A review of WIAT-II UK-T

WIAT-II-UK-T: Pearson Education (2006): WIAT-II-UK-T, London, Pearson Assessment.

I bought the WIAT-II UK-T assessment tool in my role as an assessor of adults with dyslexia. There had been a ruling that Exam Boards preferred having a standardised score for reading speed when granting Exam Access Arrangements.  I didn’t read the specification quite closely enough and actually the norms only go up to age 16.11 for a British test sample, but it is still useful to have US normative information for guidance.

The other thing that attracted me to this test is that it has a structured way of assessing reading comprehension, based on reading extended text, rather than sentences (as in  WRAT4).  Colleagues who use the Adult Reading Test (ART) for this purpose, mention several frustrations with it.  I still use miscue analysis of reading for qualitative analysis, but on a less frequent basis.

So, some reflections: 

  • The word reading subtests is similar to WRAT 4, but allows you to start at more complex words for adult subjects.  The downside of this is a complicated process for returning to easier items  if a reader struggles.
  • There is also evidence of reading accuracy and the extent of sight vocabulary embedded in the reading comprehension subtest.
  • The reading comprehension subtest requires adults over 18 to read and answer questions on 5 passages with no option to stop if this proves hard, which could be demoralising.
  • The way the test “stimulus book” is set up, the tester cannot see the passages as the reader reads.  I must get round to printing off copies for myself!
  • The questions are sorted into categories so you can make revealing judgements about types of comprehension, e.g. drawing conclusions, implied detail,  identifying fact or opinionThere are useful prompts for other qualitative observations, e.g. fluency, phonetic decoding skills.
  • The method of scoring and converting scores is annoyingly complicated and long-winded, requiring you to navigate through different sections of the manual and tables in the appendices. This takes time.
  • There is also a test of spelling.   

I would continue to use this assessment tool when I want particular insights into reading comprehension or if I want to compare reading speed closely to a norm.  However, I would not use it where time is tight.  Nor would I use it for a reader below about GCSE level, as the passages for adults are hard and the option to reverse backwards into easier material is potentially demoralising.

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