Tips and Strategies for Taking a Timed Writing Assessment

					Tips and Strategies for Taking a Timed Writing Assessment:

PREPARE ahead of time by knowing the date, location, format, and time allotted for the writing
assignment – and how it will be scored. If possible, review previous test topics. SAT, CAHSEE
release their previously used topics on line.

ON TEST DAY:
1) Arrive on time with any necessary materials, especially your favorite writing utensils.
   Find out in advance if you will be required to write in pen (use black or blue ink ONLY);
   allowed to write in pencil; or permitted to word-process your written response.

2) Read and Analyze the prompt carefully, including. . .
   a) the directions for writing: what you are supposed to do
   b) the prompt (topic) for writing: what you are supposed to write about
   c) the specific requirements of the writing task: how you are to complete the task

3) Know exactly what you’re being asked to do
      purpose and audience will determine the tone, voice, and techniques you will use

STRATEGIES for Taking a Timed Writing Assessment:

1. USE THE PROMPT to help you plan and begin your writing
   a. use wording from the prompt to get started
          i. identify and circle any key words to include
         ii. underline any specific details or questions asked in the prompt
   b. check spelling using the language in the prompt!

2. PLAN your response BEFORE you BEGIN WRITING!
     (even if you don’t usually do pre-writing)

   PLANNING helps you to
   a. control the direction of your written response
   b. commit to a position or main idea
   c. develop relevant support

   PLANNING TECHNIQUES include
   a. double-checking the prompt to be sure you will be meeting expectations for the
      type of writing, purpose, audience, types of support/detail to include, length(?)
   b. picking a position/point of view and sticking to it for the duration of the test
   c. clustering ideas, making an outline,
   d. listing details to include


3. TAKE CONTROL of the TIME!
   a. When you control your use of time, you are less likely to panic, develop “writer’s block,”
      drift off topic, not finish, turn in a piece that is full of errors. . .

   b. Use the 25-50-15- (10) formula for time management (the what???)
Tips and Strategies for Taking a Timed Writing Assessment:

      Pilon’s Foolproof Formula for Timed Writing Time Management
                                     25-50-15-(10)

     Use this formula ANY TIME you have to take a timed writing assessment or test.

     Adapt the formula to the total amount of time you are given to complete the assessment:


      25% of total time is for reading prompt and planning your response
      50% of total time is for writing your response (following your plan)
      15% of total time is for reviewing your response (editing, correcting as necessary)
      10% of total time is the buffer (in case you need a little extra time on any other step)

For example:

     You have 60 minutes to write. . . so break down the total time into these stages:
               25% = 15 minutes to read and plan
               50% = 30 minutes to write your response
               15% = 9 minutes to review and revise your writing
               10% = 6 minutes to use as needed



     You have 20 minutes to write. . . so you break down the total time this way:
               25% = 5 minutes to read and plan
               50% = 10 minutes to write your response
               15% = 3 minutes to review and revise your writing
               10% = 2 minutes to use as needed


To practice using the 25-50-15-10 formula:
    Pick a time when you can write for the entire period without being disturbed.
    Be all ready to go before you begin (paper, pen or pencil, list of topics, timer or clock).
    Set a timer, choose a topic, and practice writing, using the formula.

				
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Lingjuan Ma Lingjuan Ma
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