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Written Commentary

Composing Your Written Commentary

You will be required to submit different types of evidence for each of the tasks. Each task requires some form of a written response — this response will be part of your evidence.

The tasks required in the assessment encourage the use of three kinds of writing: descriptive, analytic and reflective. Review the PPAT® Candidate and Educator Handbook for information about the three kinds of writing and suggestions for how to craft well-written responses for your performance assessment.

To ensure the questions are correctly answered, make sure your responses:

  1. accurately answer everything that is asked in the guiding prompts
  2. clearly demonstrate to the raters that you have a thorough understanding of each guiding prompt
  3. clearly explain key thoughts and ideas
  4. have been reviewed for both completeness and the quality of the response

Review the analytical portion of the rubric for each task and compare the written commentary to each bullet within the rubric — then determine whether you have provided the evidence described.

Entering Your Written Commentary

Each task contains a number of steps, which will vary across tasks. The steps are displayed in numbered textboxes in the online submission system. Some steps of a task may contain multiple activities, and this will be reflected by multiple textboxes.

Enter your written commentary into the applicable textboxes by either typing directly in the textbox or using a copy and paste method if you created your commentary in an external document.

Important Note: When pasting text into the textbox, select the "Paste as plain text" instead of "Paste" with your mouse.

Your written commentary cannot be provided as a linked document.

Text Format

The font used for text entry is standard for all textboxes. Changes to font size or style (such as adding boldface, underlining or italics) are not permitted.

Character Count

The Task Overview section of the task requirements indicates the maximum number of characters you may include in your task response. The maximum character count may differ by task.

The submission system allows you to enter text over the maximum character count, but you will not be able to save or submit your response if you exceed the maximum character count. If you have exceeded the count, you will need to edit your text to meet the task character requirement.

Use the "Character Count" button, as you compose your written commentary, to track your count and ensure your response does not exceed the maximum character count.

Saving Your Written Commentary

Save the written commentary that you enter in the textboxes often. Prior to navigating away from the textbox screen, save the response; otherwise, your data will be lost. If you are idle for 17 minutes or more while you are logged in to the online submission system, the system will time out. Responses that you do not save may be lost if your session times out or you lose connectivity.

There are two save options:

  1. "Save Response" button is located above each textbox and saves only that textbox response.*
  2. "Save All Responses" button is located after the final step of the task, at the bottom of the screen. This saves all textbox responses.*

* Responses will not save if the maximum character count is exceeded.

The system will return a successful save confirmation upon saving. If you do not receive a confirmation message after attempting to save, you may be disconnected from the system.

Linking to Artifacts from Your Written Commentary

Uploading artifacts to your Library of Artifacts is only the first step to actually including an artifact with your response. The second step is to link the artifact to your written commentary. When scoring your assessment, raters will not have access to your artifacts unless the documents are linked to the written commentary in the textboxes.

After you enter your written commentary into the textboxes, highlight a section of that commentary (letters, numbers and spaces only) and select the “Link My Artifact(s) to My Response” button to link to your artifacts. After linking your artifact, save your response at the textbox level. Review the Submission System User Guide for more information about entering and saving textbox response and linking artifacts.

When you are ready to link your artifacts to your written commentary, make sure the artifacts that you select from the Library are:

  • only those that are required by the task directions
  • linked just once within your response (Repeated attachment of the required artifacts and extra artifacts are not acceptable.)
  • linked in the designated textbox
  • not exceeding the required number of pages

Note: Artifact files should not contain links to third-party sites. Raters will not go to a third-party site to retrieve your artifact.

The rater scoring your response is trained to look at and value only that which is required by the assessment. Refer to each of the task’s directions for a list of the required artifacts and the maximum number of pages allowed for each.

Review the Submission System User Guide for more information about entering and saving textbox response and linking artifacts.

ETS Review of Test-taker Task Responses

Each task response in the assessment, whether submitted during the original submission window or during the resubmission window, must be entirely your own work. Software is utilized to scan all responses for overlap with other test-taker submissions from all submission windows and from the Library of Examples. If such overlap is detected, an investigation with the ETS Office of Testing Integrity (OTI) may be initiated and scores could be delayed or voided. See Scoring Policies.