December 2004


To:                  District Superintendents

Superintendents of Public Schools

Principals of Public High Schools

Administrators of Nonpublic and Charter Schools

Social Studies Supervisors

Grade 78 Social Studies Teachers

From:             David Abrams


Subject:        Revised Generic Scoring Rubrics for the Grade 8 Intermediate-Level

Social Studies Test



            With this memorandum, we are providing the revised generic Document-Based Question (DBQ) scoring rubric that will be used with the Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Social Studies Test beginning in June 2005. This revised generic scoring rubric will form the basis for the content-specific DBQ scoring rubrics and rating guide used for the scoring of this examination.


            We have revised the rubric to improve its overall clarity. The revisions require very little change to the basic criteria for each score point. The primary changes affect the criteria for scores of five, three, and zero on the DBQ. While the changes to actual scoring criteria are minimal, Grade 7 and 8 social studies teachers should be aware of these changes as they prepare students for the June 2005 Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Social Studies Test. A booklet providing a detailed explanation of the changes and comparisons of the original and revised generic DBQ rubric is attached.


            By June 2005, all middle level and high school level social studies examinations will be using these revised rubrics as the basis for their respective content specific rating guides. If you have any questions about this memo or the revised rubrics, please send them to Thank you.