Essay Reader Qualifications
This information refers to the current SAT and is in effect through the January 2016 test date. Get information about the redesigned SAT, which starts March 2016.
How SAT readers are selected
The readers who score the SAT essay are experienced high school teachers and college faculty members who teach courses that require a substantial amount of writing.
To qualify, readers must:
- Hold a bachelor's degree or higher
- Teach or have taught within the last five years a high school or college-level course that requires writing
- Have taught for at least a three-year period
- Reside in the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii
- Be a U.S. citizen, resident alien, or authorized to work in the U.S.
- Have not worked for a test preparation company that offers SAT test preparation in the past 12 months. (This does not include working for Pearson Educational Measurement or The College Board)
- Have not received pay from students or individuals to assist with SAT test preparation within the past 12 months. (This does not include receiving pay from your school as part of your job responsibilities)
Before scoring SAT essays, readers must:
- Complete a rigorous online training course that familiarizes them with the principles of holistic scoring and teaches them to evaluate essays according to the agreed-upon standards
- During the qualification process, score up to 40 papers that have been previously scored by the scoring leaders and approved by the College Board. To qualify, a reader must score at least 70 percent of the qualification papers in exact agreement with the preassigned true scores.
Learn more about becoming an essay reader.