An easy way to get started with automated essay scoring

2 min read

Wow, it’s been way too long since I have updated this blog!  I am going to start making more frequent updates, and I have some cool things in the pipeline, so bear with me.

Last year, I wrote this post on automated essay scoring.  This was essentially distilling my experience with automated essay scoring and trying to introduce it to people unfamiliar with it.  I got a lot of great reaction, and based on this post, and some of my other work in the field, I get a lot of emails about the topic.

Most people who email me want to know how to get started with automated essay scoring.  I always struggle with where to point them, because none of the tools that exist right now (including ones written by me!) are extremely easy to use.

A couple of weeks ago, I reached a tipping point, and told myself that I wouldn’t give another person a non-answer, and started working on an easy-to-use, and open source, essay scoring server.  You can find it here.

I will go into more detail about how I made it and how the algorithm works later on, but the keys for now are:


  • Web interface that makes it easy to create problems and enter essays
  • Visual feedback on how the model is scoring
  • Easy to install and start using


  • Good unit test coverage for the algorithm (>90%)
  • Easy to develop on with vagrant

The primary caveat is that I made this in 1.5 days.  It works, and people have tested it, but some parts are unpolished, and there are likely bugs that I don’t know about.

Please feel free to reach out if you want to contribute, or just want to chat about this.  I’m excited to see how people use it!

Vikas Paruchuri

I’m Vikas, a developer based in Oakland. I'm a lifelong learner currently diving deep into AI. I've started an education company, won ML competitions, and served as a US diplomat.