Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Robert W. Blake


This thesis will provide information and assistance to High School Equivalency (HSE) instructors who work with out-of-school youths and adults, preparing them to pass the New York State HSE exam. Specifically, this paper will: review the development of the

General Education Development (GED) examination nationally; research the reasons why a writing sample will be required of New York State exam candidates as of July, 1986 (and should be required of exam candidates generally); illustrate the steps of the composing process; suggest ways that an instructor, perhaps unfamiliar with the teaching of writing, may help students learn the composing process and how to use it to generate the writing sample on the test; review the criteria of holistic assessment, both formative and summative; and, report relevant comments from others who have implemented similar, large-scale direct writing assessments. Finally, the paper will indicate what effects this innovation might have on NYS/HSE classroom teaching and on the writing competencies of participating students; suggest how this implementation may impact the HSE program statewide; and, in conclusion, indicate what further research may follow.