Problems with the validity of the single, holistically scored essay exam for assessing writing ability have been widely discussed in the literature on writing assessment (e.g., Hamp-Lyons, 1991; Huot, 1996; White, 1990; White, Lutz & Kamusikiri, 1996), and alternative methods such as portfolios have been implemented increasingly especially for ongoing assessment within institutions. Nevertheless, due to both time and funding constraints, many colleges and universities still rely almost exclusively on a single essay exam to assess the writing of entering students.