers often appear in the second practice set.

Upon completion of a practice set, the trainer tallies how many scorers gave the response a "1", a "2", and so on, using a tally form. A scorer on the team may be asked to explain the score they assigned a paper. The trainer provides the correct score to the team, using the practice paper for instruction and discussion. The first practice set is always scored and discussed before going on to the second practice set. Given the complexity of many NAEP items, trainers use all practice sets as part of training.


Last updated 01 October 2008 (GF)

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education