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The WORD Test 3 Elementary
Ages: 6-11   Grades: 1-6

Single-word vocabulary tests reveal only a small portion of a student's vocabulary know-how.  This powerful test delves into the expressive vocabulary and semantic skills that affect learning.

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WORD Test 3 Elementary Test FORMS(20)
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Test Purpose
The WORD Test 3 Elementary assesses a student's ability to recognize and express semantic attributes critical to vocabulary growth and language competency.  Current research clearly supports the impact each task on this test has on academic and reading competency.  You will understand how your students attach meaning to words and why they might be struggling in the classroom.


Test Description
The six subtests of The WORD Test 3 Elementary measure skills that correlate with word mastery, reading comprehension, and overall academic success.  Test items are from the curriculum, including language arts, social studies, math, health, and science.  There are fifteen tasks in each subtest.



  • Associations—choose one semantically-unrelated word from among four and explain the choice in relation to the common category of the other three words
  • Synonyms—give a one-word synonym for each stimulus word
  • Semantic Absurdities—identify and repair an absurd statement
  • Antonyms—give a one-word opposite for each stimulus word
  • Definitions—state the definition of words that include critical attributes
  • Flexible Word Use—give multiple meanings for words

Examiner Qualifications
The test should only be administered by a trained professional familiar with language disorders (e.g.,speech-language pathologist, psychologist, teacher of the learning disabled, special education consultant).


Test Procedures

  • Each task begins with a demonstration item.
  • All test items are presented verbally in a conversational style to the students.
  • Each task is presented in its entirety to every student.

Testing Time

  • 30 minutes

Scoring/Types of Scores

  • Each response receives a 1 for a correct response or a 0 for an incorrect response
  • Allowable prompts and acceptable responses are listed on the test form
  • Correct and incorrect response examples are listed in the test manual
  • Raw scores for each subtest and the total test can be converted to:
    • Age Equivalents
    • Percentile Ranks
    • Standard Scores

Discussion of Performance
The Discussion of Performance section in the Examiner's Manual guides the examiner to make appropriate and educationally-relevant recommendations for intervention based on a clear understanding of each task.  There are examples of how weaknesses are exhibited in the classroom and instructional suggestions to assist with intervention planning based on current research and best-practice strategies.

The importance of learning Tier 2 vocabulary is given prominent attention in this section.  Research and intervention strategies tied to this preeminent research can increase the effectiveness of your therapy plan.


Standardization and Statistics
The Word Test 3 Elementary was standardized on 1,302 subjects.  Demographics reflect the national school population from the most recent National Census for race, gender, age, socioeconomic status (SES), and educational placement.

  • Reliability—established by the use of the following for all subtests and the total test at all age levels:
    • SEM
    • Inter-Rater Reliability
    • Test-Retest
    • Reliability Based on Item Homogeneity (KR20)

The test-retest coefficient is .91 for the total test, the SEM is 4.10 for the total test and the KR20 coefficient is .94.  Inter-Rater reliability is 93% for the total test.  This is considered highly satisfactory.


  • Validity—established by the use of construct and contrasted group validity.
    • Contrast Groups (t-values): test discriminates between subjects typical language development and subjects with language disorders
    • Point Biserial Correlations
    • Subtest Intercorrelations
    • Correlations Between Subtests and Total Test

Results revealed highly satisfactory levels of item consistency (87%).  Internal consistency estimates are clearly satisfactory.  The test significantly discriminates between contrasted groups for every subtest and the total test.  These results are highly satisfactory and substantiates that the test differentiates students with language disorders from students with typical language development.


  • Race/Socioeconomic Group Difference Analyses—conducted at the item and subtest levels.  The analysis of performance differences among race/socioeconomic groups was conducted at the subtest level.
    • Z-tests Chi Square analysis at the subtest level
    • Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) F-tests

There are three Chi Squares out of 30 that are significant—one at the median, one at the 25th percentile, and one at the 75th percentile.  The results of the two-factor ANOVA involving race and SES showed 56 of the 72 statistical tests for race and SES combinations, there were no significant differences.  Some significant differences occurred in 16 of the 72 analyses.  None of the race by SES interactions reached statistical significance.  Neither race nor SES has a major impact on The WORD Test 3 Elementary.


Copyright © 2014

Test Set includes: examiner's manual, 20 test forms
  • Students need to understand semantic concepts among words.  It may be necessary to target understanding of basic concepts that underpin the vocabulary required to access the curriculum (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Children with specific language impairment (SLI) need multiple exposures to new words to properly encode the semantic features of a word.  Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) play a key role in assessment and intervention for all language skills, including vocabulary (Steele & Mills, 2011).
  • Neuropsychological studies provide convincing evidence that semantic knowledge is organized by categories and functions.  Semantic knowledge is thought to drive the process of meaning in language (Rhodes & Donaldson, 2008).
  • In a longitudinal study of children from grade 1 through grade 6, the best predictor of reading comprehension was vocabulary knowledge, more so than decoding skills or listening comprehension (Verhoeven & Van Leeuwe, 2008).
  • According to Beck, McKeown, and Kucan (2002), Tier II vocabulary words are words that are targeted in the classroom, are useful across a variety of settings, and give children a beginning idea of the definition.  Children who are taught Tier II words make the most gains in vocabulary development because these words are used both at school and at home.  The WORD Test 3 Elementary targets Tier II vocabulary words across all test items to help SLPs, special educators, general education teachers, and parents understand the child's vocabulary skill set.  The information gained from The WORD Test 3 Elementary guides SLPs to write treatment goals in alignment with curriculum standards.

The WORD Test 3 Elementary incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York: The Guilford Press.

Rhodes, S.M., & Donaldson, D.I. (2008). Association and not semantic relationships elicit the N400 effect: Electrophysiological evidence from an explicit language comprehension task. Psychophysiology, 45(1), 50-59.

Steele, S.C., & Mills, M.T. (2011). Vocabulary intervention for school-age children with language impairment: A review of evidence and good practice. Child Language Teaching & Therapy, 27(3), 354-370.

Taylor-Goh, S. (2005). Royal college of speech & language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.

Verhoeven, L., & Van Leeuwe, J. (2008). Prediction of the development of reading comprehension: A longitudinal study. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22(3), 407-423.


Linda Bowers, Rosemary Huisingh, Carolyn LoGiudice, and Jane Orman


Linda Bowers, M.A., SLP, is a co-founder and co-owner of LinguiSystems.  She is a speech-language pathologist with wide experience serving language-disordered students of all ages.  Linda has keen professional interest in the thinking, listening, and language abilities of children and adults.

Rosemary Huisingh, M.A., SLP, is also a co-founder and co-owner of LinguiSystems.  As a speech-language pathologist, she has successfully served the communication needs of school children for many years.  Rosemary is particularly interested in childhood language, vocabulary, and thinking skills.

Carolyn LoGiudice, M.A., CCC-SLP, is retired and was formerly in charge of the editorial staff at LinguiSystems.  As a speech-language pathologist, Carolyn has broad experience serving school-aged children and is especially interested in pragmatics and thinking skills of children and adolescents.

Jane Orman, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist who serves in the Customer Care area of LinguiSystems.  She has extensive school experience and particular interest in the language demands on students in regard to assessment, critical thinking, and the school curricula.

All of The WORD Test 3 Elementary authors have co-authored numerous other tests and products for LinguiSystems.