The Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) Writing Assessment is undergoing major changes in the 2012 -13 school year. Several aspects of the test are being changed to meet the expectations of the new Common Core Standards. All students in fifth, eighth and eleventh grades will take the TCAP Writing Assessment.
The design of the prompts has changed. The students will encounter a reading stimulus and prompt that they are required to read before they begin to write. A reading stimulus can be a work of fiction or an informational piece. Speeches, poems, charts, graphs, letters, legal decisions, or timelines may also be considered as reading stimulus. The prompt will appear in a text box at the end of the reading stimulus. The students will have to utilize information from the reading stimulus to write their response. In some cases, students may encounter two paired passages. They may even encounter two different types of reading stimulus.
The new prompts have a new time limit of one hour. All public school eighth and eleventh graders will take the test only online. Since the middle school and high school students are testing on line, the test administration can be taken within a window time frame from Feb. 4 - 8, 2013.
For the February 2013 Assessment Only:
- Fifth graders will encounter a reading stimulus and a narrative prompt
- Eighth graders will encounter a reading stimulus and an expository prompt
- Eleventh graders will encounter a reading stimulus and a persuasive prompt
In future test administrations, students on any of the tested grade levels may encounter a narrative, expository or persuasive type of prompt.
Students with an IEP in place and ESL students may have the accommodations that are typically afforded. Students with a read aloud accommodation in place may utilize this accommodation. This is a function that can be provided by the computer software.
Historically, the TCAP Writing Assessment has been scored holistically using one rubric across all grade levels. A new scoring instrument is bring developed to better accommodate the new design of the 2012-13 prompts.
Tennessee is a predominately English language speaking state. All assessments are provided in English only. Tennessee does not offer assessments formatted in the native language of our students other than English.
Please visit this website, which includes released versions of the new prompts, new rubrics, and explanatory materials.