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Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency

Writing Essay Test Sample Essay Test Booklet

© 2008 by ACT, Inc. All rights reserved. NOTE: This booklet is covered by Federal copyright laws that prohibit the Reproduction of the test questions without the express, written permission of ACT, Inc.

Note to Users

Welcome to the CAAP Sample Writing Essay Test! You are about to look at some sample writing prompts as you prepare to take the actual CAAP test. The examples in this booklet are similar to the kinds of writing tasks you will see when you take the actual CAAP test. Since this is a practice exercise, you won't receive a real test score. The aim of this booklet is to give a sense of the kinds of questions examinees will face and their level of difficulty. A copy of the CAAP scoring guide is provided at the end of the booklet. We hope you benefit from these sample questions, and we wish you success as you pursue your education and career goals! CAAP Writing (Essay) Test The CAAP Writing (Essay) Test is a 40-minute test that consists of two writing prompts or tasks. Each of the two 20-minute writing tasks identifies a specific hypothetical situation and audience. The hypothetical situation involves an issue on which the student must take a stand. The examinee must take a position on the issue and explain to the audience why the position take is the better (or best) alternative. In order to more clearly define the writing task and the intended audience and provide a focus for the essay, each writing task specifies the basis upon which the audience (e.g., "College Dean,") will make its decision. The CAAP Writing (Essay) Test scoring is based on a student's ability to perform the skills identified in the CAAP scoring guide. Essays are evaluated according to how well a student: · Formulates an assertion about a given issue · Supports that assertion with evidence appropriate to the issue, position taken, and a given audience · Organizes and connects major ideas · Expresses those ideas using clear, effective language A student obtains lower scores for not taking a position on the specified issue, not supporting that position with reasons and evidence, not developing the argument, or not expressing those ideas using clear, effective language. Sample writing tasks in the CAAP Writing Essay Test are provided on the following pages. Lined pages are also provided to allow an opportunity for practice writing. A copy of the CAAP Writing Essay Test scoring rubric can be found at the end of this booklet. Each score point in the CAAP rubric reflects a student's ability to perform the skills listed above. An essay that does not respond to the prompt is assigned a "not rateable" designation. Please review the CAAP Writing Essay Test scoring rubric for specifics related to essay expectations.

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Part 1

Your college is considering a requirement that all students take and pass a writing course specifically designed for their major area of study. The Dean of Academic Affairs has asked students to express their opinions on the proposed requirement, stating that the final decision will be based on what would best prepare students for their careers following graduation. Write a letter to the dean arguing for or against the proposed requirement of a writing course for each major, explaining how the position you advocate would best prepare students for their careers following graduation. (Do not concern yourself with letter formatting; simply begin your letter, "Dear Academic Dean.")

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Use pages 3 and 4 for organizing what you plan to write.

IF YOU NEED MORE SPACE, PLEASE CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE

4

Use pages 3 and 4 for organizing what you plan to write.

5

Begin Part 1 Writing Sample on this page.

IF YOU NEED MORE SPACE, PLEASE CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE

6

Part 1 Writing Sample Only

IF YOU NEED MORE SPACE, PLEASE CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE

7

Part 1 Writing Sample Only

IF YOU NEED MORE SPACE, PLEASE CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE

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Part 1 Writing Sample Only

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Part 2

Your city has been given a donation to be used in a way that will benefit the youth of the community. After considering a number of possible uses for the donation, the city council has determined that the two most pressing needs are a new swimming pool and an expansion of the city library. However, there is enough money to fund only one of the projects. The council has asked interested persons to write and express their preferences. Write a letter to the city council arguing for using the donation to build either a new swimming pool or an expansion of the city library, explaining how your choice will be most beneficial to the youth of the community. (Do not concern yourself with letter formatting; simply begin your letter, "Dear Council.")

10

Use pages 10 and 11 for organizing what you plan to write.

IF YOU NEED MORE SPACE, PLEASE CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE

11

Use pages 10 and 11 for organizing what you plan to write.

12

Begin Part 2 Writing Sample on this page.

IF YOU NEED MORE SPACE, PLEASE CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE

13

Part 2 Writing Sample Only

IF YOU NEED MORE SPACE, PLEASE CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE

14

Part 2 Writing Sample Only

IF YOU NEED MORE SPACE, PLEASE CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE

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Part 2 Writing Sample Only

STOP

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For the CAAP Writing Essay Test, ACT developed a six-point, modified holistic scoring system. Each essay is read by two trained raters who independently score the essay on a scale from 1 to 6 (1 being the lowest score, 6 the highest). The scores from the two raters for each of the two essays (four scores) are averaged for the reported score, which ranges from 1 to 6 in increments of .5. The two raters' scores for each essay must either agree or be adjacent to be averaged. If the raters' scores differ by two or more points, a chief scorer adjudicates and determines the reported score. Each score point reflects a student's ability to perform the skills identified on page 1 of this booklet. Essays are evaluated according to how well a student formulates a clear assertion on the issue defined in the prompt, supports that assertion with reasons and evidence appropriate to the position taken and the specified concerns of the audience, and develops the argument in a coherent and logical manner. A student obtains lower scores for not taking a position on the specified issue, for not developing the argument, or for not expressing those ideas in clear, effective language. A student who does not respond to the prompt is assigned a "not rateable" indicator rather than a score on the 1 to 6 scale.

CAAP Writing Essay Test Score Point Descriptions

Upper-range papers. These papers clearly engage the issue identified in the prompt and demonstrate superior skill in

organizing, developing, and conveying in standard written English the writer's ideas about the topic.

6

Exceptional. These papers take a position on the issue defined in the prompt and support that position with extensive elaboration. Organization is unified and coherent. While there may be a few errors in mechanics, usage, or sentence structure, outstanding command of the language is apparent. Superior. These papers take a position on the issue defined in the prompt and support that position with moderate elaboration. Organization is unified and coherent. While there may be a few errors in mechanics, usage, or sentence structure, command of the language is apparent.

5

Mid-range papers. Papers in the middle range demonstrate engagement with the issue identified in the prompt but do not demonstrate the evidence of writing skill that would mark them as outstanding. 4 Competent. These papers take a position on the issue defined in the prompt and support that position with some elaboration or explanation. Organization is generally clear. A competency with language is apparent, even though there may be some errors in mechanics, usage, or sentence structure. Adequate. These papers take a position on the issue defined in the prompt and support that position but with only a little elaboration or explanation. Organization is clear enough to follow without difficulty. A control of the language is apparent, even though there may be numerous errors in mechanics, usage, or sentence structure.

3

Lower-range papers. Papers in the lower range fail in some way to demonstrate proficiency in language use, clarity of organization, or engagement of the issue identified in the prompt. 2 Weak. While these papers take a position on the issue defined in the prompt, they may show significant problems in one or more of several areas, making the writer's ideas often difficult to follow: support may be extremely minimal; organization may lack clear movement or connectedness; or there may be a pattern of errors in mechanics, usage, or sentence structure that significantly interferes with understanding the writer's ideas. Inadequate. These papers show a failed attempt to engage the issue defined in the prompt, lack support, or have problems with organization or language so severe as to make the writer's ideas very difficult to follow.

1

Unratable papers. NR The following categories of unratable papers are reported to the students as NR, or Not Ratable: · · · · Off task. These responses refuse to engage the issue identified in the prompt. Illegible. Not English. No response.

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