Rubric for Writing Proficiency Assessment

Writing Proficiency Assessment – Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose

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Now that the GREs are waived for Spring 2021 applicants and AY 2021- 2022, an evaluation of writing proficiency needs to be implemented, especially if students did not graduate from a CSU and have not taken the WEPT.

The objective in the assessment is to demonstrate your ability to address an audience appropriately, focus on a topic, express ideas clearly and coherently, provide an orderly sequence of ideas, and display your knowledge of standard written English.  

Passing statements

  • address their audience appropriately
  • organization and flow
  • are focused
  • have sentence and word variety
  • are relatively free of spelling, grammar, and other errors in language use

Scoring Procedure

The statement will be read by the student’s advisor and scored between 1 to 6, according to the scoring guide. A total score of 4 out of 6 is necessary to pass.

Evaluation Criteria

This "holistic" evaluation of student writing, compared to the common “analytic” evaluation, the advisor focuses upon the total impression the statement makes and does not mark the statement. The advisor looks for the central ideas in the statement, expects them to be clearly expressed, organized and presented in a logical sequence. This allows for the occasional lapses in writing, but does not expect the writing to be interrupted by unclear language, misused words, or frequent or gross errors in punctuation, spelling, or grammar. The specific criteria used by the advisor is contained in a scoring guide below:

A 6 statement demonstrates a high degree of competence in writing, though it may have minor errors. A statement in this category:

  • addresses the topic clearly and responds effectively to all aspects of the task.
  • explores the issues thoughtfully and in depth
  • appeals to the audience specifically and appropriately
  • is clearly focused, well organized, and well developed
  • uses pertinent examples and detail for support
  • displays syntactic variety and a clear command of the language
  • demonstrates clear facility in expression and diction

A 5 statement demonstrates competence in writing though it may have minor errors. A statement in this category:

  • clearly addresses the topic, but may respond to some aspects of the task more effectively than others
  • shows some depth and complexity of thought
  • appeals to the audience appropriately
  • is focused, well-organized, and developed
  • uses examples and details for support
  • displays syntactic variety
  • demonstrates facility in expression

A 4 statement demonstrates adequate competence in writing; it may have occasional errors in mechanics and syntax. A statement in this category:

  • addresses the topic, but may slight some aspects of the task
  • may treat the topic somewhat simplistically
  • appeals to the audience appropriately
  • is focused and adequately organized and developed
  • uses some details or examples but may tend to generalize
  • demonstrates adequate facility in expression and diction

A 3 statement demonstrates some ability in writing, but it will be clearly flawed, an inappropriate and inadequate response to the task at hand. A statement in this category will have one or more of the following weaknesses:

  • distorts or neglects aspects of the task
  • lacks focus or demonstrates confused or simplistic thinking
  • lack of consideration of audience's needs and interests
  • unclear focus, inadequate organization or development
  • lack of variety in sentence patterns
  • limited facility in clear expression and diction
  • an accumulation of errors in mechanics, syntax or usage

A 2 statement suggests minimal writing ability. It will reveal one or more of the following weaknesses:

  • confusion about the topic or neglect of important aspects of the task
  • lack of focus and coherence; failure to communicate ideas
  • inappropriate response to audience
  • disorganization or incomplete development
  • excessive generalization or irrelevant detail
  • serious and multiple errors in mechanics, syntax or usage

A 1 statement demonstrates incompetence. A paper in this category is marked by any of the following weaknesses:

  • inappropriate response to audience
  • incoherence of expression or illogical connection between ideas
  • severe under-development
  • major and repeated problems in grammar and sentence formation

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