Writing Benchmarks


ThinkCERCA’s Writing Benchmarks are a type of assessment for measuring student writing progress at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. Writing Benchmarks are a great way to gain insight into students’ writing abilities and personalize instruction throughout the school year.

In many ThinkCERCA schools, Writing Benchmarks are traditionally administered by ELA teachers. However, check with your administrator to confirm your school’s implementation plan before assigning.  

Beginning-of-Year Benchmarks

Time to Complete: 45-60 minutes

Since this may be the first time a student is encountering ThinkCERCA, beginning-of-year Writing Benchmarks are designed to both introduce students to the CERCA Framework as well as provide you with a baseline writing sample.


  • “What is CERCA?” Direct Instruction lesson
  • Standards-aligned Writing Lesson

Middle-of-Year and End-of-Year Benchmarks

Time to Complete: 45-60 minutes

The middle- and end-of-year Writing Benchmarks are designed to monitor student writing progress throughout the school year.


  • Standards-aligned Writing Lesson

How to Assign Writing Benchmarks

From the Lesson Library page, select "Assessments" on the top left corner.


Select Writing Benchmarks to be taken to a page that shows beginning of year, middle of year, and end of year assessments.


Select the type of assessment you wish to deliver, and select a class under the drop-down menu under “Assign Assessments” on the right of the page. By default, Writing Benchmarks are assigned to a whole class, but you can also choose the option to assign it to individual students. We recommend using the default assessment level settings. If you have a special circumstance, edit the grade level of the assessment, select a due date, and click “Assign” to complete the process.