State and national educational testing is common throughout most of the world, although its uses vary. Because writing is such a primary and essential ability, it is almost always included in any largescale educational assessment.
This report has four major purposes. First, to review briefly the essential concepts underlying validity in writing assessments. Second, to review interesting and differing approaches to essay assessment in Anglophone countries. Third, to discuss the writing assessment on the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in terms of its stated goals, its design, and contemporary validity theory. Finally, the report will present some possible suggestions for developing a new NAPLAN writing assessment that would better fulfil one or two of its articulated functions and better promote classroom learning.