WIAT-III (Wechsler Individual Achievement Test®-Third Edition )
What is the WIAT?
The WIAT Test (Wechsler Individual Achievement Test) is an individually administered achievement test that takes about 30 to 90 minutes. Specifically the WIAT is used to measure the strengths and weaknesses of your child, so that the school may determine need for special support or notice stand-out skills in specific areas for gifted and talented programs, especially for children who are twice exceptional (refers to intellectually gifted children who have some form of disability). It is used for ages 4 years and up.
There are 16 subtests to measure the 8 areas of achievement specified by US federal legislation (IDEA) to identify and classify learning disabilities. These include language, reading, written expressions, and mathematics. The detailed breakdown of how each of the 16 subtests make up the 8 different scores can be seen in the image below.
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WIAT Subtests and Composites
Here is a list of the subtests found on the WIAT-III test:
- Listening Comprehension – This subtest assesses an individual’s ability to understand spoken language, including understanding relationships, inferential reasoning, and comprehension of explicit and implicit information. It involves listening to stories or sentences and answering questions or explaining situations accordingly. This test is particularly useful for identifying issues in auditory processing or language comprehension.
- Oral Expression – The Oral Expression subtest measures an individual’s ability to express ideas, thoughts, and feelings effectively using spoken language. It involves tasks such as creating sentences, telling a story, and explaining the relationships between items. It helps to identify potential difficulties in verbal communication or language disorders.
- Early Reading Skills – This test gauges foundational reading skills such as phonological awareness, letter-sound correspondence, and basic sight word recognition. It’s designed primarily for young children or individuals beginning to learn to read. Poor performance can highlight struggles with the building blocks of reading.
- Word Reading – This subtest assesses an individual’s ability to accurately read and pronounce individual words presented in isolation. It’s used to measure single-word decoding skills, crucial in the development of fluent reading. Difficulty with this test could suggest dyslexia or other reading-related issues.
- *Pseudo word Decoding – The Pseudo Word Decoding test measures the ability to apply phonetic decoding skills to pronounce nonsense words. This subtest is not reliant on vocabulary knowledge and purely tests phonetic decoding ability, often utilized in assessing dyslexia or specific learning disorders in reading.
- Reading Comprehension – This subtest evaluates an individual’s capacity to understand and interpret written passages, including identifying main ideas, details, sequences, and drawing inferences. It measures the higher-order skills necessary for effective reading. Challenges here may indicate comprehension difficulties or broader reading disorders.
- Oral Reading Fluency – This subtest involves reading passages aloud under time constraints, assessing accuracy, speed, and proper expression. It serves to identify issues with fluent reading, which can interfere with reading comprehension. Struggles may suggest reading disorders or problems with working memory.
- Alphabet Writing Fluency, Spelling – This test measures the ability to write alphabet letters and spell words quickly and accurately. It’s used to identify potential issues in the basic writing and spelling skills, necessary for further writing development. Difficulties may point to dysgraphia or learning disorders in written expression.
- Sentence Composition – In this subtest, individuals are asked to combine and construct sentences, evaluating their syntactic and grammatical skills. It assesses the capacity to create and organize sentences, which are crucial for effective written communication. Challenges can suggest specific learning disorders in writing or language-based learning disabilities.
- Essay Composition – This test assesses an individual’s ability to plan and write an essay, evaluating organization, theme development, and syntactic maturity. It helps to identify potential difficulties in writing longer, cohesive pieces. Poor performance might indicate issues with expressive writing, planning, or organizing thoughts coherently.
- Math Problem Solving – This subtest evaluates the ability to use reasoning and problem-solving skills to solve real-world mathematical problems. It assesses comprehension of mathematical language and concepts and the ability to apply them appropriately. Difficulty in this area can indicate a specific learning disorder in mathematics or broader problems with numerical reasoning.
