Under Pressure Why a timed writing test is not for everyone

One of the flaws with a timed writing test is that it creates a lot of stress for the writer. Since the writers in question are fourth graders, they may not be mature enough to properly handle the stress that writing test brings. For example, some students may spend more time worrying about how they are going to get the writing done in under forty-five minutes rather than actually doing the writing for the test.

Not everyone is able to physically write down his or her ideas quickly. This could be simply due to bad handwriting or a mental disability that causes difficulty with writing.
A timed writing test is one sample taken at one time of a student's writing ability. This one sample may not always show the best aspects of a student's writing skill and ability.

Having alternative options such as a portfolio, a long term essay, etc. that allow for both the natural writing process and time for the student to think through what he or she is writing about might be a better option rather than expecting a "one hit wonder".

A timed writing test may be the best option for some students to test their writing skills but it does not have to be the only one. Depending on the student's personality and skills he or she may have a chance of getting a higher grade by using an alternative method rather than the current standard test.

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