Writing Tests and Assessments for Children and Teens

Writing is one of the first skills students learn in school because it is one of the most important and is used in every other subject. To track student achievement, writing tests and assessments are often given in the classroom or by the state. Use the information below to help your child prepare.

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Where Can I Find Sample Writing Tests?

Writing frequently is one of the best ways for students to improve. Your child will likely be given in-class writing assessments in which he or she will have to create a thesis and outline the report within a certain amount of time. You can help your child prepare at home by giving him or her writing prompts and a time limit of 20-30 minutes.

To get a better idea of what your son or daughter should be practicing, you can search the Internet for standardized tests from past years. Some states provide review packets and grading rubrics for your use as a parent. Review the following information to learn what type of assessment would be most appropriate for you child's age level.

Writing Assessments by Age


Young writers are often evaluated on organization, supporting details, focus and overall development. To assess your child before a scheduled exam, ask him or her to write a response to a grade-appropriate writing prompt. For instance, you might ask your child to write a narrative essay about your last family vacation. Then, review the first draft for sentence structure, readability and thoroughness. Review the errors with your child and allow a second attempt.


As students get older, their writing must advance from simple narratives and expository essays to persuasive arguments and research papers. One type of test given to adolescents or middle school students is a persuasive writing prompt. During the assessment, students must respond to a statement and build a logical argument with supporting ideas. For example, past exams have asked students their reasoning for wanting to extend the school year or alter the school lunch program. Scoring is based on the logic of the argument as well as grammar and mechanics.


Teens and high school students are also tested on their persuasive writing ability. Similar to the tests given to preteens, students will be asked to respond to persuasive writing prompts. Your teen, however, will be expected to develop a more thorough argument, citing evidence for support. Scoring will also be based on spelling, grammar and content.

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