Flexibility: High

Social Engagement: Low

What’s What: There’s so much student writing being done out there, both in the testing context and in school. Test companies and schools can’t always keep up, so essay grading is commonly outsourced. That’s where you come in to read and react. 

Amava Take: Most standardized testing has a writing component and schools all over the country offer writing-intensive classes as well. Many testing companies outsource the grading of essays, and quite a few school districts look for help too. If you’re an accomplished writer or editor, this could be an easy way to pick up some extra money and stay in touch with what’s on students’ minds.

From the Front Lines: 

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these positions? 

Former teachers, tutors, writers and editors do particularly well in this role, but anyone who is a good reader and can follow directions can try essay grading.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

Rubrics are useful. Even though most writing assignments require original thinking, there are also concrete rules of composition that apply.

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

Generally, you can work on your own time as long as you meet deadlines.

From the Trenches:  

What’s the most satisfying part of the job/experience?

Sometimes a student writes something so clear and incisive it stops me in my tracks.

How would you describe the hard parts?

When I see a creative soul who has something to say but still hasn’t mastered how to structure the thoughts.

What did you enjoy most about the experience?

Students have a lot on their  minds and it is a privilege to get a close look.

Special Requirements: Some companies require at least an associate’s degree, others a four year college degree. In local school districts, requirements can vary.

Related Classes: Grammar Refresher, Grammar Refresher II, The Keys to Effective EditingResearch Methods for Writers, Keys to Effective Communication, Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Search.

Finding a Position: The company that administers and designs the SAT hires freelance essay graders. The same goes for the ACT. There are other companies that hire readers and scorers for test prep, tutoring and other contexts. Another approach is to contact local school districts. Often, the PTA or another fundraising organization will hire essay graders to ease the burden on teachers.