Assessment criteria

The TOWA is a two-staged, criteria-based assessment of a piece of writing completed under test conditions. 

The writing is assessed against the following criteria:

  • Thought and ideas (quality of analysis, response and presentation of information or issues); and
  • Language: Structure and expression (effectiveness of structure and organisation, clarity of expression, control of language conventions).

There are three described levels of achievement for each criteria.

  • In addition, Control of language conventions, a sub-set of language , is further assessed on the following characteristics:
  • Paragraphing
  • Syntax, grammar, sentence fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling conventions
  • Punctuation conventions.