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Anchor Papers and Rationales

Anchor papers provide the scorer with a companion to the scoring guide. These papers are samples of student responses that have been carefully selected and pre-scored by teachers who were specially trained by Canadian Test Centre. The papers were drawn from a large sample of student responses from across Canada. Their purpose is to “calibrate” the scoring guide to a specific level. Each level of CAT·3 includes a complete set of anchor papers, illustrating achievement corresponding to each score on the scoring guide. Anchor papers show the scorer what student work looks like across a range of achievement and provide a benchmark against which to compare the responses being scored. It is the anchor papers that make it possible to use the same scoring guide at all levels. Anchor papers are an essential component of the scoring package and should be referred to regularly by the scorer.

Rationales accompany each anchor paper. These present and explain the scores assigned to each anchor paper by drawing the scorer’s attention to features of the student’s response and by linking those features to the descriptors in the scoring guide.