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2012 FCAT Writing Prompts and Sample Essays

In 2012, in addition to the elements of focus, organization, support, and conventions described in the rubrics, the scoring decisions for FCAT Writing included expanded expectations regarding the following: (1) increased attention to the correct use of standard English conventions and (2) increased attention to the quality of details, requiring use of relevant, logical, and plausible support, rather than contrived statistical claims or unsubstantiated generalities.

For more information on how FCAT Writing essays are scored, go to http://fcat.fldoe.org/rubrcpag.asp to view scoring rubrics.

Description of the 2012 FCAT Writing Prompts

Grade 4

Writing to Tell a Story (Narrative): The grade 4 narrative prompt directed the student to suppose someone had a chance to ride a camel and to write a story about what happens on this camel ride.

Grade 8

Writing to Persuade (Persuasive): The grade 8 persuasive prompt directed the student to convince the principal whether or not 8th grade students should be graded on how they behave in school.

Grade 10

Writing to Persuade (Persuasive): The grade 10 persuasive prompt directed the student to convince business leaders whether students should have a part-time job sometime during high school.

2012 FCAT Writing Anchor Sets

Prior to each scoring session, a committee of Florida educators is convened to read student responses and select papers to represent the range of quality allowed within the established criteria for each score point on the rubric based on the approved 2012 FCAT Writing Calibration Scoring Guides. These papers are used to train the readers for the holistic scoring of the FCAT Writing responses. Each anchor set (scoring guide) includes a student response and an annotation to explain why it was assigned a particular score. This provides the basis for developing a common understanding of the scoring criteria. The released 2012 FCAT Writing Anchor Sets for grades 4, 8, and 10 contain examples of responses used as training materials for scoring the 2012 writing assessment.

2013 FCAT 2.0 Writing Anchor Sets and previous years' anchor sets are available for reference.

2012 FCAT Writing Calibration Scoring Guides and Exemplar Sets

In an effort to provide information regarding changes to the statewide writing assessment, the 2012 FCAT Writing Exemplar Sets for grades 4, 8, and 10 were electronically provided to schools and districts on July 29, 2011. Chosen from the field-test responses for the 2011 operational expository prompts, these initial sets contain one sample response and annotation at each score point to illustrate the expanded scoring expectations. The FCAT Writing Content Advisory Committee met in August 2011 to assist in the development of the full complement of scoring guides for each grade and writing purpose assessed. The committee approved these exemplar papers and chose additional responses at each score point to create the 2012 FCAT Writing Calibration Scoring Guides, which were provided to districts on August 31, 2011. For this reason, the examples in the 2012 FCAT Writing Exemplar Sets are also included in the 2012 FCAT Writing Calibration Scoring Guides. These scoring guides can be used for FCAT 2.0 Writing in 2013 and 2014 to illustrate how scoring decisions are applied holistically and how the increased attention to the correct use of standard English conventions and the quality of details provided are addressed during scoring.

Calibration Scoring Guides

Exemplar Sets