Mathematics Education Comprehensive Examination Grading Rubric     (click here for 1 page PDF version)

Each response is scored on all five scales: Concept, Form, Thesis, Support, Communication. Maximum possible score for each response is 20 points (4 points on each of the five scales). Minimum passing score for each response is 14 points with no scale subscore lower than 2 points.








response is conceptually relevant, sophisticated, and original

responds incisively to all aspects of the prompt

controlling thesis (explicit or implicit) is specific, arguable, and complex; structure of response is consistent with thesis

provides substantial, well-chosen evidence (research or textual citations) used strategically; apt definitions

response is well organized, presented clearly and logically with distinct units of thought in paragraphs; clear command of Standard English with syntactic variety


response is conceptually relevant, adequate, and clear

responds well to all aspects of the prompt

central thesis determines responseÕs structure

provides sufficient and appropriate evidence and makes effort to contextualize it

response is organized, presented coherently with distinct units of thought in paragraphs, some transitions between sentences and paragraphs; some mechanical difficulties such as minor grammar errors (e.g., awkward syntax, punctuation problems, wordiness)


response may have some factual, interpretive, or conceptual errors or irrelevancies

responds adequately to most aspects of the prompt

overly general thesis; gives no indication of the organization to follow

provides some evidence but not always relevant, sufficient, or integrated into the response

response is weakly organized, sometimes effective but awkward or missing transitions between sentences or paragraphs; occasional major grammar errors (e.g., agreement tense); and/or frequent minor grammar errors


confuses some significant concepts

confuses some aspect(s) of the prompt or does not respond adequately to most aspects of the prompt

vague or irrelevant thesis

evidence is mostly narrative or anecdotal; awkwardly or incorrectly incorporated

response is not organized (e.g., repetitive wandering); frequent major and minor grammar errors; communication problems impede meaning


misunderstands concepts

misunderstands prompt or does not respond in any significant way to most of the prompt

no discernable thesis

evidence is simply listed or not cited at all

arbitrary or no organization; illogical or without transitions; overwhelming use of non-Standard English; errors in every sentence

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