Important Information For Test Users
In order to admnister some tests, users must have the requisite qualifications. It is up to individual users to ensure they are appropriately qualified and competent. Navan Education Support Centre bears no responsibility for the use of test materials by unqualified individuals. Please refer to individual test user guidelines or publisher's website for further information.
Dr Pauline Cogan trained as a Primary School Teacher in Carysfort Training College, Blackrock, Co Dublin in 1967. She graduated with a BA in languages (1970) and a Higher Diploma in Education (1971) from University College Dublin.
Pauline has had a life-long interest in social and educational justice with a principal focus on learning difficulties. For over a decade she has intensely studied the causes of literacy difficulties in children and has operationalised this knowledge into child and classroom friendly tasks. She was awarded her PhD by Trinity College, Dublin, in 2012, through research in this field.
With the help of teachers, the school community, the DES and other bodies and driven by research, policy and practice, Pauline has developed TEST2R. This is a comprehensive test used to screen and pin-point the emergent literacy skills which a 5 – 6 year old child needs to be taught. It also provides an individual report on each child and pointers to intervention/resources.
Pauline is an honorary member of the Board of Dyslexia International Tools & Technologies which is a portal to UNESCO. She is on the National Executive Committee of the Irish Learning Support Association (ILSA) and is the Editor of LEARN – the peer reviewed journal of that body. She is also a Chartered Psychologist of the Psychological Society of Ireland.
The Diagnostic Spelling Tests provide a series of standardised group or individual spelling tests. Each test is available in parallel forms A and B, which are carefully matched in content, style and difficulty.
Each test gives standardised scores and spelling ages, plus an optional diagnostic facility utilising the photocopiable marking grids. Targeted follow-up tests are provided to check specific progress: the pupil’s overall improvement can then be assessed using the parallel form.
Diagnostic Spelling Tests 1-3 are for primary-aged pupils:
Qualification Code CL2R
WIAT-III UK-T: (Teachers): Wechsler Individual Achievement Test for Teachers (3rd UK Edition): Complete Kit
Training in the use of WIAT-T-III Test Kit is availalbe through NESC.
See and Learn is an evidence-based, structured teaching programme which teaches speech, language and reading skills in small steps for children with Down syndrome up to 6 years of age. The programme is designed to help educators and parents provide young children with additional support and practice they need to learn language.
Further information on See & Learn Kits is available from here.
Information on use of the kits in an Irish context is available here from Down syndrome Ireland
NESC has Language and Reading bundle, Sentences Kit and First Counting Kit available for loan.
The PM Benchmark 1 is designed to assess students’ instructional and independent reading levels using fiction and non-fiction texts. From emergent levels to reading age 12, teachers are able to access student fluency and comprehension levels.
The Diagnostic Reading Analysis is a modern oral reading test designed specifically for less able readers from 7 to 16 years. The test takes up to 15 minutes.
The Diagnostic Reading Analysis provides standardised measures of reading accuracy (as standardised scores and reading ages), fluency/reading rate and reading comprehension. Additionally, this second edition provides a standardised measure of comprehension processing speed.
Qualification Code CL2R
The WRAT5 is easy to administer screener that provides an accurate way to identify possible learning disabilities, assess and monitor reading, spelling, and maths skills in people aged 5–85+ and helps to identify possible learning disabilities.
These standarised group tests yield information that will support individual and whole-class teaching, as well as assessments for screening, monitoring and progress tracking.
MaLT assesses all areas of mathematics providing:
MaLT Stage 1 – Age Suitability:
MaLT Stage 2 – Age Suitability:
MaLT Stage 3 – Age Suitability:
Stage 1, 2 and 3 are available from the NESC library
Qualification Code CL3
The Bracken Basic Concept Scale – Third Edition: Receptive (BBCS-3: R) and Bracken Basic Concept Scale: Expressive (BBCS: E) are developmentally sensitive measures of children’s basic concept knowledge.
BBCS-3:R (RECEPTIVE): Assess a child's receptive knowledge of basic concepts with the Bracken Basic Concept Scale - Third Edition: Receptive
BBCS:E (EXPRESSIVE): Is a verbal response test of a child's basic concepts skills expressively. BBCS:E helps determine cognitive and language development, for assessing childhood academic achievement.
