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Testing areas

The assessments cover the following areas:

Phonological awareness 6-16 years

This test assesses the ability to focus on the formal side of language. It involves manipulating elements at the word, syllable, and sound levels, without seeing any text in writing. Elements will be added, removed, or exchanged. Examples:

Words ” If you have the word letter, and then you add the word box, what word do you get?” The correct answer would be the picture of the letterbox.

Syllables ”If you have the word car, and then you add pet, what word do you get?” The picture of a carpet is the right answer.

Sounds ”If you have the word grain, and then you replace g with t, what word do you get?” Train is the correct answer.

Spoonerisms 10-16 years

Spoonerisms replaces Phonological awareness as the principal test from the age of 10. The latter was found too easy for this age even if the test items were made more difficult. To create a more demanding challenge for these pupils, the test Spoonerisms was constructed, which also tests phonological ability. Word parts are manipulated. The target words are compound words. The test subject will hear, for example, colicepar, and should find out the real word policecar by letting the k and p sounds change places. Such operations put high demands on phonological ability. The challenge is even greater if the false word parts in turn are real words, e.g., wallhay is more tricky than ningerfail.

Here the test waits for the subject to speak the word policecar The following task is to find the corresponding picture out of four

Before testing, it is important that the test subject gets a hands-on instruction about the principles of the test. Empty paper labels are used, serving as markers for the word parts. With bootfall/football as an example, two wide labels for oot and all are made, then two narrower ones for b and f. Whith these labels the principals of spoonerisms are explained to the test subject prior to testing.

Arrange sounded words 6-16 years

You will hear a sequence of sounds that make up a word. On the screen there are white labels. If you click on a label you will hear a sound. You should build a word with the labels. This test examines the child’s ability to identify phonemes in a phoneme sequence, and to blend these into a word. The child should say the word, and then build the words on the screen with white labels, each corresponding to a phoneme. This puts demands on synthesis at a phonological-phonemic level of awareness. The ability to segment and blend is based on active segmentation, which is essential in reading and writing.

Find picture for sounded word 6-9 years

You will hear a sequence of sounds and you should say what word they make up. Then you will see pictures and you should point to the picture that best fits the word that you have come up with.

This test is used when the child does not manage to say the words of the test Arrange sounded words after presentation of the phonemic sequence, or if the child does not manage to build the word with the labels. In this test the child gets guidance through the support of pictures.

Arrange sounded letters 7-9 years

The test works as Arrange sounded words where the stimulus word is segmented into sounds, but here the child is asked to build words with letters. The child does not have to segment the words, but only make a synthesis of the word, and relate that synthesis to letters. Some children tend to use letters as a support without being enough phonologically aware. This may help for simple words, but is not sufficient for words with complex or irregular spelling. By comparing the results of these two tests, children can be found who use this deceptive strategy.

Arrange letters 7-9 years

This test in turn works as the previous one but now the words are spoken normally. With this test, we wish to test the child’s ability to build words with letters. The child will hear the word as a whole word, and needs to be able to segment the word in order to build the word with the letter labels. Those who master the test Arrange sounded words, show that the phonological-phonemic awareness is working and also demonstrates that it manages to blend phonemes into words and to segment words from its own blending. This indicates that the child has a functioning short-term memory on this level. But what will happen if we engage letters? Many experts claim, that the first steps into phonological based letter managing starts by writing. The child’s phonological-phonemic analysis of words evolves through the child’s own production of consecutive letters. It may then be noticed, that children often mix letter names and sounds when writing.

Arrange syllables 10-16 years

The test has two series. In the first one you build a word from a number of syllables represented by empty labels that sound when you click on them. In the second series there will be superfluous labels that sound almost as the correct ones. Both series test the phonological ability; the latter also tests discrimination. The test reveals the ability to segment words into syllables and to rearrange syllables into a word. The distracting labels of the second series contain syllables similar in vowel quality or other distinctive features. A test person with a weak phonological ability may repeat the word correctly but still be unable to find the right pieces. The phonological ‘effort’ may also tire the test person as the test is progressing.

Reading 7-16 years

The purpose is to test the child’s reading, or decoding, capability. The child will hear a word, and has to match it with the corresponding word written on the screen. There are four types of presentations.

Logotypes Short simple words
Words with gaps Non-word alternatives

The reading of logotypes shows if the child has reached the logographic-visual stage. The reading of short simple words reveals if logographic decoding of regular words has begun. Reading words with gaps and non-words reveals if the child has begun phonological decoding.

The progress of the child in this test reveals which developmental state the child has reached. If the first two steps are managed but not the latter two, the child may be using logographic reading. If the test items with gaps and non-words are solved, the child has begun establishing phonologically based decoding.

At the age of 10-16 years, the steps in the reading test are:

Simple words Words with gaps
Words with non-word alternatives Sentences with distracting options
Texts with jumbled letters And multiple choice questions

When testing Reading at this age, there are texts with jumbled letters inside the word (the first and last letter being intact). These texts are surprisingly easy to read, but due to the disordered letters the reader is forced to use phonological decoding, or perhaps make a comparison with a possible whole-word representation that already exists in the reader’s mind.

Reading comprehension 8-16 years

To interpret an examination of a child’s comprehension of text requires consideration of several elements that are involved when a text is understood. The child must have attained a certain level of automatized decoding, which means that attention can be set free in favour of interpretation of the meaning of words, i.e. demands are put on vocabulary. The child should also possess necessary grammatical ability to interpret the words that are chosen, and how the words have different meaning according to inflection, etc.

In the comprehension tasks we test the basic competence in decoding and comprehension of:

Simple and complex words with picture options


Shorter and longer sentences with picture options or multiple choice options

General knowledge sentences words with explanation options

Stories with multiple choice options

The test items for 10-16 years are adjusted to the comprehension skills and types of texts that children of these ages are expected to master. As children have their individual approaches to decoding and comprehension, it is interesting to find out where the difficulty lies. From a teacher’s point of view it is important to distinguish these causes to be able to supply the adequate training, as well as the appropriate exercises in Lexion.

Spelling 7-16 years

The child has to write from dictation. It will hear a whole word, and needs segment it into sounds, and then find letters on the keyboard corresponding to the sounds of the word. The complexity of the words gradually increases.


The tests for 10-16 years have more difficult tasks, especially towards the end. Some have irregular spelling, some are nonsense words. Some words have swapped sounds and must intentionally be written with swapped spelling; the purpose is to decide if the test subject manages to analyse the word phonologically although there is a swap in it, and reproduce the word without being distracted by the picture shown on the screen.


Remember picture/number/pattern sequence 6-16 years

A problem with the short-term memory may manifest itself, among other things, in difficulties remembering a phoneme sequence when reading and writing, or remembering a sentence that has been decoded, where the memory of the first words disappears concurrently with the decoding of the final words in the sentence.


The purpose of Remember picture sequence is to measure the child’s ability to keep a series of nouns in the short-term memory. Lex Testor will say a few words, and the words that are presented as pictures on the screen, and should be arranged in the same order as they were spoken. Remember number sequence is a memory test that implies a lesser amount of semantic support. The child has to memorize a series of numbers. After every other test item the number of figures to be memorized increase. Remember pattern sequence examines the child’s visual memory and contains as little semantic information as possible. The pictures show formations of semi-circles that in combination with each other create patterns that the child should remember. These three tests detect the ability to handle elements by means of different memory strategies. These strategies are needed in segmentation and synthesis of the sound elements of a word, the word elements of a sentence, as well as the sentence elements of a story.

Continue to Analysing the results

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