CWRA+ relies on prompts that require students to use an integrated set of critical-thinking and written-communication skills to perform a task or select a response. CAE stresses the need for students to demonstrate that they have the skills, not just the knowledge, to succeed. When taking CWRA+, students complete both a Performance Task and a series of selected-response questions.
The Performance Task presents a real-world situation in which an issue, problem, or conflict is identified. Students are asked to assume a relevant role to address the issue, suggest a solution, or recommend a course of action based on the information provided in the Document Library. A full CWRA+ Performance Task contains four to nine documents in its Document Library, and students have 60 minutes to complete the task. The Document Library contains a variety of reference sources, such as technical reports, data tables, newspaper articles, office memoranda, and/or emails. The Performance Task measures analysis and problem solving, writing mechanics, and writing effectiveness. In order to complete a Performance Task, students must
- assert a logical decision or conclusion and support it with appropriate information from the Document Library,
- construct organized and logically cohesive arguments,
- strengthen their position by elaborating on facts or ideas, and
- demonstrate facility with the conventions of standard written English.
For more information on the skills assessed in the Performance Task, review the rubric below.
In the Selected-Response Questions section, students respond to 25 questions: 10 assess scientific and quantitative reasoning; 10 assess critical reading and evaluation; and five assess the ability to critique an argument. Students must complete this section within 30 minutes. Much like the Performance Task, each set of questions requires that students draw information from accompanying documents.