Training And Support Banner

Functional Writing Assessment Training

Scoring training and certification are required to use the CASAS Functional Writing Assessment Picture Task and Letter Task. Upon completion of scoring training and certification, the Picture Task may be used for NRS accountability reporting.

The Form Task, Inventory Task and Note Task may be ordered without training by instructors or programs planning to use them in individual classrooms to informally assess learners' writing skills. Test administration and scoring guidelines must be read carefully prior to using these materials.

The Training and Certification Guidelines chart below summarizes the CASAS Functional Writing Assessment training, certification levels and requirements.

Certified Local Examiners must complete the Stage 1 training in order to report standardized scores. This training is in two parts: Part A is a six-hour introductory workshop with a take-home assignment. This assignment must be completed prior to the second part of Stage 1 (Part B), a follow-up session ranging from three to six hours approximately one to three weeks later which includes completing a certification scoring packet. There are several options for completing the Stage 1, Part B training requirement:

  • Attend a locally scheduled training workshop
  • Request CASAS to conduct a local training workshop
  • Complete CASAS distance training for writing

Completion of Stage 2 is necessary in order to train others. All certified examiners and trainers must complete and pass an annual re-certification scoring packet to maintain their certification.

It is possible for teachers or other program staff to administer but not score CASAS Functional Writing Assessment tests that will be used to report standardized results. This option requires minimal training. To do this, they must carefully read and sign the Test Administration Instructions, and review them before each test administration. CASAS recommends that programs that choose this option conduct a short Test Administration and Awareness session to review the test administration directions and to familiarize program staff and instructors with the purpose and score interpretation for the test. To document that test administrators have read the Test Administration Instructions, they could sign the bottom of a copy of the one-page Instructions after they have read it, and this signed paper can be kept on file.

The implementation of standardized performance assessment like the CASAS Functional Writing Assessment requires more training and monitoring of scorers than multiple-choice assessment. There are a number of possible implementation models, including:

  • training all instructors to administer and score the test
  • training some or a few instructors to score the test, and training others only to administer it
  • training a cadre of highly trained and continuously monitored scorers in a state or large program who score for a number of programs
  • creating a central scoring service with highly trained and continuously monitored scorers who score for all local programs

CASAS Functional Writing Assessment
Training and Certification Guidelines


If you:

You can:

Pre-Stage 1
Trained Local Test Administrator

  • Read and sign the Test Administration Instructions
  • Recommended: Attend 1 - 2-hour FWA Test Administration and Awareness training
  • Administer but not score tests that will be used to report standardized results

Stage 1
Certified Local Examiner

  • Participate in 9-hour Local Examiner training. Part A is 6 hours; Part B is 3 - 6 hours. 
  • Complete take-home scoring assignment between Parts A and B
  • Complete certification scoring packet at Part B or within one week of Part B
  • Complete yearly re-certification scoring packet
  • Order test materials
  • Use the test in local program only
  • Report standardized results

Stage 2
Certified Local Trainer

  • Complete scoring reliability requirements:
    • conduct periodic scoring sessions to check reliability
    • maintain own certification
  • Complete the Writing Experience Report to document using and scoring the test with learners (see guidelines in Appendix)
  • Observe Stage 1 training to become certified to train others; submit completed Observation Form
  • Order test materials
  • Report standardized results
  • Conduct training in local program

Stage 3
Certified State Trainer

  • Co-train with a CASAS certified State/National trainer
  • Attend CASAS Summer Institute every year, or at least once every two years
  • Train at state level
  • Train other state trainers in your own state (after some experience as a state trainer)

© 2024 by CASAS. All rights reserved.