ICAS – English assesses reading and language skills in a range of contexts. The following aspects of texts are assessed and reported: text comprehension—reading for meaning—in literary and factual texts; the writer’s craft in selecting particular text types, vocabulary and techniques; syntax; and vocabulary. The questions require students to locate, identify, sequence, explain, interpret, analyse and infer information in and about texts.
Students will read a variety of texts which narrate, describe, explain, argue, persuade and review. The types of texts include extracts from picture books, short stories, novels, poems, play scripts, transcripts of interviews, letters, diary entries, advertisements, webpages, feature articles, opinion pieces and comic strips. These texts may include tables, diagrams, maps and other visual information.
The texts will increase in complexity within each paper as well as from Introductory Paper to Paper J, moving from simple texts dealing with familiar subjects and topics to complex texts discussing abstract concepts and using sophisticated language structures.
The aim of ICAS – English is to engage and educate students even as they are being assessed. ICAS – English not only assesses reading skills across a wide variety of text types but also across a wide variety of subject matter. Texts may include science fiction, fantasy, myth, legend, opposing viewpoints on medical or ethical issues, and biographies of controversial figures. In general, religion, natural disasters and war are topics dealt with only incidentally, and avoided altogether for younger students. ICAS – English will also include writers and writing from and about a range of different cultural and national backgrounds.
To find out more about the English skills assessed, download a PDF copy of the ICAS English assessment framework.