Online Essay Grader Saturday


For your convenience, our Frequently Asked Questions page is divided into four parts:

Click below on any section or topic that you want to view.

Using Holt Online Essay Scoring in the Classroom

About Rubrics and Scoring

About the Technology Behind Holt Online Essay Scoring

Purchasing Holt Online Essay Scoring


Using Holt Online Essay Scoring in the Classroom

How many writing prompts are available?
Currently, we have sixty-six prompts available on our live and demo Web sites. We post additional prompts regularly.
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What types of writing are represented in the writing prompts?
Writing prompts are available in ten modes: expository/informative, persuasive, how-to, descriptive, writing about literature, writing about nonfiction, and narrative (both high school and middle school), plus biographical narrative, definition, and cause and effect (high school only). Visit our writing prompts page to view a list of all available prompts.
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How are the writing prompts developed?
Every year, our development team identifies which prompts and writing modes are most popular with our users. At the same time, we review current state writing assessments for newly released writing prompts and changes in scoring rubrics. Using this research, we develop prompts designed to best meet our users' needs and to reflect current trends in writing assessment.
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Can I develop my own prompt using Holt Online Essay Scoring?
No. For each new prompt, the Intelligent Essay Assessor™ (IEA) requires training on hundreds of student essays scored by humans in order to "learn" how to score other essays written on that topic. Only writing prompts that have been reviewed by a writing assessment expert and have gone through a rigorous training process are posted to our site.
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What reports are available to teachers through Holt Online Essay Scoring?
Through Holt Online Learning's Web-based Learning Management Center, teachers can organize students' essays and scores by class and by student. Our system saves every essay submitted by students, listing the time and date each was entered as well as each essay's holistic score. Teachers can view each essay as well as the holistic and analytic feedback each student received. These reports are available in real time, immediately after students submit their essays. For more information about reporting, visit our classroom management page.
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How long does it take to score an essay?
Most essays are scored within a few seconds. During that time, the essay is sent to Knowledge Analysis Technologies in Boulder, Colorado, where the company's Intelligent Essay Assessor reviews and assigns a score to the essay. Keep in mind that when your school's Internet connection is slow or busy, scores may take longer to appear on the screen as the page refreshes.
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What types of feedback do students receive?
Students receive several types of feedback on their essays, including a holistic score and an analytic assessment in each of five different writing traits: content and development; focus and organization; effective sentences; word choice; and grammar, usage, and mechanics. Holt Online Essay Scoring also provides level-specific writing activities to help students revise their writing, interactive model essays for each writing prompt, and special advisories to alert teachers and students to highly unusual writing styles. To learn more about each, visit our student feedback page.
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Can students submit the same essay more than once?
Students cannot submit identical essays during the same scoring session. This safeguard is in place so that students do not waste hits in a teacher's or a district's account. Students can, however, submit as many revisions of their essays as they desire. Revised essays are considered brand-new submissions and are evaluated by our system without regard to previous scores.
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Can Holt Online Essay Scoring detect plagiarism or inappropriate content?
No. Holt Online Essay Scoring can only evaluate the essay itself and cannot compare essays with other students' writing in the class or with other content. Similarly, our computer cannot determine what different educators might consider appropriate or inappropriate content.
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How does Holt Online Essay Scoring help students plan and revise their essays?
Holt Online Essay Scoring has several types of prewriting activities and tips for revision. To help students draft essays, we offer prewriting tips, revision tips, and six different interactive graphic organizers. After submitting an essay, a student also has access to writing activities specifically designed for writers at his or her performance level. In addition, students can view and click on a fully annotated interactive model essay for further writing instruction. All of these features are in addition to the holistic and analytic feedback displayed for each essay. To sample these features, visit our demo site.
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What is a graphic organizer?
Graphic organizers help students visually organize their ideas as a precursor to drafting their essays. Holt Online Essay Scoring offers six different types of graphic organizers: the freeform Web diagram, the cluster diagram, the spider map, the fishbone planner, the all-purpose planner, and the persuasive planner. Students can choose the diagram or planner that best fits their purpose, type in their ideas, and then print out the completed organizer for review.
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What is an interactive model essay?
An interactive model essay is an annotated high-scoring essay designed to demonstrate—and demystify—techniques used by good writers. Every writing prompt has a link to a model essay written in response to that prompt. The models offer clickable headings that highlight thesis statements, conclusions, topic sentences, and other key parts of the essay. Each heading expands into an instructive annotation that discusses the writer's technique and suggests how students might apply the technique to their own writing. In this way, the model essay not only demonstrates good writing but also shows students how to put effective writing approaches into action. Visit a sample interactive model essay posted on our demo site (Note: Users must have Macromedia Shockwave and Flash Players in order to view the model essay).
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Do my students have to type their essays directly into Holt Online Essay Scoring?
No. Many students choose to compose their essays in a word-processing program and then copy and paste them into the Holt Online Essay Scoring interface. If students are importing their work from an e-mail program or across Mac and PC platforms, they should be sure that any special characters in the essay (such as em dashes, smart quotes, and ampersands) have been successfully translated before submitting the essay for scoring.
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Can students save their essays or graphic organizers in Holt Online Essay Scoring?
Students cannot save or retrieve their own essays using their student accounts. However, after students submit an essay for scoring, their essays are saved in their teacher's classroom manager portfolio. A teacher then may access and view the full text of each student's essay. Content entered into graphic organizers cannot be saved. After students have typed in their ideas, they must print out their organizers for review.
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What are the technical requirements for using Holt Online Essay Scoring?

