The Writing Section: An Overview

In the Writing Section of the ELI-ASSET, you will write an essay (or composition) on a general topic about which you have some background knowledge.

The writing topic is presented in your test booklet. You will have 60 minutes to think, plan, write, revise, and edit (or proofread) your essay.

You will write your essay in the test booklet; you do not have to bring your own paper. You should write on every line and make sure that your hand-writing is clear.

If you wish to do some planning or make some pre-writing notes before you write your essay, you can do this in a small blue booklet that we will give you for this purpose.

You CANNOT use a dictionary or any other resources during the writing test.     

Writing Skills and Strategies

Here is a list of the writing skills that will be evaluated:

  • Writing fluently: Fluency refers to how smoothly the ideas flow for the writer. An important measure of fluency is quantity.

  • Focusing on the assignment effectively: The writing assignment will specify what you are to write about and what you should include in your essay. Do you follow the directions carefully? Do NOT write on a different topic.

  • Communicating a clear main idea: Does your essay have an obvious main idea?

  • Supporting the main idea effectively: Does your essay include relevant and well-developed details, examples, and appropriate types of support?

  • Organizing the ideas effectively: Does your essay have unified paragraphs that are well-ordered? Do the ideas inside each paragraph flow logically from one to the other?

  • Using a range of sentence patterns: Are the sentence patterns varied and correct? Do you control a range of sentence types?

  • Using a range of vocabulary: Does your essay show that you have a rich vocabulary?

  • Making only a few errors and none that interfere with meaning: Does your essay have only small errors?