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Grading and Scoring Troubleshooting for Advanced Assessments
Grading and Scoring Troubleshooting for Advanced Assessments

Explore some of the common reasons for why an Advanced Assessment may not be scoring as you expected.

Monica Burke avatar
Written by Monica Burke
Updated over a week ago

There are many different ways to determine the scoring settings for Advanced Assessments. Sometimes, you may run into scoring miscalculations. This article will explain some of the most common scoring mishaps, and what you can do to fix them. If you still have questions after reading this article, reach out to us through the chat feature, and a member of our Support Team will be happy to help!

Please note - if you have already assigned the Advanced Assessment, any changes you make to the draft will not update on the assigned version. You will need to unassign and reassign the assessment for the changes to updated on the assigned version as well, but keep in mind, that will erase any student work, and each student will start with a fresh copy of the assessment.


Student score is blank on main assessment grading page, even though a score appears on individual assessment.

Example: You can see that this student scored an 11/19 on their assessment, but it is showing -/19 on the grading page.

  • There are still ungraded questions that need to be manually scored.

  • Once all questions have been graded, the student's score will appear on the main grading page.

Question scores appear to be a strange decimal value.

Example: This question is worth 3 points, but the student scored what looks like a 3.75.

  • A correct answer was not set for one of the questions in the item.

  • In the above example, notice how the selected answer is in yellow (left image), and there wasn't a score given for that question. That is an indication that a correct answer was not chosen for that question.

  • The image on the right above shows what it looks like when a correct answer is not selected when building the assessment. If a correct answer is not selected, there will be scoring complications.

  • Edit the question on the assessment and add a correct answer.

  • In the future, make sure to always set a correct answer for any auto-scored questions during the building process.

A question is worth 0 points - shows __ /0

Example: This short answer question shows that it is worth 0 points

  • When building the assessment, a point value was not given to the question.

  • Edit the question on the assessment and add a point value into the Max Score section under More Options.

  • In the future, make sure to always set a point value for essay questions that are manually scored.

The auto-scoring is not calculating each component of the question the way you were expecting.

Example: You wanted this question to be worth 4 points (1 point for each row), but it came out worth 1 point total, and didn't award any points for the three correct answers.

  • The scoring type is likely set to Exact Match, which means all components of the question need to be correct in order to earn any points.

  • Change the scoring type to Partial Match or Partial Match Per Response. Check out this article for more information on those options.

Other scoring settings that could cause miscalculations:

Penalty Points

If penalty points are used, students will lose points for incorrect answers.

Minimum Score if Attempted

Students will earn a designated number of points whether their answer is correct or incorrect.

Alternate Answers

If you are using alternate answers, it is important to confirm the scoring settings for those alternate answers are set properly.

Math Specific - Scoring Method

Miscalculated scores on math questions are most often related to using an incorrect scoring method.

Math questions have three options for the method used for scoring:

  • equivLiteral

  • equivSymbolic

  • equivValue

When to use equivLiteral (less often)

  • When the only acceptable correct answer is exactly what you enter (no other form or equivalent answer will be accepted as correct).

  • Example:

  • The student needs to answer with exactly 8x + 2y to be considered correct.

When to use equivSymbolic (most often)

  • When the answer can be equivalent forms of the correct answer.

  • Example:

  • The student could answer with the following; both would be correct:

    • 8x + 2y

    • 2y + 8x

When to use equivValue (rarely used)

  • When you want to compares numerical values that may be represented in different ways, such as units of measurement. It is very similar to equivSymbolic, and most often it is not necessary to use equivValue. When in doubt, use equivSymbolic.

The other options, such as isSimplified, isUnit, or isFactorized, add another layer of scoring that check student answers for a specific form (and can often complicate the scoring and cause miscalculations if not set properly). For more information, please check out this resource.

💡 Tip: Most of the articles for the individual math question types will have a more detailed explanation of how each scoring method impacts the answers. If you are looking for those examples, click here.

Math Specific - Other Possibilities

There are a few less likely reasons for scoring miscalculations:

Accidentally adding an additional scoring method (when the intention was to add an alternate correct answer).

  • Sometimes, users accidentally add an additional scoring method to the question when they think they are adding an additional correct answer. Doing this will cause scoring errors.

If an answer has commas in it, the Allow Decimal Marks option needs to be checked.

  • If the correct answer can have commas, make sure to check the Allow Decimal Marks option.

    • Example: 1000 and 1,000 will both be acceptable if you select Allow Decimal Marks

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