To get the greatest benefit from Holt Online Essay Scoring, HRW recommends that you use a current version of one of the two most common Web browsers: either Netscape Navigator 6.2 or above, or Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or above. You can download a current version of these browsers by clicking on the links below.

Macromedia Shockwave and Flash Players
The model essays on this site require that you use a current version of Macromedia's Shockwave and Flash Players: Shockwave 8 or above and Flash Player 6 or above. To download these free players, click on the link below.

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How do I reach Technical Support?
Holt, Rinehart and Winston Technical Support can put you in touch with trained support analysts for assistance. Call, send an e-mail, or visit the HRW Technical Support Web site.

Telephone: 800-323-9239
Monday through Friday
7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M., CST
Web site:
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About Rubrics and Scoring

Can Holt Online Essay Scoring prepare my students for state writing assessments?
Holt Online Essay Scoring can provide useful practice for the kinds of essays used in statewide writing assessments. Teachers and students should note, however, that the conditions will not be the same as those that states mandate for writing assessment. The score a student receives on our site should be taken only as an evaluation of one practice essay—not as a predictor of performance on any writing test.
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What scoring rubrics are used?
Holt has developed a holistic rubric for each essay mode (expository, persuasive, and so on) posted on our site—and a standard rubric for analytic scoring. Our rubrics draw on careful research into scoring standards employed in statewide writing assessments all over the country. The goal is to assess student writing in ways that parallel standardized writing assessments. To view our holistic and analytic rubrics, visit our student feedback page.
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What is the difference between holistic and analytic scoring?
Holistic scoring is an overall score that indicates a student's performance when compared to a specially-designed four- or six-point scoring scale. The criteria used for holistic scoring are topic and purpose; organization; development; content/ideas; and word choice, grammar, usage, and mechanics. Each of these criteria is weighted equally to help determine an overall score.

An analytic score is a more specific measure of five writing traits: content and development; focus and organization; effective sentences; word choice; and grammar, usage, and mechanics. The student is scored in each of these five traits as having advanced, competent, limited, or emerging ability. Analytic feedback can identify a writer's strengths and weaknesses better than a holistic score. For example, if a student's ideas are weak but his or her use of vocabulary is strong, he or she might score "limited" in content and development but "advanced" in word choice.
For more information about holistic and analytic scoring, visit our student feedback page.
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Are holistic and analytic scores correlated?
Each analytic trait is scored independently of the holistic score and of other analytic traits. Therefore, a student's holistic score and analytic feedback may vary from one another, sometimes significantly. A perceived discrepancy between the holistic and analytic feedback may actually be a useful distinction between a student's overall performance and a student's performance using particular writing skills. Therefore, although there is usually some kind of relationship between the holistic and analytic feedback, variation between them is also expected because each is assessed separately.
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Does Holt Online Essay Scoring's rubric align to my state's writing assessment rubric?
Because our holistic and analytic scoring rubrics were developed to reflect writing assessment standards shared by several states across the country, your state's writing assessment rubric may vary somewhat in language and emphasis from the Holt Online Essay Scoring rubrics. However, most states' rubrics correlate in part or in whole to ours. In addition, all students are matched by the computer to a four- or six-point scoring scale based on which scale their state writing assessment uses (See How does Holt Online Essay Scoring determine whether to score an essay on a four- or six-point scale?).
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How does Holt Online Essay Scoring determine whether to score an essay on a four- or six-point scale?
Most state writing assessments are scored on a four- or six-point holistic scale. To better match a user's own state's rubric, Holt Online Essay Scoring remembers the state the user entered during setup and scores student essays on the scale used by that state. So, for example, a California user will be scored on a four-point holistic scale while a Florida user will be scored on a six-point holistic scale. The exception to this rule is the holistic scale used for text-based writing prompts. Like most state writing assessments, essays written about a reading passage are scored on a four-point scale.
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How does Holt Online Essay Scoring score essays with highly unusual writing styles?
An essay with a highly unique writing style or unusual construction may receive an advisory message along with a score. In addition, essays over 1,200 words will receive an advisory about length. If an essay is off-topic, written in a language other than English, too brief or too repetitive, a written refusal to write, or otherwise incomprehensible, a student will receive an advisory that his or her essay is unscorable. These advisory messages ask the student to discuss the essay and all feedback with his or her teacher to ensure an appropriate evaluation of the writing.
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Does the length of an essay affect its score?
An essay under 100 words or over 1,200 words will receive an advisory from our system. For essays falling within those boundaries, length is not a criterion for essay scoring. However, longer responses have more opportunity to demonstrate development of ideas, elaboration, careful word choice, and so on. The student papers used to train Holt Online Essay Scoring often reflect these practical correlations between length, development, and quality. In this way, length can indirectly influence the way an essay is scored because many of the better training papers are well developed and therefore longer.
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What if I disagree with a score given by the computer?
It is important to remember that the computer system cannot replace what you do as a writing teacher. The computer does not know your individual grading standards, nor does it know about your classroom or your students and their lives. Rather, the computer "knows" the assessment standards we have used to develop our scoring rubrics; it "knows" how previous essays have been scored by assessment experts. Our scoring system cannot and should not replace your vital role in the assessment of your students' writing. It serves, rather, as a supplement to what you do, giving students another opportunity to practice important writing skills and another form of feedback about their writing.
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About the Technology Behind Holt Online Essay Scoring

