I am using the AP Language and Composition question that I graded this summer for the diagnostic essay in my first year composition course. It is easier to grade than another, since I have experience grading 2000+ this summer.
Based on my last year’s courses, I was expecting to have a few (maybe as many as ten) from my two classes with high scores.
Now, this is somewhat unfair as an expectation, since if they received a high score, they could have placed out of the class. Since I had many last year, though, I did expect it.
This semester no one made above a 6 (out of 9). The students had an hour, rather than 40 minutes, and most wrote under two pages. I was not impressed.
Of course, had they made a high score, I would be hard pressed to be able to explain to them why they were still in the course, so I suppose it is reasonable that they did not.
Now, however, I have to figure out how to give them their diagnostic grades without making them give up on the semester already. I was not expecting that.
Anyone have any magic words of wisdom for me?
I plan to hand the students back their papers and ask them to grade their own, after showing them the scoring guidelines and some sample high scoring papers.
I also plan to reiterate that this diagnostic was created for testing out of fyc, which these students did not do.