EDIT: I really can't believe that this was on the front page for most of the day. Thus I shall go down in history as the perpetrator of the MOST BORING AMA EVER. WOW.
Following up on this request, I was an SAT scorer employed by Pearson. I scored SAT essays for one school year. Frankly, it was a lousy job, because I taught English all day and then went home and scored essays in the evenings. It wasn't worth it financially, either--$12/hour for training and $17/hour for scoring (back then, anyway. Might be another $1-$2/hour more now. Whee.) Which, given that I already had my normal grading load to keep up with, wasn't enough to make it worth it.
That said, I didn't do it for the money--I did it to learn more about the essay so that I could help my students better prepare for it. In that respect, it was a successful endeavor.
I am no longer an SAT essay scorer, and if I were, I wouldn't be doing this AMA. Even with that, this is still a different account than the one I regularly post with--I had to sign an NDA when I left, and while I think it was only good for four years, I'd still rather be safe than sorry, on the off chance I ever decide that I want to work for them again.
It's been a few years, and it looks like I dumped most of my emails from that time, but I do have this one as proof. Hopefully that's enough proof for y'all.
To answer the questions in the original thread:
Why people score what they do, what you guys look for, etc.
We're given a pretty fair amount of training on how to score and what to look for. Honestly, if you look at the Essay Scoring Framework, it's pretty comprehensive. That's a rather broad question, so I'm not entirely sure what else to answer.
1.Has anyone ever stapled money inside a test booklet that you received? 2. If someone has, did you give them the max credit?
SAT essays are scanned, and we read them on a computer. So, no.
I lied a lot in my essay, did you notice?
Whether or not we noticed is irrelevant, since we're not allowed to score on correctness of content.
What was the most memorable thing you've read/happened during grading?
Honestly, nothing sticks out. We had to score ~20-30 essays an hour to keep the pace they wanted us to, and I did my scoring after a full day of teaching high school English, so generally I was pretty cross-eyed by the time I was through.
has there been any that you had to drop reading because of the quality.
Nope. In fact, those are easier to score, since it's not like my day job teaching HS English where I have to give meaningful feedback on each essay. The hardest ones were the 3/4 and 4/5 ones. 1s, 2s, and 6s were pretty easy to spot from a mile away.
Incidentally, not correcting your "has" is making me twitchy. So I'll just nudge you and remind you that it should be "Have there been..."
How do you determine plagiarism? Since the essays are hand-written I can't see an automated system working very well.
Since testing is conducted in a controlled environment and the questions aren't known ahead of time, it's pretty difficult to plagiarize. That said, there is a process for flagging suspected plagiarism. In my year of scoring, I don't think I ever used this process.
I remember when I did AP Modern European History test I was on loritabs for my broken arm. I remember finishing the essay, something about communism and Stalin, then since I had answered the question I went on to write about how Stalin loved piggys and how he loved to rub their warm pink bellies and run through the fields with them. 4/5 bitches!
I might have docked you a point for that, but not more than that as long as you fully answered the question. I never saw anything like that on the SAT essay, though. Sadly.