How to interpret reading and spelling tests

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Special Educational Needs (SEN) By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Last updated: 06/12/2013
Tags: catch up programme, raw score, reading age, reading test, spelling age

If you have raw scores from a recent reading or spelling test, you can establish a suitable series of structured workbooks that will help a particular student to "catch up".

If you do not have recent reading and spelling test results, you can download free tests.

The Schonell Spelling Test with scoring and the Burt Reading Test with scoring are freely available as pdfs at

 http://www.rrf.org.uk

 Here are my suggestions for using standardised reading and spelling tests.

 With all tests it is important to ensure that the student is at ease, and that the test conditions are as favourable as possible, paying attention to light, comfort and freedom from distractions.

It should be explained that the tests are to see how much progress a student has already made and that it may be repeated, say, in about six months to see how much further progress has been achieved.

 It is demeaning to tell a child or young person who is in need of a catch-up programme what is his or her “reading age” or “spelling age”. Instead, just give the student the raw score on each occasion that the test is taken.

 Interpreting scores

 The results of standardised tests can be expressed in several ways.

 The raw score is the number of correct items.

 The standard score relates the raw score to the student’s chronological age. The average or mean standard score is 100. Standard scores within the range 85 to 115 inclusive are usually considered to be within the average range. Most students obtain a standard score within this range.

Percentile scores range from 0 to 100, with the average score being 50. Scores from 16 to 84 inclusive are considered to be within the average range. Most students obtain a standard score within this range.

Stanine scores range from 1to 9 with 5 being the average score. Standard scores and percentiles can easily be converted to stanine scores using tables published with reading and spelling tests.

Reading Tests

Many reading tests have been published. Full details can be found by searching for descriptors of these tests on the Internet.

The following chart shows aspects of reading skill tested by some of the many tests available and the types of scores that raw scores can be converted to using tables produced by the test authors.

  

Name of test

Aspects of reading being tested

 

 

Single word accuracy

Accuracy for context reading

Rate of reading

Reading Comprehension

Raw score results expressed as

Neale Analysis of Reading Ability

RA, %ile, ST

WRAT 4

x

x

SS,RA, %ile, ST

Wordchains

x

x

SS, %ile,

BURT – 1974 revision

x

x

x

RA

Nfer-Nelson Group Reading Test

x

x

x

RA

Gort 4

x

SS, RA, %ile

Kirklees Reading Assessment

x

SS, RA

 

  Key: RS = raw score, RA = reading age, SS = standard score or reading quotient, %ile =percentile rank, ST = stanine

Spelling Tests

Many spelling tests have been published. Full details can be found by searching for descriptors of these tests on the Internet.

Students are asked to write words spoken by the test administrator.

The following chart shows some of the many tests available and the types of scores that raw scores can be converted to, using
tables produced by the test authors.

     

Name of test

results expressed as

 

Vernon Spelling Test

SA

WRAT 4

SS,%ile, ST

Schonell Spelling Test

SA

 

 Key: RS = raw score, SA = spelling age, SS = standard score, %ile = percentile rank, ST =stanine

 


Dorothy Greenald Dyslexia Tutor (Sunderland)

About The Author

Hello I am Dorothy, an experienced literacy tutor of many years' standing.




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