Qualification Requirements: The assessment can be conducted by most people with a minimal understanding of Applied Behaviour Analysis
An Overview of The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised (ABBLS-R)
What is it?
Devised by Dr James Partington in 1998, the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS) is an assessment, skills tracking system, and curriculum guide used to help guide the instruction of language and critical learner skills for children with autism, language delays or other developmental disabilities. It was revised in 2006 to include additional task items not included in the 1998 edition, hence the acronym ABLLS-R. The ABLLS – R provides a comprehensive review of 544 skills from 25 skill areas including language, social interaction, self-help, academic and motor skills that most typically developing children acquire prior to entering primary school (approximately 4 - 5 years of age). The task items within each skill area are arranged from simpler to more complex tasks. Expressive language skills are assessed based upon the behavioural analysis of language as presented by Dr. B.F. Skinner in his book Verbal Behaviour (1957).
Why use it?
The results of the ABLLS-R provide both parents and professionals with criterion-referenced information regarding a child’s current skills. The overall goal of the ABLLS-R is to refine the level of examination of skills so that teaching can occur in increments that are manageable and likely to result in meaningful, and permanent, gains for the child. Therefore, each of the skills is clearly operationally defined with measurable increments identified. The hierarchical nature of the ABLLS-R means that, generally, earlier skills within each category are necessary for the independent and sustained demonstration by the child of skills later in the hierarchy. This has a practical impact on the use of the ABLLS-R in that gaps in skills that occur earlier in each category typically are given higher priority in the writing of initial goals for the child's educational targets. Note: It is not a diagnostic device; although it was developed using the norms of typically developing children, it does not compare the child to norms or the performance of other children
Who can Use it?
While the ABLLS-R is most commonly used on children with developmental disabilities and delays,(including autism), it can be used for anyone who may be lacking in basic communication or life skills. The assessment can be conducted by most people with a minimal understanding of applied behavior analysis. Resulting profiles of the (assessed) child are likely to be a tighter fit if the assessor is objective about the child and their abilities, has significant experience with children with language delays and other behavioural deficits commonly associated with autism spectrum disorders.
The ABLLS-R is comprised of two documents:
What does the assessment procedure entail and how long does it take?
The ABLLS-R is conducted via direct observation of the child's behavior in each skill area. However, there are a variety of life circumstances that can prevent direct observation of the full range of skills assessed via the ABLLS-R. Therefore, interview of key caregivers is an alternative and complimentary process that can be used to complete areas of the ABLLS-R which might be inaccessible for logistical reasons to the assessor. The overall goal of the ABLLS-R, as any assessment tool, is the accurate summarization of the child's skills in order to facilitate as accurate and meaningful a treatment program as possible.
Criteria for scoring are provided throughout the assessment, and these scores are transferred to a corresponding grid for a quick visual reference. The ABLLS Protocol contains a unique skills tracking grid used to depict the assessment results. The skills tracking grid allows you to see the results, select skills that are in need of instructional support, track progress over subsequent administrations, and compare progress over time. The shading of the different cells and rows represent progress or mastery of the different skills in each area. More shading means the child has acquired more skills. Less shading means the child has not yet acquired those skills. ABLLS grids will be different for each child dependent upon their abilities.
The administering time of the ABLLS depends on the skill level of the child being evaluated and the skillset of the assessor. Overall it could take a total of anywhere between 10-14 hours (done over a few sessions), but the end result should be a set of recommendations that are a tight fit to the child It can be administered over time to ensure that a more accurate reflection of the child’s abilities is shown.
A few additional notes….
Whilst the ABLLS-R covers many self-help skills often acquired by young children (eating, dressing, self-help, toileting etc.), it was not intended to provide a comprehensive review of the broad range of functional skills (skills that may need to be completed by others if the individual is unable to do them independently). Therefore, an additional assessment was developed as a continuum to support and guide parents, caregivers and other key personnel to develop comprehensive and practical functional skills programs. This assessment is the Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS)
Qualification Code: An easy to use assessment tool for parents, educators, professional staff and caregivers.
