WIST: Word Identification and Spelling Test

Word Identification and Spelling Test (WIST)
Barbara A. Wilson and Rebecca H. Felton


· Ages: 7-0 through 18-11

· Testing Time: 40 minutes

· Administration: Individual


Features of the WIST:

·   Measures word identification, spelling, and sound-symbol knowledge.

·   Identifies students who are struggling with reading and spelling.

·   Includes an elementary version (grades 2-5) and a secondary version (grades 6-12).

·   Is easy to administer and score.

·   Converts raw scores to percentiles, standard scores, and age and grade equivalents.

·   Is both valid and reliable for its stated purposes.

·   Includes an extensive, yet practical, informal assessment system for analysing student performance that leads to instructional intervention.


The WIST meets teachers' need for detailed information that can be used to identify the areas in which students are having difficulty with reading and/or spelling and to develop appropriate instructional interventions. It includes both norm-referenced and informal assessments. The WISTspecifically targets those aspects of reading that are most important for the identification and treatment of poor and disabled readers.


The WIST is a nationally standardised, individually administered diagnostic test that assesses students' fundamental literacy skills. It can be used by anyone who has training in standardised test administration. It was normed on a representative sample of 1520 children and adolescents ranging in age from 7 to 18 years who resided in 16 U.S. states.


The WIST has three subtests which can be used in either the Norm-Referenced or Informal assessment. The Norm-Referenced assessment has two "core" subtests (Word Identification and Spelling) and one "supplemental" subtest (Sound-Symbol Knowledge) and a composite score (called the Fundamental Literacy Index). On the Informal assessment, the scores are used for clinical and instructional purposes.


The three subtests of the WIST are:

1.  Word Identification: Word Identification measures word reading accuracy which includes (a) students' sight recognition of familiar words and their ability to apply word attack skills in order to decode unfamiliar words and (b) their sight recognition or orthographic memory of high frequency words with one or more irregularities.

2.  Spelling: The spelling subtest assesses students' ability to spell words correctly from dictation. Specifically measures students' (a) recall of correct letter sequences for familiar words or one’s ability to apply sound/symbol relationships and rules of English orthography in order to spell unfamiliar words and (b) their recall of letter order in high-frequency words with one or more irregularities.

3.  Sound-Symbol Knowledge: This subtest assesses a student's ability to associate sound(s) (i.e., phonemes) with specific letter(s) (i.e., graphemes).


Three informal procedures provide additional diagnostic information about the student's performance on: (a) the test items, (b) sound-symbol skills, and (c) errors peculiar to written words. Information from these analyses will enhance the examiner's interpretation of the child's test performance and help formulate a literacy intervention plan.


COMPLETE WIST KIT INCLUDES: Examiner’s Manual, 25 Elementary Examiner Record Booklets, 25 Secondary Examiner Record Booklets, 50 Spelling Response Forms, Word Card-Regular Words, Word Card-Irregular Words, Word Card-Letter/Pseudo Words, Elementary Spelling Card, Secondary Spelling Card, Irregular Spelling Card, all in a sturdy storage box.


11890...WIST Complete Kit      
11891...WIST Examiner’s Manual
11892...WIST Elementary Examiner/Record Booklets (25)  
11893...WIST Secondary Examiner/Record Booklets (25)  
11894...WIST Spelling Response Forms (50)  
11895...WIST Word Card Regular Words  
11896...WIST Word Card Irregular Words  
11897...WIST Word Card Letter/Pseudo Words  
11898...WIST Elementary Spelling Card  
11899...WIST Secondary Spelling Cards  
11900...WIST Irregular Spelling Card  
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