Wide Range Achievement Test
Wide Range Achievement Test
Wide range achievement test, 3rd ed. or WRAT-3 is a screening test that can be administered to determine if a more comprehensive achievement test is needed. Achievement tests refer to skills that individuals learn through direct instruction or intervention.
The WRAT-3 measures basic skills in reading, arithmetic, and spelling. The test covers ages from 5–75 years old and takes approximately 30 minutes to administer.
Although screening instruments may save time, these instruments can sometimes have misleading results. For instance, the scores may overestimate or underestimate a person’s skills or the test does not measure other important achievement abilities. To obtain a more in-depth result of an examinee’s abilities, a more comprehensive achievement test must beadmin-istered. For example, the WRAT-3 has no assessment of fundamental skills such as reading comprehension, writing abilities, and applying mathematical concepts to real-life situations. Finally, psychometric testing requires a clinically trained examiner. Therefore, the
test should only be administered and interpreted by a trained examiner.
The WRAT-3 has two alternative testing forms (tan and blue). One form is administered with the second form available if needed. Both testing forms (both the tan and blue forms) can be administered. When this is done, a combined scored is obtained. Each testing form consists of one reading test, one arithmetic test, and one spelling test. The reading test is administered individually, but the other two tests may be given in groups of up to five people. The reading test consists of 15 letters and 42 individual words that the examinee is asked to name or pronounce. The spelling test consists of writing one’s name, 13 letters, and up to 40 words dictated to the examinee and used in a sentence. The spelling items increase with difficulty. Finally, the arithmetic test consists of two parts. Part I requires counting, reading number symbols, and solving simple arithmetic problems that are verbally presented to the examinee. Part II consists of using paper and a pencil to calculate up to 40 arithmetic problems within 15 minutes. These arithmetic problems are presented in a test booklet.
Scoring consists of a 1 for a correct answer and a 0 for an incorrect answer. The raw scores are converted to standard scores. These are scores that allow the examiner to compare the individual’s score to other people who have taken the test. Additionally, by converting raw scores to standard scores the examiner has uniform scores and can more easily compare an individual’s performance on one test with the individual’s performance on another test. The average score for each test of the WRAT-3 is 100. An examiner can also obtain grade-equivalent scores, percentile ranks, and normal curve equivalents. A poor performance in any of the three areas assessed by this instrument can indicate the need for further testing.
Normal curve equivalents —Standard scores with an average of 100. The normal curve equivalents divide the normal or bell-shaped curve into 100 equal parts. As a result, those scores can be used for statistical analysis because they can be added, subtracted, multiplied and divided.
Percentile ranks —The point at which a given percentage of people fall at or below the individual’s test score being calculated. For example, if a person’s test score was at the 60th percentile, 40% of other test takers received a higher score, while 60% received a score that was at or below that of the test taker.
Psychometric —Pertaining to testing and measurement of mental or psychological abilities. Psychometric tests convert an individual’s psychological traits and attributes into a numerical estimation or evaluation.
Kaufman, Alan, S., and Elizabeth O. Lichtenberger. Assessing Adolescent and Adult Intelligence. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2001.
Sattler, Jerome M. “Assessment of Academic Achievement.” In Assessment of Children: Behavioral and Clinical Applications. 4th ed. San Diego: Jerome M. Sattler, Publisher, Inc., 2002.
Wilkinson, G. S. Wide Range Achievement Test–Revision 3. Wilmington, DE: Jastak Association, 1993.
Keith Beard, Psy.D.