The eighth-grade writing test is part of the Oklahoma Core Curriculum testing program. These tests assess student knowledge in four core-curriculum areas: mathematics, reading, science and writing. The Oklahoma State Department of Education provides parents with a report of their child’s performance on the tests which indicates areas of strength as well as areas that need improvement.
Take Practice Tests
Taking practice tests helps students learn to plan their time when taking the eighth-grade writing test. Practice tests are available through the Oklahoma State Department of Education and include a writer checklist to help guide students in editing their writing before turning in the test. Practice tests also include sample reading passages, planning pages and response pages for note taking, prewriting and writing. Practice tests with sample writing prompts help students practice planning and writing their responses in the appropriate time frame.
Read and Understand Directions
Oklahoma students prepare for the eighth-grade writing test by reading directions thoroughly so they understand all directions. Mistakes are easy to make when steps asked for in directions are left out or incomplete. Reading directions carefully helps students find the answers to questions they may have before beginning to write. Work with your child on practice tests to make sure he or she is taking time to read all directions thoroughly before responding.
Read Test Passages Completely
The Oklahoma eighth-grade writing test is set up with passages of reading followed by space to both plan and write the requested responses. Many students rush ahead and try to respond to the writing prompt without reading the passages for information. Reading for information is the only way students can answer the writing prompt accurately and completely. Encourage your child to take time and read the passages before writing a response. If your child is a slow reader, work on helping him balance his time between reading and writing so he is able to finish in the time given.
Plan, Write and Revise
Planning, writing and revising are the steps needed to craft a quality essay. The Oklahoma eighth-grade writing test encourages students to use these three steps to answer the writing prompts accurately and completely. Essays are scored for ideas and development (30 percent); organization, unity and coherence (25 percent); word choice (15 percent); sentence and paragraph structure (15 percent); and grammar, usage and mechanics (15 percent). Taking the time to plan, write and revise helps students address each area in a thoughtful way.