Bergen County Academies Admissions Essay Samples

Parents and students are often puzzled about Bergen County Academies essay grading. At MEK we use the same grading criteria used to grade the BCA test essay to ensure consistency. There are six categories included in our standard rubric. All together, they evaluate students’ understanding of the text, their ability to thoroughly answer the prompt, and their grammar/mechanics.

 So, what are the criteria?

  • Comprehension – understanding main ideas and interpreting key elements of the text.
  • Insight – identifying figurative language and making crucial inferences.
  • Organization – using articulate language and progression of ideas.
  • Analysis, development, and support – responding accurately to prompt questions, using direct quotes, and adding supporting examples.
  • Style – using authentic voice and perspective, along with sentence variety.
  • Grammar/Spelling – using appropriate mechanics and structure in the essay.

How do we help?

Starting with the first session, our teachers will guide you through the intricacies of writing this literary analysis essay to help you craft your best product every time.  So, relax and start to write!

-Michelle Sinno, Writing Lab Instructor.

Article by Rachel Karach / Bergen Academies, Blog, Exam Prep, High School Admissions

This story is part of "N.J.'s hardest-to-get-into high schools," an NJ Advance Media special report on the rise of specialized public high schools for top students around the state.

HACKENSACK -- Long before they begin studying for the SAT, some New Jersey teenagers are cramming to take tests just to get into high school.

New Jersey is home to a growing number of specialized public high schools reserved for some of the top kids in the state. The schools -- which include Union County Magnet High School, High Tech High School in Monmouth County and Bergen County Academies -- are run by the county vo-tech districts.

Most of the schools are only open to residents of the county and require an admissions exam to get in. At Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, applicants take the test in the 8th grade. The exam includes an essay and a 40-question math test.

Only top-scoring students are offered admission into the specialized high school.

Here are some sample questions from the Bergen County Academies math exam. Students are not permitted to use a calculator.

Staff writer Natalie Paterson contributed to this report.

Kelly Heyboer may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @KellyHeyboer. Find her at KellyHeyboerReporter on Facebook.


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