Hand Scoring Condition Codes

For more information about how to score responses and use condition codes, refer to the Smarter Balanced Hand-Scoring Rules web document. Table 1 provides descriptions of the condition codes available.

Table 1. Condition Codes for Hand Scoring

Condition CodeDescription
Blank (B) Student did not enter a response.
Insufficient (I)
  1. Student has not provided a meaningful response; examples can include the following:
    • random keystrokes
    • undecipherable text
    • “I hate this test”
    • “I like pizza!” (in response to a reading passage about helicopters)
    • response consists entirely of profanity
  2. For ELA full writes, use the “Insufficient” code for responses previously described and also if
    • the student’s original work is insufficient to make a determination whether he or she is able to organize, cite evidence and elaborate, and use conventions as defined in the rubrics, or
    • the response is too brief to make a determination regarding whether it is on purpose or on topic.
Nonscorable Language (L)
  • ELA: language other than English
  • Mathematics: language other than English or Spanish
Off Topic (T) For ELA Full Writes Only
  • A writing sample will be judged as off topic when the response is unrelated to the task or the sources or shows no evidence that the student has read the task or the sources (especially for informational/explanatory and opinion/argumentative).
Off-topic responses are generally substantial responses.
Off Purpose (M) For ELA Full Writes Only
  • A writing sample will be judged as off purpose when the student has clearly not written to the purpose designated in the task.
  • An off-purpose response addresses the topic of the task but not the purpose of the task.
  • Note that students may use narrative techniques in an explanatory essay or use argumentative and persuasive techniques to explain, for example, and still be on purpose.
Off-purpose responses are generally developed responses (essays, poems, etc.) clearly not written to the designated purpose.