An Overview of The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS)
What is it?
Devised by Dr James Partington and Dr Michael Mueller in 2012, the Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) is an assessment, skills tracking system, and curriculum guide for the development of essential skills for achieving independence. The AFLS contains task analyses of many of the skills essential for participation in a wide range of family, school, community and work environments. There are 6 Assessment Protocols:
While each of these assessments can be used as stand-alone assessments, they should be conceptualised as being different modules of an extended assessment that exists on a continuum as the skills addressed are all based upon overarching goals for maximizing freedom, independence, and opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The complete AFLS covers more than 1900 useful daily living skills in 66 functional skill areas, and can be used to demonstrate a learner's current functional skill repertoire and provide tracking information for the progressive development of these skills from 2 years old right throughout the lifespan.
Why use it?
Functional Skills are commonly thought of as skills that if not mastered by the learner, will need to be done for the learner. These are essential, practical, everyday skills of daily living. Whilst they can be mundane, without the demonstration or teaching of these skills, a person is dependent on others for care. These assessment protocols will help teachers/ educators, parents and professionals to develop enhanced person-centred programming and transition plans, providing critical roadmaps for learners. All 6 modules of the AFLS are designed to ensure that caregivers and professionals provide learners with the very best opportunities to learn how to do tasks for themselves in a broad array of real world settings.
Who can Use it?
The AFLS is designed to be an easy- to- use assessment tool for parents, educators, professional staff, and other caregivers. The AFLS as aforementioned can be used from 2 years of age right throughout the lifespan.
What are the Areas covered under AFLS?
The skills included in this range from those that are often acquired by typically developing children at a very early age all the way through those that may not be acquired until late adolescence or early adulthood. Basic self-help, self-care, self-management, hygiene, routines, and core communication skills are assessed in this module. The skills assessed in this should be thought of as a prerequisite for any functional skills program for any learner regardless of age, setting, or disability. These essential skills, if not mastered, will have a profound impact on a learner's ability to live independently, to be successful in school, and to take advantage of various social and recreational activities throughout their life. This Module includes Self-Management, Basic Communication, Dressing, Toileting, Grooming, Night-time Routines etc.
The skills included in this are skills required for home living, whether home living is living with parents, living in a supported facility, a group home etc. These skills range from those that are often acquired by typically developing individuals through day to day interactions, teaching sequences, as well as through consistent parental and sibling modelling. Basic and advanced skills for preparing and eating meals, cleaning, dressing, laundry, leisure skills, and daily activities are assessed.
Community participation begins with learning to physically navigate safely around paths/roads, streets, and signs along with interacting with the people encountered when doing so. This module reviews skills that when acquired will allow the learner to participate either independently or with others in shopping, eating out, participation in recreational and leisure activities. Telling time, using time-related concepts, making and keeping appointments, using a phone, and other skills that help people stay connected and interact with others in the community, are also assessed in this module.
The functional skills required in school settings include very basic behavioural expectations such as compliance, rule following, transitions, waiting in lines etc. These skills are essential in striving for independence and successful functioning in different types of classrooms, in all parts of the school system, and with peers and changing staff. This assessment covers all age levels of education (i.e., primary/ post primary/third level/Special Schools / Units within Schools etc. and considers the individual’s level of development (e.g., language, behaviour, and cognitive abilities). The School Skills Protocol includes Classroom Mechanics, Routines and Expectations, Meals at School, Social Skills, Technology, Common Knowledge, Core Academics, and Applied Academics
The goal of all functional skills teaching programs is for a learner to achieve the greatest level of independence possible. The skills necessary for transitioning from the supervised lifestyle of living with parents and participating in the structured daily activities provided from school/educational settings, to living a lesser supported lifestyle are areas assessed in this module. With these higher expectations of the learner, comes the responsibility of caregivers to provide instruction so as to ensure the learner has the requisite safety and problem solving skills so the learner can cope with the ups and downs of everyday life. The Independent Living Skills Protocol includes Organizational Skills, Self-Care, Community Travel, Transportation, Kitchen Tools & Appliances, Food & Meal Planning, Money Management, Independent Shopping, Personal Management, Safety, Problem Solving, Social Interactions, Living with Others, Interpersonal Relationships to name a few.
