Writing: Resources to help you prepare for the COMPASS e-Write test
Based upon your score on the reading test, you may be advised to take an additional COMPASS test, called e-Write. For this test, a student writes an essay in response to a prompt. e-Write is administered by COTC as a timed test, (60 minutes).
Basic Description of e-Write
- The e-Write Placement Test consists of a writing prompt that defines an issue or problem and describes two points of view on that issue. You will be asked to view four prompts and to select the one to which you will respond in writing a brief (300-600 word essay), addressing your position on the issue described in the prompt. Your essay response is evaluated using the following measures:
- Focus — consistency and clarity in identifying and maintaining the main idea or point of view
- Content — extent to which the topic is addressed by the development of ideas and the specificity of details and examples
- Organization — unity and coherence achieved through logical sequence of ideas
- Style — how effectively the chosen language enhances the writer's purpose
- Conventions — control of mechanics in grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation.
(Excerpt from triton.edu)
The Ideal e-Write Essay Response
The response shows a thoughtful and well-developed sense of purpose, audience, and situation. The writer takes a position on the issue defined in the prompt and supports that position with extensive elaboration or explanation. Focus on the stated position is sharp and consistently maintained. Organization is unified and coherent. Outstanding command of language is apparent: word choice is precise, sentences are well structured and varied, and there are few errors in usage and mechanics.
(Answers to Frequently Asked Questions aboutCOMPASS e-Write™ & ESL e-Write™, page 9)
Sample e-Write Prompts
Sample prompt from ACT/COMPASS
Sample prompt - with comments and scoring explanation - from triton.edu
Preparing for e-Write
A good way to prepare for this test is to start reading editorials in the newspapers and magazines you enjoy. Focus on the editorials written by a given publication's staff, as those will frequently be more reliable models than "letters to the editor." You may also find it helpful to consider a local issue you're interested in (school funding or closures, building "big-box" stores in your neighborhood, cutting farm subsidies, etc.). Try writing a one-sentence summary of your opinion on that issue and then coming up with points to support that opinion. Consider what evidence from your experience, reading, and observations you could use to support each point.
(Excerpt from madisoncollege.edu)
Tips for Taking e-Write
Tips from ACT/COMPASS