ABSTRACTMore pressure than ever is placed on standardized test scores. Writing scores aregenerally the lowest among content areas tested. This correlational mixed-methods studyexplored the relationship between prompt choices, student engagement, and standardizedwriting test scores of intermediate-level students from a suburban elementary school. Thestudy examined whether students (a) are more motivated when provided with choices, (b)perform at a higher level when more engaged or provided with choices, and 9c) what rolegender plays in both writing scores and engagement variables associated with writing.The researcher used concurrent triangulation strategy for data collection on studentperceptions of engagement when provided varied levels of options during writing tests.The study integrated data from student surveys, interviews, and writing test scoresconducted over a three-month period. Only 24 of the 73-student population met thecriteria for participation in the study. Due to the small sample size, and based onrecommendations from the doctoral study committee members, the researcher usedrandomized test-retest measures. The measure of effect was determined using the Pearsoncorrelation while ANOVA provided for the analysis of means and engagement levels.The study indicated relationships between writing prompts, student achievement, andperceived levels of engagement, which added new information for social change byilluminating characteristics important to student engagement for the promotion of lifelonglearning across both genders. Improved test scores positively impact the community,school, and student. Increased student engagement reinforces the development of lifelong learning. Studying what both genders associated with favorable and nonfavorablewriting experiences contributed to closing the gap on gender-based academic proficiency.