Sample Essay (Score = 4)

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Begin WRITING TEST Here.

Educators debate extending high school to five years due to the increasing demands on students from employers and colleges. Those for it say that it will give students more time to achieve what is expected, and those against it say that students would lose intrest and attendance will drop in year five. Of course there seems to be advantages and disadvantages to both, but lets be realistic, in America today, education isn't exactly our most relishing topic. I feel that extending high school one more year is a bad idea for three reasons, students really only have three years, there will be a loss of intrest, and its just a "band aid" for bigger problems.

Firstly, if you think about it, there are really only three years of high school, because does anyone really get anything done senior year? No. Senior year is a time of waiting, for school to end, for your acceptance letters to come in, it's a time of waiting. Not to mention the commonly known disease that seems to incubate all seniors called "senioritis". Senioritis is basically not doing anything. With 5 years of high school students would waste 2 years to senioritis instead of just one.

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Out of the millions of students enrolled in high school, maybe one out of 5 truly enjoys school, where as the others just treat it as a social gathering very early in the morning. After the first three years of high school, coming into your senior year, you become a human form of a slug, very slow, both physically and mentally. Of course I might be over exaggeraiting maybe a little bit, but the intrest is gone after sophomore year. What makes you think that it will magically pop up after an addition of one more year? It will just be more time to be bored.

Lastly, extending high school an extra year just seems like a band aid for all the problems in the field of education. At a time where the illiteracy and dropout rate seems to be rising as much as gas prices these days, one more year isn't going to cut it. The solution isn't that easy.

So in conclusion, four years is ample time to achieve greatness and fully take advantage of high school. For those that don't think so, explain how most of my generations parents did it in four years, does that make them super heros? I think not. Another year is just not a smart idea.

Scoring Explanation

This essay demonstrates adequate skill in responding to the task.

The writer takes a position (I feel that extending high school one more year is a bad idea for three reasons . . .) and offers some context for the discussion (Educators debate extending high school to five years due to the increasing demands on students for employers and colleges. Those for it say that it will give students more time to achieve what is expected, and those against it say that students would lost intrest and attendance will drop in year five). The essay also shows some recognition of complexity by acknowledging multiple perspectives and providing some response to counter-arguments to the writer's position (Of course there seems to be advantages and disadvantages to both, but lets be realistic, in America today, education isn't exactly our most relishing topic).

Development of ideas is adequate, with three ideas discussed and with some movement between general statements (extending high school an extra year just seems like a band aid for all the problems in the field of education) and specific examples and details (At a time where the illiteracy and dropout rate seems to be rising as much as gas prices these days, one more year isn't going to cut it). Focus on the specific issue in the prompt is maintained throughout the essay.

The organization of the essay is apparent but predictable, with obvious transitions (Firstly, Lastly, So in conclusion). There is some evidence of logical sequencing within the third paragraph (coming into senior year, you become a human form of a slug. . . . the intrest is gone after sophomore year. What makes you think that it will magically pop up after a addition of one more year? It will just be more time to be bored). The introduction and conclusion are both clear and somewhat developed.

The writer demonstrates adequate ability with language, using a variety of sentence types and some appropriate word choice (extending, social gathering, physically and mentally, illiteracy) as well as some inaccurate and distracting word choice (relishing, incubate). Other errors also distract the reader but do not impede understanding.

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