Candidates in the emerging level do not yet exhibit the skills outlined in the Developing level of mastery.
Developing candidates have made a demonstrated attempt to read the documents that come with the task. However, it is evident that their understanding of the task and sources is not comprehensive. These candidates have begun to show some understanding of the relevance of the task. Developing candidates have shown some ability to categorize information correctly, as well as some awareness of source relevance and reliability. A Developing candidate will attempt to provide supporting evidence from given text.
A Proficient candidate is able to develop and support a position on an issue for which there are multiple potential outcomes and identify information—from the entire body of available information— needed to complete the task. However, Proficient candidates are not necessarily able to identify sources of needed information when the entire body of information is not known or available. Additionally, Proficient candidates are able to use evidence to support or discredit a position and interpret a variety of visual depictions of data which they can then incorporate into broader analyses. Proficient candidates are also able to recognize the relevance and reliability of sources, as well as the potential for bias. They will consider these elements when evaluating and using information. Finally, Proficient candidates will begin to distinguish between correlation and causation, as well as identify situations when more information is needed to draw a specific conclusion.
Accomplished candidates are able to analyze information from given sources, extract relevant pieces of evidence, and make correct inferences about this information. On a regular basis, they can correctly identify and evaluate the relevance, reliability, and bias of sources. When appropriate, they will identify the need for additional research or further investigation. Accomplished candidates also have the ability to correctly identify logical fallacies and false claims, and they are comfortable with ambiguity. With an understanding of causality, they can accurately interpret and analyze qualitative and quantitative evidence (i.e., graphs and charts) and use this information when selecting appropriate counterarguments. In addition, Accomplished candidates will regularly integrate information and synthesize the provided evidence.
Advanced candidates will be able to consistently identify facts and ideas that are relevant to a problem, highlight the most credible sources of information, detect flaws in logic and questionable assumptions, and indicate why the information is credible, limited, or unreliable. In addition, Advanced candidates will consistently (i.e., the vast majority of the time) synthesize the provided evidence across multiple documents to address ambiguity in the task or situation, identifying and highlighting gaps in logic and reasoning.