Impressionistic and analytical method of grading writing.

Ans. Grading The Composition: There are two methods of marking composition and anyone can be used by the teachers. They are: (a) Impressionistic Method (b) Analytical Method

The impressionistic method of making can be simply defined as the method of marking wherein the marks or the grades are awarded to the composition on the basis of the overall impression of the composition. 

It is quite possible that a piece of writing may appeal to some teachers and not others, especially in the case of those writing in which students are to draw the content from their own mind like letters, essays, etc. Therefore in order to reduce the subjectivity, it is important that the same composition should be marked by three or four different teachers and then the average should be taken of all the marks. But there are few teachers who are able to practice such a process and hence the impressionistic method of marking becomes more of the subjective impression of a teacher.

On the other hand, the analytical method of marking is better about marking the composition on the basis of the different aspects of writing such as grammar, vocabulary, thought process, punctuation, mechanics, fluency, etc. Look at the following example for better understanding.

5                  4                 3              2               1

GRAMMAR                                                                       X


FLUENCY                                                   X


RELEVANCE                                                                                         X

If the teachers will attach such a table at the end of the composition which has been checked by him/her, then students would find it easy to see where they went wrong.

It is important that teachers should be flexible enough while assessing the composition using the analytical method. For example, in the primary section teachers should give more emphasis on the grammar and mechanics portion, while in the higher classes the importance should be given more on the thought process and organization of the ideas. Also, it is not mandatory that all the aspects of the analytical method should be given equal weightage. It depends on the discretion of the teacher that which aspect he/she wants to give more weightage.

Let us look at the division of the marks of 10 to the different aspects by the Language Teaching Team of CBSE:

(a) Content – 4
(b) Fluency – 3
(c) Accuracy – 3

The way the marks should be awarded is shown below:


  • 0 should be given if the content does not have any relevance with the task set.
  • 1 should be awarded if the content of the composition has little or limited relevance with the task set.
  • 2 should be awarded if there is relevance with the task but there is also repetition and redundancy or omission.
  • 3 should be awarded if there is greater relevance and less repetition
  • 4 should be awarded if the content is completely relevant and adequate to the task given.


  • 0 should be awarded if the ideas are fragmented and the organization is not cohesive and also the theme of the content is not clear.
  • 1 should be awarded when the general theme is clear, but there is no logical presentation of the ideas.
  • 2 should be awarded when the general theme is clear and the ideas are presented in a logical manner, but supporting details are not there in a cohesive manner.
  • 3 should be awarded when the general theme, main idea, and supporting ideas are presented in an appropriate and continuous form.


  • 0 should be awarded when the vocabulary is incorrect even for the basic part of the writing and also there is no grammatical correct sentence in the composition.
  • 1 should be awarded if there are frequent grammatical and vocabulary errors and also the student has not made proper use of punctuation.
  • 2 should be awarded when the student has made proper use of vocabulary, but sometimes it’s limited, and also when there are some grammatical mistakes in terms of accuracy.
  • 3 should be awarded when the composition is free from almost all the errors concerning vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation.


In the assessment of the layout, the teacher can deduct up to 1 mark based on the following observations:

  • 1 mark should be deducted if the composition has been laid in an inappropriate manner.
  • 1/2 mark should be deducted if the layout is appropriate, but there are some minor errors.
  • 0 should be deducted if there are no errors in the composition.

Like every other thing, both impressionistic and analytical methods of scorings have their own advantages and disadvantages. It should be decided by the teacher, depending on the circumstances and the situations, whether which method of scoring to adopt. Let us look at the advantages and the disadvantages of both the scoring methods.

Impressionistic Method

  • One of the biggest advantages of this method is that it takes less time in assessing the composition thus can save a lot of time.
  • The disadvantage of this method is that it is more subjective and hence can be relied upon.

Analytical Method

  • The biggest advantage of this method is that it is very transparent. Students can easily know that where they lack and how they have achieved such a grade.
  • The disadvantage of this method is that it is very time-consuming.
  • Another disadvantage of this method is that it does not consider the overall effect of the piece of writing.


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