Preparing for and joining the workforce is a broad skill area with almost limitless skills to assess. This protocol provides caregivers and professionals with information to teach essential skills to those individuals preparing to enter the workforce or those who are already working but want to further develop skills for a wide variety of settings including skills related to searching for job openings, creating CV’s, completing applications, interview preparation, obtaining/ maintaining employment.
What does the assessment procedure entail and how long does it take?
The information required is what the learner typically does or can do when required, so as to not overestimate a skill level, and in turn ensuring that those skills will be targeted for teaching. The main source of information will be obtained from parents, teachers and other key personnel who regularly interact with the learner. The second source of information comes from direct observation of the learner in various settings, in order to determine the level of skill, but how the learner typically uses those skills. The third source of information is obtained from the formal presentation of tasks to the learner to determine his/her competence with specific skills.
Once this information is determined, the process of scoring is next. Criteria for scoring are provided throughout the assessment, and these scores are transferred to a corresponding grid for a quick visual reference. Each AFLS Module contains a unique skills tracking grid used to depict the assessment results. The skills tracking grid allows you to see the results, select skills that are in need of instructional support, track progress over subsequent administrations, and compare progress over time. The shading of the different cells and rows represent progress or mastery of the different skills in each protocol. More shading means the learner has acquired more skills. Less shading means the learner has not yet acquired those skills. AFLS grids will be different for each child dependent upon their own functional experiences.
The administering time of the AFLS depends on the skill level of the learner being evaluated and the administrator's/ caregiver’s familiarity with that learner.
As a note…
Qualification Code: Individuals who have training in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), behaviour analysts, speech-language therapists, psychologists and special educators.
Verbal Behaviour Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB MAPP)
What is it?
Devised by Mark Sundberg (Ph.D., BCBA –D) in 2008, The VB-MAPP is a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system that is designed for children with autism, and other individuals who demonstrate language delays. It is based on B.F. Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behaviour, established developmental milestones, and research from the field of behaviour analysis. The VB-MAPP spans a 40 year history of research and development and has benefitted from the input of behaviour analysts, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, special education teachers, psychologists and parents of children with special needs.
Why Use It?
It is designed to be a descriptive measure of a child’s language and social skills, which collects a lot of information and data around same. It identifies a baseline level of a child’s skills, and compares it to those of typically developing peers. The results of assessment help to prioritize intervention needs, provide feedback to staff, parents and other professionals, guide curriculum planning and track skill acquisition
Who can use it?
While the focus is on younger children with autism and other developmental disabilities, the assessment can be used with teenagers and adults, as well as those with other forms of language delays such as expressive and receptive language disorder, or those produced by traumatic brain injury. It is intended to be used by individuals who have training in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and is primarily used by behaviour analysts, speech-language pathologists, school psychologists and special educators to assess strengths and weaknesses in skills and behaviours that might impede language and social development.
What are the areas covered under the VB MAPP?
There are five components of the VB-MAPP, and collectively they provide a baseline level of performance, a direction for intervention, a system for tracking skill acquisition, a tool for outcome measures and other language research projects, and a framework for curriculum planning. Each of the skills in the VB-MAPP is measurable and developmentally balanced across skill areas.
What does the assessment procedure entail and how long does it take?
In order to ensure the appropriate skills will be targeted for teaching, information will be obtained from parents, teachers and other key personnel who know the child well. There are some areas of the assessment that require the careful eye of a trained professional (particularly around linguistic goals) either in an observational capacity or formal testing by that professional.
The assessment of potential barriers should be conducted simultaneously.
Each of the Milestones has a scoring form which is shaded in to depict the assessment results. The skills tracking grid allows you to see the results, select the priority skills that are in need of instructional support, track progress over subsequent administrations, and compare progress over time. Results will be different for each child dependent upon their ability.
The administering time of the VB MAPP depends on the skill level of the child being evaluated and the administrator's ability to complete the assessment. It can be administered over time to ensure that a more accurate reflection of the child’s abilities is shown.
