Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Detecting tutor's hand in applicant's essay :: NYT

In a survey of 374 top colleges and universities conducted by Kaplan, the test preparation company, 58 percent said they would use the SAT essay to evaluate whether students had received outside help on their application essays in cases where there appeared to be discrepancies in the applicants' writing levels. Thirteen percent said they would compare the essays for all applicants.

"What that is saying is, 'We know there are a lot of cooks in the soup on these application essays, and we want to make sure that the writing that you are able to produce on your own can keep up with that polished writing,' " said Jennifer Caran, national director for SAT and ACT programs for Kaplan.
. . .
educators make the case that basic writing and organizational skills should be consistent between the two samples.

"Schools recognize that this is a first draft and not polished work," said Ms. Caran of Kaplan, a former English teacher. "They want to get a sense of the students' innate writing abilities, to understand the students' thought processes and ability to express themselves, and whether that expression of thought is compatible with what they are saying in the application."

Complex sentence structure, the proper use of advanced vocabulary and clear expression should all be consistent between the two samples, she said.
Via Newmark's Door.


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