The writing assessment for 8th grade consists of an evaluation of each student response to an assigned prompt. Students are assigned a topic from a prompt bank representing two genres: expository and persuasive. Students are allowed 100 minutes to write their essays. The writing assessment must be administered in one day. A make-up also is given the following day.
Types of Writing
The Georgia Grade 8 Writing Assessment is a test of expository and persuasive writing. Students will be given either an expository or persuasive writing topic. Because topics will be spiraled, students may receive any one of the two writing topics thus requiring them to be prepared to write in expository or persuasive genres. Topics will be released after each test administration and will become part of the practice topic bank.
Analytic and Holistic Scoring
The scoring system is analytic. Analytic scoring means that more than one feature or domain of a paper is evaluated. Each domain itself is scored holistically. The score assigned indicates the test raters’ overall impression of the writer’s command of the components, using predetermined scoring criteria contained in the Scoring Rubrics. Accurate scoring requires balancing a writer’s strengths and areas of challenge.
Student writing will be assessed analytically in four domains: Ideas, Organization, Style, and Conventions. Analytic scoring will provide detailed information on student writing including scale scores and performance levels. The Grade 8 Writing Assessment also will be linked to a common reporting scale allowing for greater capability to compare scores over time.
The Grade 8 Writing Assessment is administered during the third week of January. All 8th grade students will take the assessment on the same day. There also will be one day for make-up. No extra time will be allowed except as specified in a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), Section 504 Plan, or Test Participation Plan (TPP).
The testing time includes 100 minutes for student-writing.
Scoring Procedures and Types of Scores
Four domains of writing are evaluated in the 8th grade. Each paper is scored in four domains: Ideas, Organization, Style, and Conventions. Each domain consists of several components. A component is a feature of writing within a particular domain. For example, “Focus” is a component of the Ideas domain. The weight of each domain reflects the contribution of each domain to the student’s total score. Weighting means that the score a rater assigns is multiplied by the weight (importance) assigned to the domain.
For additional information and resources visit the Georgia Department of Education web page.