How We Evaluate AI Essay Writers

🔥 published April 25, 2023 - updated June 17, 2024

The education field has undergone a plethora of revolutions, shifts, and changes. In the modern world, it seems that learning is more accessible than ever. With the rollout of AI, it feels that answers to the most burning academic questions are immediately accessible to students. But can progressive technology really keep up with rigorous university criteria? 

A*Help is always up to the challenge. Thus, we verify whether AI writing platforms can comply with scholarly norms and provide quality help to learners who are in desperate need. Our team carries out a comprehensive analysis of all vital aspects when using AI for educational purposes. You can get acquainted with our assessment model below, so when you decide to choose any ai essay writer you know what factors to consider for your final pick. 

What is the A*Help rating criteria?

How We Test AI Essay Writers

Academic Help is every student’s trusted and reliable source of information. We understand the fears and struggles that learners need to go through. For this reason, we aspire to facilitate their learning path. Our all-encompassing guides assist you in selecting the appropriate service. The one that can accomplish a task on a high level while you are juggling several responsibilities. 

The A*Help team highlights 3 main evaluation factors that are: value for money (25 points), overall experience (25 points), and paper quality (50 points). These criteria are scored during our real mystery shopping. For this experiment, we become real users, just like any student would. First, our team creates an account on the AI platform. Then, we mimic the entire customer journey and request an AI essay tool to create a real homework assignment. Our team meticulously tracks the whole process from the starting point to the moment we receive the generated work. 

Let’s dive into  further details regarding the chosen assessment categories. Value for money criterion helps identify whether the chosen platform is flexible in its price and feature range. Next, the overall experience factor shows the level of convenience when using the service. And finally, paper quality, the most crucial aspect of the evaluation, checks the quality of the generated written piece.

Value for money – 25% of the A*Help score

How We Evaluate AI Essay Writers

Services – 8 pts
Access – 3 pts
Subscriptions & limits – 7 pts
Free trial – 3 pts
Text creation options – 4 pts

The value for money factor focuses on the flexibility of the tool. We want to make sure to examine available features, such as accessibility, free and paid subscription plans, ready-to-use services, and advanced integrated technology.


AI writing tools can facilitate the writing process by generating tasks in split seconds. Such services, namely AI chat, research assistant, reference finder, grammar and plagiarism checkers, in-text and MLA/APA citations can cover students’ needs. While some platforms offer the whole set of the above-mentioned features free of charge, others make them available only with paid plans. In such a case, it is our job to verify the range of possibilities for selecting accessible options. 


Students highly regard accessibility to modern technologies and applications. The easier to get the hang of the platform, the more likely they are to use it. AI writing platforms are largely available through the browser. However, having them available in the form of an application or a browser extension is more convenient.


OpenAI’s language models are definitely a breakthrough. Starting with GPT-3 and till the latest advancement – GPT-4, these AI language models are created to generate solutions faster and more efficiently. They can quickly pivot from one task to another when providing guidance. If the service runs on a more modern iteration, it means that the result of the created text is enhanced and the generated information is more accurate. 

Subscription & limits

In this criteria, we assess subscription options and potential limitations. As usual, there are 4 paid plans: daily, weekly, monthly, and annual subscriptions. Many AI text generators offer subscription plans because they provide more features. Additionally, said plans come with fewer limitations in terms of service and technology availability. 

Free trial

During the first interaction with the platform, learners are offered a free plan or a trial version to try and generate the assignments they need. Allow us to highlight that this affordable option often comes with limits. For instance, users have fewer words to generate per day or month. On the other hand, in some cases, users cannot work with the AI chat but instead ask AI writing services to use a document as a pattern. By checking what a free plan includes, it becomes obvious whether the chosen platform can handle university-level assignments from the first try. 

Text creation options

The following factor is dedicated to working with text and what AI-powered tools can do so that the written piece meets academic standards. Such options, like generating, rewriting, rephrasing, and summarizing are integral for any college or university-type task. 

Overall experience – 25% of the A*Help score

AI Essay Writers -  Overall experience

Registration – 2 pts
Website experience – 8 pts
Text creation time – 8 pts
Wordcount – 2 pts
Support system – 2 pts
Payment – 3 pts

Many students opt to go with quick and accessible fixes. Hence, they land with AI writing services. The A*Help experts always work with platforms before recommending them to their readers. During the practical use of the services we take notes on the following criteria:  registration, website experience, text creation time, wordcount, support system, and payment methods. 


