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What's the WriQ score?


The WriQ score is a recognized writing standard, establishing common expectations in writing assessment and achievement at a state or country level by the end of a designated grade level or year group. By gathering over 80,000 writing samples from students across grade levels and scored then by teachers, the WriQ score provides a meaningful number to help teachers know how well their students are writing by taking into account several useful metrics along with a national norms comparison. 

Keep reading to learn how the score is calculated… 

WriQ score

To help understand how the WriQ score was developed, it sometimes helps to look at a related field - assessing reading fluency. When reading, it is common for books and reading passages to be sorted by lexile level. This level indicates the complexity of the text being read or assigned. 

When measuring the reading fluency of a student who is learning to read, an appropriate passage is chosen based on lexile, then a teacher typically listens to the student read that passage to establish how many words they are reading correctly per minute. This provides a “correct words per minute,” or CWPM, score. 

The researchers Hasbrouck & Tindal have done an excellent job in creating a norms chart that explains how many words correct per minute a student should be reading based on their grade and time of year. This means that if you calculate a CWPM score for a student you can instantly know if they are on target, ahead of the class, or struggling to keep up with their peers. 

So what about writing assessment then?

Unfortunately there aren’t lexile levels or norms for writing, so knowing how a student (or school or district) is performing when writing is extremely difficult if not impossible. That’s where the WriQ score comes in… 

When considering a student’s writing, and comparing the metrics of their writing to other students in their cohort group, it can be helpful to consider :

  • Accuracy - Their grammatical accuracy - how many correct word sequences did they create.
  • Maturity - How does their vocabulary maturity compare with the national norms. 
  • Diversity - Lexical Diversity is a measure of how many different words are used in a text.  It is a good measure of how complex a piece of writing is.

Diversity and accuracy have previously shown to be useful measures of student writing progress and have been widely adopted in many writing assessment applications. The standard measure for productivity and accuracy when writing is generally referred to as correct word sequences (CWS) and Incorrect Word Sequences (ICSW). To understand these measures, think of any two words together forming a sequence. If one of the two words is incorrect in some way it makes that sequence incorrect. The more correct word sequences (and fewer incorrect word sequences) the better. 

Technology-assisted assessment​

The calculation of CWS and ICWS scores by teachers has been such a slow and laborious process they are not all that practical to use in today’s classroom.  Teachers just do not have time. 

However, changes in the technology available to teachers and students has made it possible to :

  • Automatically estimate the CWS and ICWS measures and make it simple for teachers to modify those estimates - removing the time consuming “busy work” of creating these measures.  This greatly simplifies assessing student writing for accuracy.
  • Automatically track the number of different words, divided by the number of total words, providing a measure of diversity.
  • Automatically provide an assessment of text maturity.

Tying these scores together has allowed WriQ to display a single score (on a 0-400 scale) that can give educators a much more accurate picture of student writing achievement and progress. And because the WriQ score has been developed based on research of over 80,000 writing samples by students across grade levels and scored by teachers, it can also provide a national comparison (similar to Hasbrouck & Tindal’s oral reading fluency norms) based off a student’s grade and the time of year. 

By tracking these scores over time, teachers can get an incredibly accurate prediction of how well their students will do on standardized exams, state summative exams, and even how they will fare as writers at the next level. Our Norms chart for WriQ Scores is below.  

WriQ norms chart

Please let us know if you have thoughts, questions, or ideas on how we can make this metric more useful for you or your students.