How the RLA is graded

During the scoring process, some items are weighted more heavily than others. The constructed response items make up 15-20% of the student’s score. We recommend that all students answer these items. There are no score deductions for incorrect answers. Make sure your students are prepared to craft fully developed responses.

Below is one suggested approach for drafting a fully developed constructed response. Use the
Steps for Drafting a Constructed Response to guide your self through each stage of
this process.

The basic rules for writing an extended response
Simply attempting a written response on the RLA and Social Studies test subjects doesn’t mean a student will earn points. Responses must meet the minimum scoring criteria -

Also, make sure you follow these basic but important rules so you’ll earn points on your responses:
1. Write a complete essay. Students should aim to write at least 4-7 paragraphs, or 300- 500 words per extended response.
2. Give commentary on quotes from source texts. Students need to explain why the evidence they’re quoting supports their argument. Quotes should be used sparingly; most of their response should be their own words.
3. Develop 2-3 main ideas. Students should focus on a few main points that they fully develop with evidence and support.
4. Proofread.
Students should spend the last 4-5 minutes checking for these grammar issues:
 Ensure varied sentence structure
 Correct use of transitions
 Eliminate wordiness or awkwardness
 Eliminate run on sentences, sentence fragments
 Ensure correct homophone usage (i.e., your vs. you’re)
 Ensure correct subject-verb agreement
 Proper capitalization
 Proper use of apostrophes
 Correct punctuation
 Ensure proper word order

Steps for Drafting a Constructed Response
1. Read the passage and question
2. Unpack the prompt (identify key words)
3. Rewrite the question and turn the question into a thesis statement
4. Collect relevant details from passage
5. Organize details into a logical order. Use a graphic organizer if that helps.
6. Draft an answer
7. Re-read and edit/revise the answer making sure all parts of the question are answered

Last modified: Friday, 22 January 2016, 11:33 AM