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English - Honors / AP 
 
ENGLISH HONORS/ADVANCED PLACEMENT PROCESS
 
ENGLISH 9(H) 

 

English 9 Honors Challenge Exam

The English 9 Honors Challenge Exam is open to any student seeking placement into the English 9 Honors course and who was not originally placed into the course based upon standardized test scores.  The English 9 Honors Challenge Exam is an English language skills test designed to give students a second chance to demonstrate their proficiency in reading comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and written composition, as such, the test is divided into two broad sections.

The first section of the test is comprised of 50 objective questions covering the areas of reading comprehension, vocabulary in context, and English grammar.

The second section of the test is a short essay about three paragraphs in length.  The topic of the essay is general – one that is adaptable to many life experiences and thus allowing the student to write freely about a wide range of subjects and not restricted to a specific content area.  The essay will be read by at least two separate readers, and the readers will independently score the essay according to the following rubric:

       Timed Essay Rubric*

Score

Organization

Use of Language

Sentence Structure

Grammar and Word Usage

 

1

 

Poorly organized; lacks focus; problems with coherence or flow of ideas

Poor use of language; indicates very limited vocabulary and poor word choice

Frequent problems with sentence structure

Grammar and word usage mistakes are frequent and interfere with meaning; poor mechanics

2

 

Limited in organization and focus; demonstrates lapses in coherence or flow of ideas

Displays developing use of language; contains indications of weak vocabulary and poor word selection

Some problems with sentence structure; lacks a variety of sentence structures

Contains many mistakes in grammar word usage and mechanics

3

 

Generally organized and focused; demonstrates some coherence and attention to the flow of ideas

Displays adequate, but inconsistent, use of language; vocabulary used is generally appropriate

Good sentence structure; demonstrates some variety of sentence structure

Contains some mistakes in grammar, word usage and mechanics

4

 

Well organized and focused; demonstrates coherence and ideas flow well

Displays competent use of language; uses appropriate vocabulary

Good sentence structure; demonstrates variety in sentence structure

Generally free of mistakes in grammar, word usage and mechanics

5

 

Well organized and clearly focused; clearly coherent and ideas flow seamlessly

Displays skillful use of language; vocabulary is accurate and varied; words are appropriately and skillfully chosen

Good sentence structure; demonstrates meaningful and skilled variety of sentence structure

Free of most mistakes in grammar, word usage and mechanics

* Adapted from the 2012 SAT® Writing Rubric and adjusted for 8th grade comprehension and skills. 

Scoring the Challenge Exam and Determining Eligibility for English 9 Honors

The two sections of the exam are combined and the student is given a composite score out of 100 for the exam.  A score of 83 or higher on the exam meets eligibility standards for English 9 Honors.  Following is a sample of how composite scores are generated:

Student A

Section of the Test

Student Score

Total Possible

Objective Section - reading comprehension, vocabulary in context, and English grammar.

40

50

 

Reader 1

Reader 2

X5

 

Essay Section – three paragraph written response (two readers score the essay on a 5 point scale using the above rubric), and then the two reader scores are added together and multiplied by a factor of 5.

3

4

35

50

Total Composite Score

75

100

 

Student B

Section of the Test

Student Score

Total Possible

Objective Section - reading comprehension, vocabulary in context, and English grammar.

45

50

 

Reader 1

Reader 2

X5

 

Essay Section – three paragraph written response (two readers score the essay on a 5 point scale using the above rubric), and then the two reader scores are added together and multiplied by a factor of 5.

4

5

45

50

Total Composite Score

90

100

 

Using the two sample scores above, student B qualified for English 9 Honors, but student A did not.

Sample Essay Question

Here is a former challenge exam essay question used in 2009.  This year’s essay question will be similar.

<>         Choose one place at your school (or at home, or at your church, or any other   place) where you feel comfortable or happy.  Write an essay describing that place, and explain why that place makes you feel that way.  Include details and examples to support your points.