FSA writing tests student’s knowledge in informational, argumentative essays writing.

On March 10, 2015, students from around the county took the new Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) Writing Test, Florida’s replacement for the former test, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Writes.

“I don’t know if this has to do with the new FSA system, but I liked FCAT Writes better since we were able to write narrative or expository essays rather than having to write argumentative essays or informational essays,” Tommy McCabe, seventh grade communications major.

Along with the style of tests, students also criticized the amount of time for the tests.

“I think we have way too much time for the test. I usually finish before the period is over,” Chris Hage, seventh grade communications major said.

This year, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders were tasked with writing an argumentative essay.

“The test was pretty challenging this year since the articles we were given didn’t directly answer the prompt. We had to interpret the information to make sure it supported what we were trying to say,” McCabe said.

This year’s test was also the first time computers were used for the writing portion. This year, the eighth graders were the ones using computers for the FSA Writing, while seventh and sixth graders were still hand-writing essays.

“I’m glad we had a paper-pencil test this year since the computers always seem to have problems,” Hage said.

Besides the time period and writing types, McCabe thought that the tests were okay.

McCabe said, “Other than the length of time and style of essays, there is not much change. It is a good system.”