The responses for question 1 are all correct (a. 4; b. 5; c. 3; d. 1). Questions 2 and 3, taken together, should explain that Graph 3 shows a reasonable range of fourth graders' heights, and that ranges of data in the other graphs are not as reasonable. The only real alternative candidate for the heights is Graph 2, but that would imply that there are fourth graders who are six feet tall.
Characteristics of the medium response:
Graph 1 and Graph 4 are interchanged (number of cavities and number of family members); or Graph 2 is used in place of Graph 3 or Graph 5; or Graphs 3 and 5 are interchanged. Nonetheless, graphs showing the correct general orders of magnitude are selected. Some portions of the student's justifications are reasonable.
Characteristics of the low response:
At most one graph is chosen that shows totally unrealistic data (e.g., Graph 5, with a range from 24 to 53, is selected for the number of people in the families). Responses to questions 2 and 3 are missing or indicate that the student cannot interpret the graphs, or they do not show any reasonable sense of the magnitudes of more than one of the items.
An earlier version of this task was developed by TERC (Cambridge, MA) for Education Development Center (Newton, MA).