A Conversation for Written Exam Technique

The Quality Writing Assessment

Post 1

Base 13

In my little town of Vista, California, students from grades 6 through 11 (ages 11 to 16) have to take a Quality Writing exam. It's one of those blasted timed essays. Every year it's chosen from one of a few different styles: Controversial Issue, Observational, Report of Information, Evaluative, and so on. Two teachers from the district grade the paper on a 1 to 6 scale, then the scores are added. An 8 is passing. If one scores it a four and the other a 3, it's given to a third teacher to grade, and they have the final say as to whether the student passes or fails. This test is a graduation requirement in high school, and junior high students must pass it in the 7th or 8th grade to be promoted to high school. The time given is somwhere around 1.5 hours.

Sometimes this essay is just horrid; the only one I failed was a report of Information in 9th grade. The prompt they gave us was that we were writing articles for a student encyclopedia, and we had to write on a subject from this list. All of the topics were abstract, ie friendship, love, justice, etc. Being the logical minded youth I am, I chose technology, which seemed concrete enough at the time. That was really the only English teacher who didn't teach us about the writing style needed for the type of essay. Anyways, I got 2 perfect scores out of the 6 tests; my first and my last. Somehow I just flowed on the last one; it was report of information again, but this time it was about a holiday or custom. I chose Super Bowl Sunday, and the words just flowed like water.

I forgot if there was a point or not.

if u are reading this, then you are bored. smiley - nahnah

The Quality Writing Assessment

Post 2

Nora - back from the Dublin meet!

Sounds like the topics on the Composition portion of my English exam. Sometimes you get lucky, and there are, of course, writing skills, but there doesn't seem to be any way of preparing a near-foolproof variety of answers, as you can for a factual test.

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