- Numerical Operations – This test measures an individual’s ability to perform number-based operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, both with and without the help of a calculator. It helps to identify potential difficulties in basic mathematical computation. Difficulties here may suggest dyscalculia or other math-related learning disorders.
- Math Fluency – Addition – This subtest evaluates an individual’s ability to solve single-digit addition problems quickly and accurately. It is performed under timed conditions, requiring the individual to complete as many problems as possible in a given time frame. This test helps identify difficulties related to basic numerical operations and mental calculation speed, which could suggest dyscalculia or other math-related learning disorders.
- Math Fluency – Subtraction – Similar to the Addition subtest, this test measures an individual’s speed and accuracy in solving single-digit subtraction problems under timed conditions. The individual is required to complete as many subtraction problems as possible within a set time limit. Difficulty in this subtest can indicate struggles with basic numerical operations and mental calculation speed, possibly suggesting dyscalculia or other learning disorders in math.
- Math Fluency – Multiplication – This subtest assesses an individual’s ability to solve single-digit multiplication problems accurately and swiftly. The individual must attempt to solve as many multiplication problems as they can within a given time frame. Poor performance on this test may suggest difficulties with multiplication fact retrieval and mental calculation speed, which could be indicative of dyscalculia or other math-related learning disorders.
Here is a list of the composites found on the WIAT-III test:
- Oral Language – This composite score is derived from the Listening Comprehension and Oral Expression subtests, evaluating an individual’s overall oral language skills. It reflects the ability to understand and express ideas, thoughts, and feelings using spoken language. It’s a critical measure for identifying potential language disorders or difficulties in verbal communication.
- Total Reading – This composite score is based on the Word Reading, Reading Comprehension, and Pseudo word Decoding subtests, providing a comprehensive measure of an individual’s reading skills. It covers various reading components, including decoding, fluency, and comprehension, and can identify potential reading difficulties or disorders like dyslexia.
- Basic Reading – This composite score is derived from the Word Reading and Pseudo word Decoding subtests, assessing an individual’s fundamental reading skills such as decoding and word recognition. It primarily evaluates the ability to recognize and pronounce words correctly, which is essential for reading fluency and comprehension. Poor scores may indicate reading-related disorders such as dyslexia.
- Reading Comprehension – This composite score is calculated from the Reading Comprehension and Oral Reading Fluency subtests. It evaluates an individual’s ability to understand and interpret written passages and read them aloud fluently. It’s an essential measure for identifying potential difficulties in reading comprehension and oral reading fluency.
- Fluency – The Fluency composite is derived from the Oral Reading Fluency and Math Fluency subtests. It assesses an individual’s speed and accuracy in reading aloud and solving math problems. Poor scores can indicate difficulties in reading fluency or basic math operations.
- Written Expression – This composite score is based on the Spelling, Sentence Composition, and Essay Composition subtests, providing a comprehensive measure of an individual’s writing skills. It covers various components of writing, including spelling, syntax, grammar, and composition. It’s a critical measure for identifying potential writing disorders or difficulties in written communication.
- Mathematics – This composite score is derived from the Math Problem Solving, Numerical Operations, and Math Fluency subtests, providing an overall measure of an individual’s math skills. It covers a range of math abilities, including basic computations, problem-solving, and math fluency. Poor scores may indicate math-related disorders such as dyscalculia.
- Math Fluency – This composite score is calculated from the Math Fluency – Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication subtests. It evaluates an individual’s speed and accuracy in performing basic math computations. Difficulty in this area can indicate struggles with math fluency, possibly suggesting dyscalculia or other math-related learning disorders.
- Total Achievement -This composite score is based on all the subtests, providing a broad measure of an individual’s academic skills across reading, writing, and mathematics. It’s a comprehensive measure of a person’s overall academic achievement and can help identify potential learning difficulties across multiple academic areas.
*Pseudo word decoding is reading a variety of nonsense words, where the your child must apply his or her phonetic knowledge to sound out unfamiliar words. This subtest is a good indication of reading problems such as dyslexia.