The DASH 17+ provides a reliable, age-appropriate measure of handwriting speed for students aged 17-25 years in further and higher education. This upwards extension of the DASH can identify students with slow handwriting and may assist in providing evidence for extra support, such as Access Arrangements in examinations or the Disabled Students’ Allowance. Information from the DASH 17+ also provides relevant information for planning intervention.
The assessment includes five subtests, each testing a different aspect of handwriting speed. The subtests examine fine motor and precision skills, the speed of producing well known symbolic material, the ability to alter the speed of performance on two tasks with identical content and free writing competency.
The Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting can play a role in identifying children with handwriting difficulties. The assessment includes five subtests examining fine motor and precision skills, speed, the ability to alter speed and free writing competency.
Also available is the DASH 17+ for students aged 17-25 years in further and higher education.
The SALF Revised Guidelines provide schools and teachers with a structured framework that bridges teacher-led learning and assessment with child-led learning and assessment. These guidelines are based on socio-constructivist principles of learning and provide a framework for teachers that enable children to become more active in their own learning and in the assessment of that learning.
Using the SALF process, the teacher facilitates each pupil in the compilation of a highly personable portfolio of work that each child selects as being their ‘best evidence of learning’ across all eleven curriculum areas as well as their learning from extra-curricular activities. The teacher is the facilitator of the child as learner.
NNRIT: NEW Non-Reading Intelligence Test
Qualification Requirements: The NNRIT can be used by any teacher but only in a school context.
The NNRIT tests assess aspects of language and thinking that are not necessarily represented in measures of pupil attainments and help to pinpoint low-achieving and slow-reading pupils who may have high underlying ability. Test is administered orally.
The British Picture Vocabulary Scale (2nd Ed) BPVS II is a widely used vocabulary assessment tool for standard English. The scale is used by speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, and ASfL teachers because vocabulary is considered to be an important predictor of other language skills. The scale can be used to assess receptive (hearing) vocabulary and to identify any delay in vocabulary development. It can be used with children aged 3 to 16 years older and can be used as a baseline measure for children starting nursery or school, as well as a benchmarking and progress-checking assessment from pre-school to secondary school.
Please note the BPVS II is now in its third edition (BPVS III). The second edition is available to borrow through NESC.
The BIAP is a screening instrument designed to assist teachers in identifying the particular strengths and needs of children in the infants classes of primary schools in Ireland.
The BIAP is suitable for administration to pupils from ages 4 to 7 and norms are available at six-monthly intervals between the ages of 4 to 6 against which a pupil’s performance may be compared.
The York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension: Early Reading and Passage Reading Primary (YARC Primary) includes an early years suite comprising four short tests specifically designed for 4–7 year-olds or older children with reading difficulties. The tests are as follows:
These tests for beginner readers aged 4 - 11 years may be administered as a set or in different combinations up to three times during a school year, or at key points during a period of learning or intervention.
Children are required to read two passages out loud, and each passage consists of two parts: a text passage (to measure accuracy and rate) and eight comprehension questions.
The York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension (YARC) is an individually administered reading assessment that allows close observation of a pupil’s reading behaviours, strengths and areas for development.
Age range 11-16 years, this paper test will take 20-30 minutes.
In the secondary version of YARC, the passages are read silently. Each passage consists of three parts: a text passage, 13 comprehension questions and one summary block.
Navan Education Support Centre charge a nominal fee to borrow resources. We use these funds to update and restock our resources.
The National Council for Special Education was set up to improve the delivery of education services to persons with special educational needs arising from disabilities with particular emphasis on children.
The NCSE is responsible through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers for allocating resource hours and special needs assistants to support children with special needs.
Developing a Policy on Assessment in Post Primary Schools | NCGE - National Centre for Guidance in Education
DES information on Irish Exemption Primary and Post Primary and guidance on test selection guidance-on-test-selection.pdf (education.ie)
Information for parents and guardians of young people with Specific Learning Disabilities (including dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia)
The ESCI (Education Support Centres Ireland website lists all available courses and events from Education Support Centres nationwide.
Eir Code: C15 RK03