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The essay is a subjective test; therefore, evaluation is difficult. In a language class, however, no other kind of test can provide as much information about a student's level of literacy.

Some sub-skills which can be evaluated in an essay are:

  1. use of the parts of speech
  2. use of the correct verb form
  3. use of the correct verb tenses
  4. use of the correct vocabulary
  5. capitalization
  6. punctuation
  7. spelling
  8. subject-verb agreement
  9. fragment
  10. run-on sentence   
  11. organization of writing material into coherent sentences and paragraphs
  12. the ability to focus on a topic (focus)
  13. wrong word

Hints for planning and taking an essay test

  1. The essay should be based on a topic that the student can comfortably write about .
  2. Teach the student beforehand how to preplan the essay with brainstorming. The student should be provided with scrap paper to plan his/her writing.
  3. The student should attempt to plan or organize his/her thinking before writing and be given time to proof-read 
  4. Essays should be written in pen.