Writing Diagnostic Test

Composition Skills Index

The Composition Skills Index (CSI) is a scientific writing diagnostic test to identify key writing strengths and weaknesses across your school. The CSI is one of the few educational diagnostic tests that can be used to analyse your student writing ability from Year 3 to Year 13.  Instead of waiting for external exam results, the CSI test offers a unique view into your student writing capability. 

The test is online and lasts 20 minutes.  Results are available to your school within three weeks.  Reports pinpoint suggested areas of improvement—both for the cohort of students tested and for the individual student.  Information produced from the CSI test can be used to assess value add and for school targets and goals. 


Screen Shot 2020 02 19 at 13.34.41 AMWhat the Diagnostic Test analyses:

  • Writing output
  • Sentence structure and style (articulation/fluency)
  • Technical strength (spelling, capitalisation, punctuation)
  • Structural strength (coherence, development, repetition)
  • Overall composition ability (precision, composite measures)


Purpose/benefits of Diagnostic Testing:

  • Identify positive skills across the school/year
  • Identify specific gaps/needs
  • Inform the focus of PD
  • Develop specific and measurable goals
  • Identify individual student talents and needs
  • Inform classroom grouping and workshops
  • Evidence of progress/shift over time
  • Independent marking





We supply you with instructions on how to access the test, which are distributed to staff and students.

Key Skills

Assessment is based on the key academic writing skills demanded for success in school life today: fluency, structure, analytical ability, style, precision, and coherence.


Following analysis, we report back the findings to your SMT or relevant stakeholders.


Results can be broken down by year level and/or by selected groups, such as, gender. Each report includes specific recommendations identifying how to remedy identified writing gaps


Once base-line data has been established for your school, student progress can be monitored through timely re-assessment.

Value Added

Regular re-assessment provides accurate information on value-added and next steps for Boards of Trustees, SMT, and other stakeholders.