Grading of the essay

Picture of April Waletzko
Grading of the essay
by April Waletzko - Thursday, 15 March 2007, 12:41 PM

Hello all,

I work at a GED Preparation Program in Spanish in Minneapolis, and I am hoping to get some information to help students prepare for the Language: Writing Exam.

I have some questions about how the essay portion of the Language: Writing exam of the GED is graded.  I know that the readers/graders decide to what extent the composition: responds to the theme/question, is organized, is developed and supported with relevant details, and usage of the language.

My doubt/issue is:  If the essay meets/exceeds all of these requirements, but a body paragraph utilizes a number format to list and explain some of the supporting details (rather than a normal paragraph), will this reflect negatively on the mark the essay receives?  Or, is it acceptable to use numbers to list and explain thoughts with-in the essay?

If anyone knows more information, I would really appreciate your help so that I can better inform our students.

Thanks in advance!



Picture of Paula Freiermuth
Re: Grading of the essay
by Paula Freiermuth - Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 8:53 AM


The GED essay needs to be written in paragraph form. Part of the assessment of the essay is how well the writer develops paragraphs. In writing, there are times when you use numbers for ideas, but they are imbedded as text into the paragraph. So if your student is using a numbered list instead of paragraphs, they are not meeting the requirements of the essay. A scorer would not pass them because they are not showing paragraph writing skills.

Hope this helps.

Paula Freiermuth

Lead GED Instructor Osseo ABE

Picture of April Waletzko
Re: Grading of the essay
by April Waletzko - Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 2:30 PM

Dear Paula,

Thank you for your clarification.  That will definitely help me clear up a few doubts that had come up after students had written practice essays.

April Waletzko


GED Preparation in Spanish Program

CLUES Minneapolis

Picture of Steve Crump
Re: Grading of the essay
by Steve Crump - Thursday, 9 August 2007, 2:13 PM

The student may want to use a numbered list on his/her scratch paper to help organize his/her thoughts.  Explain to him/her that this is a good organizational tool but that the essay needs to be written as a normal paragraph. smile