Idaho Direct Writing Assessment

The State is no longer providing DWA or DMA testing materials. The funding for both has been cut and is on hold until further notice. Districts/Schools are welcome to assess their students with prompts and give their own DWA or DMA at a district or school level. Please contact Diann Roberts, droberts@sde.idaho.gov or Chris Avila, cavila@sde.idaho.gov. for questions.

Word Icon Scoring Standard 5 January 2008
Word Icon Scoring Standard 7 January 2008
Word Icon Scoring Standard 9 January 2008

The Idaho Direct Writing Assessment (DWA) is a performance-based test to assess progress toward achieving Idaho Language Arts Standards. For 19 years, the DWA has served as a national model for performance-based writing assessment.

The DWA requires students to plan and write an essay in response to an assigned prompt within a 90-minute time frame. The prompts used for the DWA are developed by Idaho teachers, field tested in Idaho schools, and reviewed by the Idaho DWA Steering Committee.

The DWA Range-finding Committee sets the standard for the current year's scoring by identifying the range within each score point and selecting anchor papers that typify the four levels of the DWA Scoring Standard.

Fifth-grade students are asked to write a narrative essay, seventh-grade and ninth-grade students are asked to write an expository essay. Idaho teachers score the writing samples holistically.