How are essays submitted to Holt Online Essay Scoring evaluated?
Essays submitted to Holt Online Essay Scoring are evaluated by the Intelligent Essay Assessor™ (IEA), a software application developed by Knowledge Analysis Technologies (KAT). Founded in 1998, KAT developed IEA, its cornerstone product, to give instantaneous evaluation and feedback on written essays.
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What is the Intelligent Essay Assessor?
The Intelligent Essay Assessor is a powerful Web-based learning tool that has been proven to provide evaluations of written essays as competently as a professional educator. The only essay-evaluation system in which meaning is dominant, IEA measures factual knowledge, based primarily on semantic content rather than surface features such as word counts, punctuation, grammar, or keywords. IEA also extensively checks of the validity of its scoring system.
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How does IEA work?
IEA uses Latent Semantic Analysis, a patented technology based on over ten years of corporate and university research and development. Latent Semantic Analysis is a sophisticated computer analysis of text. It assesses the total content of an essay as well as the correlation between the essay's content and that of training essays previously scored by expert human readers.
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How is the computer trained to score student essays?
Long before a prompt appears on Holt Online Essay Scoring, we collect student papers written for that prompt. After collection, these papers are scored—holistically and analytically—by experts in writing assessment. Then, the training papers are forwarded to Knowledge Analysis Technologies, where the papers and their scores are used to train the computer to score new student essays on the prompt. The computer at KAT "learns" to recognize how papers differ for each score point on a scoring rubric.
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How does the human scoring work?
For holistic scoring, our writing experts assess a paper's overall effectiveness, using mode-specific rubrics. For analytic scoring, they examine a paper for five important traits: content and development; focus and organization; effective sentences; word choice; and grammar, usage, and mechanics. Each essay is scored by two readers for the holistic score and again by two readers for each of the five analytic traits. If the two readers diverge on any score, a third reader scores the paper to settle the discrepancy.
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How does the computer recognize a good essay?
The Intelligent Essay Assessor measures the relationship between each word in an essay and every other word in the essay. Further, it compares the interrelationship of words in a particular essay with the interrelationship of words in the training essays. When a student submits an essay for scoring, the system immediately measures the content and structure of the essay itself; then, it compares the essay to the training essays—looking for similarities—and assigns a holistic score by placing the essay in a category with the most similar training essays. Analytic scoring occurs in much the same way. For each trait, the system assesses the student essay, compares it to the training essays, and then categorizes the trait in question as advanced, competent, limited, or emerging.
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How does IEA scoring compare to the way teachers grade writing?
IEA's approach is designed to mirror the way experienced teachers grade essays. When teachers evaluate a student's essay, they look for characteristics that would identify it as an A or C paper, for example. Their expectations are likely based on their previous experience as a grader and on criteria for the assignment in question. In other words, teachers search for a match between the essay itself and the criteria for a particular grade or score. The Intelligent Essay Assessor is trained to mimic this process.
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Purchasing Holt Online Essay Scoring

How much does Holt Online Essay Scoring cost?
Holt Online Essay Scoring is sold for $1.00 per hit in batches of fifty hits.
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How can I purchase Holt Online Essay Scoring?
You can purchase Holt Online Essay Scoring online, by mail, or by phone.
For more information about online purchases, click on your grade.

