Guidelines for scribes of adjudicated graduation assessments

Last updated: January 20, 2022

The role of a scribe in a graduation assessment is to translate oral language into written language. Students who require scribes for graduation assessments have had considerable experience in working with scribes. As a result of their pre-assessment experiences, they have learned how to direct scribes appropriately. They understand the essentially impersonal nature of the scribe's role.

One scribe should be assigned to each student for the entire assessment. The student and scribe should each have access to the assessment and responses.

A setting that is separate from the regular assessment room should be provided. An exception may be made for students with hearing differences if the manual translation provides no distraction to other students. The setting should be quiet, well-lit and well-ventilated.

The assessments scribe should:

  • Understand the distinction between the helping role of the teacher/educational assistant and the technical role of the scribe
  • Demonstrate experience in scribing graduation assessments following the attached guidelines
  • Have adequate word processing skills
  • Have adequate literacy skills and knowledge of the subject area to appropriately record student responses

Note: The assessment scribe should be someone who has not been working with the student on a regular basis. The scribe should not be the invigilator. However, should this be unavoidable, training in invigilation procedures is required. If the scribe is also the reader, qualifications for both roles are required.

The scribe should:

  • Review the role of the scribe with the student and answer any questions about that role before the assessment begins
  • Consult with the student to establish the most comfortable seating arrangement
  • Take direction from the student about where to begin the assessment and how to proceed
  • Present a neutral manner, being careful not to indicate a correct/incorrect response
  • Record the student's responses word for word
  • Punctuate according to the student's speech pattern when punctuation is not what is being assessed
  • Enable the student to see the computer screen or written response to read and edit what is recorded
  • Revise only upon specific request of the student
  • Supervise breaks if the student has been given permission to take periodic breaks
  • After completing the assessment, return any response sheets to the invigilator

The scribe should not:

  • Initiate the use of test-taking strategies (e.g. reading of questions prior to reading of passage) unless requested by the student
  • Revise or edit the student’s response unless requested by the student
  • Explain, rephrase or provide additional words for clarification
  • Discuss or respond to questions about content of the student's responses or the assessment itself
  • Show any reaction to the student's responses
  • Engage in incidental conversation with the student or others during the assessment