The A*Help team is new to every AI-powered service we assess. Hence, the registration process is our first experience with the platform because some tools are not even available without creating a personal account. The grading involves checking the user experience with the registration form on all parameters, such as the type of registration (easy or complex), form requirements (email, or phone number), and third-party registration methods (Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft accounts).

Website experience

The website experience should be intuitive and easy to navigate. Not only do we pay attention to the general overview of the interface but also to the whole process of interaction with the platform.

Our experts note how easy it is for users to navigate through features and services. Then, creating a text with an AI writing tool should be straightforward and effective. Speedy generation is the main reason why students turn to help from AI-based systems. Another aspect, that the A*Help team evaluates, is trying the service without registration. We reckon this option can increase the likelihood of attracting more users who are on the lookout for quick educational solutions. 


The wordcount limitations are a crucial feature when working with AI-powered text generators. Users need to make sure that the service that they pick can meet the text volume requirements. The more limitations the platform has, the more inconvenient the user experience is going to be. Meaning, the students need to spend more time editing and generating new text options. Also, our experts would like to point out the following situation that every student may face. There can be moments when you exceed the proposed daily wordcount limit. A solution would be to switch to a daily subscription plan.

Support system

Yet another integral aspect of interacting with a platform is the reliability of the support system. Upon the first examination, it may seem that working with all AI text generators is easy and intuitive. However, the presence of guides or support chat is necessary since users can find appropriate help regarding the issues that arise. 


If you choose to go with the paid subscription then you need to consider the payment process. It needs to be organized and quick. But above all, the A*Help team knows that payment must be safe for any user. From our end, we closely work with AI writing services and check if the process is seamless and secure. 

In the majority, AI-powered tools accept card payments like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Wallet payments, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay are not always available as an additional payment option.

Paper Quality- 50% of the A*Help score

AI Essay Writers - Paper quality

The Academic Help team only reviews and recommends services that our experts are sure of. Therefore, doing a general overview of the service does not cover it. We strive to provide legitimate academic help platforms. Considering this, we closely work with AI-based systems and ask each of them to generate a university-level task for us. This time the real task is in the form of a 550-word personal narrative with MLA formatting. The main objective of the essay is to express the feeling of gratitude. Having received the created task, the A*Help experts verify the competence of the AI-powered services in accordance with the American paper quality standards.

Provided we receive a final written piece, we always consult with our expert and partner, a US college professor Dr.Sybil Low. She provides a thorough evaluation of the artificially created essays. Our team includes her grade in the main score. Together with the creative side of the narrative, the professor pays attention to the technical aspects of the paper, namely grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word choice. On top of everything, the context of the written piece is also graded, mainly such aspects as efficiency, objectivity, and acuity. The A*Help team does not forget about the technical part of the written piece. We check if the essay follows the structure, outline, format and formatting, as well as the referencing norms. Overall, we pay attention to the fact that the AI-based system can offer such vital text submission options to students. 

The maximum rating that the essay can get is 100 points. Everything that is below 60 points is regarded as unacceptable and insufficient. In our honest and real reviews, we transform all marks into a 100-point grading system. As a result, we compile the final rating for services. 

User feedback

The A*Help team always researches and investigates the information on the chosen platforms. We believe that relying on valuable insights and the real user experience of people who have used the service is essential. The user feedback focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of the platform which we meticulously check in the process of our mystery shopping experiment. Such a multifaceted approach gives us and our readers a comprehensive overview of AI-based text generators. 

Final Thoughts

The Academic Help team strives to facilitate students’ studies. This detailed manual regarding our approach is set to show how we work and examine the chosen AI writing platforms. Our experts round up the main criteria to the three main aspects, namely value for money, overall experience, and paper quality. We provide a deeper explanation of the factors and why we base our rigid assessment exceptionally on them.

Read more:

How We Test Essay Writing Services

How We Test Custom Dissertation Writing Services

How We Test Essay Apps

How We Test Programming Homework Help Websites

How We Test Everything We Review

How We Test Tutoring Websites

How We Test Plagiarism Checkers 

How We Test Paraphrasers

How We Test Citation Generators


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