Or visit HRW's Online Store.

To order by mail, download our order form in PDF and follow the instructions on the form.

To order by phone, please call 800-225-5425.

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There are a ton of jobs you can do from home.

Most of them require phone work, though, which isn’t a good option for moms with little kids at home.

If you’re looking for something else you can do from home that doesn’t require using the phone (and is also pretty flexible!), you should consider becoming an online test grader.

You’ll be scoring the essays of students, usually in college.

Most positions will require training, but aside from that, you usually won’t need any experience.

Therefore, you can become an essay grade online, free training included in some cases!

Sound like a good opportunity for you to work from home without hopping on the phone?

Read on, because this article has some of the best test scoring online jobs to apply for.

Online Test Scoring Jobs

1. ACT

You might be able to land a job grading the written portion of the ACT with the official ACT company!

The ACT is a college readiness assessment, similar to the SAT, which is typically an important test for colleges to look at when deciding what applicants to accept.

The written portion is one that can’t be graded with automated scoring like the rest of the test, since it includes a written essay.

The ACT looks for essay scorers who can closely follow a rubric for accurate and consistent grading of the essays.

You must have a Bachelor’s degree and be a US citizen.

It helps to have current or past teaching experience, especially high school teaching of juniors or seniors, but it isn’t a requirement.

You’ll get paid at least $12 per hour, with additional room for a higher rate based on your performance.

2. Creative English Solutions

Creative English Solutions provides test development and scoring help to English language learners and their educational institutions.

If you’re a native English speaker with a degree from an accredited US institution, you can become a scorer for the practice tests of English language learners.

What you’ll score are the written portions of tests, grading ELL students on their grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, clarity, and more.

You’ll be given a grading rubric for the specific tests you’ll grade students on.

You can accept or decline assignments based on your workload.

However, you should commit to performing at least 10 hours of work for the company each week.

3. ETS

ETS is a popular option for work from home-ers who want test scoring jobs.

This company hires Raters for various standardized tests, like the SAT, ACT, and Praxis exam.

You’ll use an online scoring system and materials to help you score tests with accuracy.

You’ll also work closely with team leaders to ensure that you understand the grading rubrics, scoring process, and testing rules.

Your team leader will provide helpful feedback to you often so that you can continue to do the best job possible, much like continuous training provides.

ETS requires that you go through a series of modules as training before you can begin.

At the end of training, you’ll also be required to pass a certification exam.

Many of the programs you’ll get assigned to will require a calibration assessment before you begin grading to ensure that you fully understand the process of grading that particular exam.

The website doesn’t state pay rates, but some digging online found that the average pay may fall anywhere from $10 to $20 per hour. You’ll also get paid for training.

You’ll get paid via direct deposit on two days per month.

Currently, only US residents may apply.

The company hires you as an employee, so your taxes will come straight out of your paychecks.

Another Opportunity with ETS for ESL Teachers!

This opportunity is a bit more difficult to find on the site because it requires some specialization with teaching English to non-native students.

ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers can apply to work with the company as test scorers.

You’ll be scoring the written and spoken portion of the TOEFL®iBT Speaking and Writing Program, which assesses the reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills of English language learners.

You must live in the US and hold at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, or at the very least, hold an ESL certification.

You also need at least two years of professional experience teaching English as a second language.

This position may run year-round, as the job listing indicates that this test is given at different times throughout the year.

Scorers with Latinos in Higher Ed can make $18 per hour, but you must be available to work in at least four-hour increments (your actual schedule, though, can be fairly flexible).

You can find this position by heading to ETS, selecting “Scoring Opportunities”, and scrolling down to TOEFL iBT. Click on Frequently Asked Questions and then find the link to the application.

4. Literably

Literably is a service that helps people become better readers.

This job will work a little differently than the others, as you’ll be listening to audio files of others reading.

It’s somewhat of a cross between editing, scoring, and transcribing.

As you listen to people read, you’ll type the errors you hear, such as pronunciation, skipped words, etc.

Literably hides the link on its site to its scorer application, but you can find it here.

When you sign up, you’ll be required to score six sample audio files.

If you pass that, you can start working.

The company accepts people from all over the world to score as long as they can pass the assessment piece.

Literably doesn’t mention an hourly rate on its site, but some people online report making anywhere from $10 to $20 per hour.

