ICAS Writing


Assess school students’ narrative and persuasive writing skills with the ICAS Writing exam​

As our primary means of communication in academic, social and professional life, writing is one of the most fundamental skills to practise and master. That’s why assessing through English tests is so important.

In recognition of the subject’s educational and practical importance, ICAS Writing assessments are designed to provide an objective ranking of students’ performance based on the curricula for the relevant year. Writing skills such as thoughtful planning, creativity and critical and reflective thinking are not only the keys to success in English — they are critical to communicating your ideas clearly and effectively in all subjects and areas of life.

Start challenging your students and learning their writing needs today, with our suite of Writing tests for ICAS.

quote icon

Skills tested for ICAS Writing Years 3 to 12

The ICAS Writing competition assesses one of two forms of writing, narrative or persuasive. Examples of persuasive tasks include reviews, advertisements, letters to a council, formal arguments (essays), opinion pieces for a newspaper, or a campaign manifesto. Examples of narrative tasks in our Writing tests include the beginning, complication or conclusion of a narrative, or a description of setting or character.

Our Writing exams are marked on a common, criterion-referenced scale — all scripts, regardless of year level, are marked using the same criteria. The strength of the common scale is increased with the use of common tasks across year levels, making the scores that students achieve comparable with each other. This ability to make such direct comparisons can inform whole-school teaching strategies and programs.

ICAS Writing assessments are marked against criteria specific to the task and every student’s work is assessed against the same marking scheme. Up to twelve marking criteria may be used. These may be divided into domains or sections, including:


The genre’s unique structure, style, and vocabulary

Textual Grammar

Correct use of tense, pronouns, conjuctions and connectives


Correct use of prepositions, articles, plurals and punctuation 

Each marking criterion has a range of scores. Each score point describes the achievement of a skill level in that criterion. For example, at a score of 3, a student will have satisfied the standards described by scores 1, 2 and 3 but will not have demonstrated the standard described by score 4. In this sense, the scoring can be seen as cumulative. The fact that each score in each criterion describes a specific skill level enables students to assess their achievement and equips parents and teachers with diagnostic information to help develop students’ learning programs.

Please note that the ICAS Writing tests require the installation of the Janison Replay application. Click here for more information.

All ICAS test subjects

As the world’s global language and arguably one of the most important subjects of the Australian curriculum, English is a crucial building block for academic success.

As the foundation of STEM and a fundamental part of human thought and logic, Mathematics is a crucial building block for academic success.

In a world full of wicked problems like pandemics, climate change and food security, science is more important and more exciting than ever before.

In a digital world where technology underpins how we communicate, learn, work, and navigate our modern lives, understanding Digital Technologies is essential.

As our primary means of communication in academic, social and professional life, writing is one of the most fundamental skills to practise and master.

Spelling is more important than it seems — it lays a crucial foundation for literacy, communication and broader academic success.

Challenge your students with ICAS Writing.
Give your students the opportunity to thrive in this year's ICAS Writing competition.