Tuesday, April 24, 2012
E-Rater Tips and Tricks
Students who have taken the test, offer the following advice: use big words with lots of syllables, spell every word correctly, and write at least a six-paragraph essay.
The New York Times recently ran an article entitled "Facing a Robo-Grader? Just Keep Obfuscating Mellifluously". Here's the advice they gave students when writing an essay scored by E-Rater (not really, but this is what the studies found):
Write your own subjective truth. Don't worry about whether your prose is factual or not, it seems that Robo-Graders can't tell the difference between whoppers and facts.
Write really long and seemingly complicated sentences because E-Rater does not like short sentences; not even dramatically short sentences.
Do not begin sentences with "or," or "and."
Beware of the sentence fragment.
Furthermore use "however" and "moreover" often.
Use big words. Don't write "bad" when you can use "egregious." Three syllables are better than one.
Don't worry about what you argue "as long as it looks to the computer as if it’s nicely argued." In other words, give evidence (any kind of evidence) to prove your point.
Don't be poetic. E-Rater does not appreciate poetry, not even Shakespeare.
Don't stop writing. The longer the better, so use up all the time you are allotted and just fill, fill, fill.
Use these tips and tricks when taking your English assessment test graded by E-Rater, you'll be glad you did. However your future professors may consequently end up with pseudo-scholarly solipsistic academic essays permeated with malapropisms and other gratuitous ineloquent purple prose.