WIAT stands for Wechsler Individual Achievement Test. The WIAT-III is the current edition for UK students.
Αn achievement test determines a student’s knowledge in a specific subject area. It measures skills and knowledge learned at a given grade level, usually through classroom instruction.
The WIAT Test is an individually administered achievement test that takes about 45 to 90 minutes. It is used to measure the strengths and weaknesses of a student, so that the school may determine the need for special support or notice stand-out skills in specific areas of giftedness.
It is suitable for evidence of need for access arrangements for GCSEs, IGCSEs, A and AS Levels, IB examinations and accommodations for SATs. It covers the evaluation needs of adults as well, as the age range of the test is from 4 years to 25 years and 11 months. Therefore, it is also suitable for university students.
There are 16 subtests that measure various areas of achievement. These include language, reading, written expression and mathematics.
Results are reported numerically as standard scores. These represent a student’s performance in comparison to students of the same age group, e.g. a standard score between 90 and 110 means a student’s performance is age-appropriate and within the same range as 50 % of students the same age.
Some of the subtests are:
Maths Problem Solving. This subtest measures maths problem-solving skills.
Numerical Operations. This subtest measures written mathematics calculation skills.
Maths Fluency. This subtest measures written mathematics calculation fluency (speed and accuracy).
Listening Comprehension. This subtest measures listening comprehension at a word, sentence, and discourse level.
Oral Reading Fluency. This subtest measures literal and inferential reading comprehension skills using a variety of passage and question types that resemble those used in school settings.
Early Reading Skills. This subtest measures several skills important for developing reading.
Spelling. This subtest measures written spelling of single sounds and words from dictation.
Essay Composition. This subtest measures spontaneous, compositional skills, including theme development, text organisation, grammar, and mechanics.
Based on the aim of the evaluation, the tester decides on the subtests that need to be administered in order to acquire a comprehensive psycho-educational profile and make credible recommendations. Apart from the WIAT, additional tests may be required such as an intelligence scale (e.g. WISC-V), a writing speed test (e.g. DASH), projective testing -i.e. testing that evaluates a student’s psycho-emotional state.
For example, based on the information acquired by the parents and school, a student in Year 10 preparing for IGCSE exams is recommended for evaluation as she struggles with speed of working; extra time is suggested by her school teachers. The tester decides to evaluate elements of speed and processing. The student will be tested with WIAT measures of speed which involve maths and reading. Additionally, she will be administered the WISC-V to measure processing skills and the DASH to measure writing speed.
A comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation requires approximately 3 hours.
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