OK, State Meet 2021 will look like no other UIL Academic State Meet ever has.

Realistically, and hopefully no other State Meet will look like this ever again.

So, it seems a shame to be devoting so much energy to a one-time event. But the stakes are high.

If you’ve agreed to help judge the Current Issues and Events contest, first, thank you. If not, well, why are you here?


Then, let’s review the timeline, the goals, the procedure for the objective portion and the procedure for the subjective (essay) portion


  • Saturday, May 1 • 9 a.m. — Contest starts at all 26 hubs
  • Saturday, May 1 • 10:30 a.m. — Contest over at all 26 hubs. Hub directors get tests scanned and put into the appropriate UT dropbox folder with the objective page as one PDF file and the other pages (essay) as a separate file. File names follow the convention set out by UIL. Deadline: 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, May 1 • 11:30 a.m. — UIL staff moves all the CI&E entries into a UT dropbox folder that the state contest director can access.
  • Saturday, May 1 • noonish — State contest director copies the files from UT dropbox into a Google drive folder that all the graders can access. Using a copy ensures that if one gets deleted or moved, we still have the originals to go back to. Entries are checked against the roster to make sure they are all present.
  • Saturday, May 1 • 12:30 p.m. — State contest director will notify graders by email that grading of the objective portion can begin. Graders will be assigned to one or more classifications. No grader should be grading entries from his or her own classification.
  • Sunday, May 2 • morning — Essays will be made available to individuals who have agreed to rate and comment on essays using Google form.
  • Sunday, May 2 • afternoon — As all essays get completed within a classification, Bradley will pull essays that have significant differences in ratings, essays that need to be used to break ties and bring them to a group meeting by Zoom at a time TBD.
  • Monday, May 3 • 10 a.m. All entries must be graded and numbers entered into the UIL system.
  • Monday, May 3 • 2 p.m. Verification begins.
  • Monday, May 3 • 5 p.m. Results announced.


  • Keep it simple and flexible.
  • 100% accuracy
  • Timely and efficient completion of judging per timeline above
  • Avoid any impropriety or appearance of impropriety


graded objective test


The student exams are in this folder sorted by classification. All of the 1A entries will be in a 1A folder, for example. GOOGLE DRIVE FOLDER LINK

If you’re working at a hub site and want to grade there even before the papers are scanned initially, that’s fine. Just follow the naming convention below. If two people grade it before it is scanned at the hub, the initial filename would be something like — CIE-3A-1-bjw-jjd.pdf. That way, we know it’s been graded twice.


  • Download the entry to your computer. Do NOT delete or move or rename the original entry.
  • Put your initials in the spreadsheet for the First Grader. That way, people will know at least one person is grading this test.
  • Open the PDF file and grades the entry, marking an X next to any incorrect entry.
  • Several options here:
    • Use the annotation tools in Adobe Acrobat Reader or Preview, type your initials on the page and the grade out of 40 (40 – #wrong). Using this method, you do NOT have to print the PDF. This is the preferred method.
    • Print the file and grade it also marking your score in the space provided. Scan the file using a flatbed scanner or smartphone app such as “Scanner App” (free).
  • Rename the file. The original file should have a name such as CIE-3A-1.pdf. To that, append your initials — CIE-3A-1-bjw.pdf.
  • Upload the file back to the Google Drive. At this point, there should be TWO copies of the test, one graded and one not graded.
  • Put your score in the Google spreadsheet as a check-and-balance on the grade.


  • Repeat process for first grader. When complete, there should be THREE copies of the test, two graded and one not graded.


  • As people become available look through the folder of each classification sorted by filename. Look for any files that have different scores for the first and second grader or SPOT CHECK. If you grade a test a third time, repeat the process above.
  • You do NOT have to download a file to preview the score. Just click on it and view it right on the Google Drive.


Saturday evening, Bradley will determine the top scores for essay grading on Sunday.

Google form


If you notice that all of the objective tests have been graded in a given classification and you want to start grading essays, contact Bradley. He can make essays available immediately.


Essays will be made available to graders by classification. No grader will read or grade any essay within their own classification. For example, a coach that works at a 3A school may NOT grade or comment on any paper in class 3A.

Graders will read the essay and complete a Google form, rating the essay independently. Essays do not need to be downloaded or printed.

Three graders will rate and comment on all essays.


After all the essays have been rated and comments given to the student, Bradley will examine all the scores within a classification. Any essay that has a substantial difference of scores will be brought to a group meeting via Zoom Sunday afternoon at a time TBD. This same group will examine essays needed to break ties.