It does appear that your rate may be influenced by how much work you complete and your accuracy with scoring.

5. Measurement, Inc.

Measurement, Inc. is another company that hires remote workers from the United States to become test scorers.

This company specializes in assessment scoring – both automated and manual – so you’ll be helping out with work from its client base.

The job you’ll want to look for on the Careers page is Reader/Evaluator.

This position entails reading and grading open-ended questions, essays, and other parts of exams or academic work that automated scoring systems can’t do.

You’ll be hired on as an employee, but the position is temporary, falling in line with the academic year.

September to June is the busiest season, so there may be a couple of months without any work.

You won’t need teaching experience for this position, but a Bachelor’s degree is a requirement.

You’ll be expected to have availability Monday through Friday, although the actual deadlines for scoring will vary based on project.

According to Glassdoor, the pay falls between $11 and $12 hourly.

6. Pearson

Pearson is a leading name in the education industry, offering online education programs and various testing services for educational institutions all over the US.

Pearson offers a few different types of scoring positions for those who want to work from home.

Most positions are part-time, temporary positions that run through the typical academic year.

Depending on your qualifications and background, you may be eligible for year-round opportunities for more technical tests.

The average test scorer with the company will need to have a Bachelor’s degree from an institution in the US.

You can also only reside in the US to apply.

The pay rate for temporary test scoring positions is $10 per hour.

But, the company reports that bonuses are available for workers with high performance levels.

You may also make more per hour if you’re bilingual or are willing to work outside of normal business hours.

You’ll get hired on as a temporary employee rather than a contractor and you may be eligible for a health insurance plan through Pearson.

7. SAT Online Scoring

The ACT utilized online scorers for its written portions of the exam, and so does the SAT.

This is another college readiness exam that measures a student’s understanding of some of the most important materials he’s learned thus far in school.

Many colleges and universities also want to see this score before deciding on who to accept to their institutions.

Students can take the SAT throughout the year – even during the summer – so this won’t be a temporary position.

However, you may notice some slower periods through the summer months.

Your schedule will be flexible and you can choose to either work four-hour or eight-hour shifts.

Some evenings and weekends may be required, though.

You must pass training to become an SAT scorer.

The website recommends the Pearson training program for adequate training.

You’ll also be required to pass an exam before you begin scoring to ensure that you understand the rules and requirements.

Teaching experience, especially in English, is preferred for these scoring positions, although the website doesn’t state that it’s a requirement.

8. Upwork

Upwork isn’t a traditional test scoring company that offers jobs.

Instead, it’s a freelance marketplace.

Here, you find jobs you want to do (all are remote!) and bid on them, giving the client your best price for the work.

You’ll have a certain number of credits that you can use to apply for jobs each month, so make sure you only apply to those that really interest you.

Upwork does have some essay scoring and test scoring jobs available from time to time.

You can do a search for “essay scorer” or “test scorer” to find them.

When you find opportunities that seem like they’ll be a good fit for your skills, send in a detailed proposal that outlines some of your experience, if any, and your skills.

You and clients can rate each other, too, once you’ve completed a job, which is a good way to get some awesome testimonials that can help you win over future clients.

This is a good option for those who want ultimate flexibility with test scoring, as you can choose the amount of work to pick up and when you want to work.

9. WriteScore

WriteScore seems to be one of the most popular options for people who want to work from home scoring tests.

It’s a company often discussed on work from home forums and sites.

The company doesn’t usually list its openings on its own website, but instead places listings on CareerBuilder.

You can apply through there when it has open listings.

For this company, you’ll be an independent contractor who grades essays for various grades, from elementary to high school students.

Your pay varies depending on your performance and ability to work quickly, but may be as much as $15 per hour for those with exceptional skills.

Your schedule will be fairly flexible, although your work will have deadlines.

But, you’re free to work within those deadlines as you see fit, so it’s a good option for busy moms!

WriteScore currently only hires U.S. residents for its test scoring positions.

You must also have some college experience, with the minimum being a 2-year degree, although the job listings don’t mention any specific degree, so experience in the educational field doesn’t seem to be a requirement.

WriteScore does provide training for qualified candidates.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be paid training, which is important to note before you get hired.

Check with CareerBuilder for openings with WriteScore.

Conclusion: Looking to Grade Papers for Online Jobs?

Now you know that you have plenty of options when it comes to becoming an online test scorer!

This is an excellent choice for a flexible work from home job that may even be a good one for those who want an entry-level position.

Some companies do require a degree or experience, but others allow qualified applicants who can pass an assessment before scoring. It’s worth a try!

Have you worked with any of these companies?

Please let us know about your experiences in a comment below!

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