Test of Semantics Skills-Primary (TOSS-P)

SKU: 34160
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Test Purpose
The TOSS-P is a receptive and expressive diagnostic test designed to assess a student's semantic skills and it yields specific information about a student's semantic and vocabulary abilities.


Test Description
Children with language and learning disorders often are severely hampered when facing words out of context or new words in reading passages, or when trying to determine word meaning by using context clues.  The TOSS-P meets the need for a comprehensive diagnostic test of semantics.  A wide range of receptive and expressive tasks, including skills in categorizing, describing, and defining (not just naming skills), means the TOSS-P will accurately assess your students' competency with semantics.

The test is built around six common themes and comprised of twenty realistic line-illustrations depicting natural, real-life scenes.  Test items emphasize vocabulary that is meaningful and relevant to the experiences of young children.  In this way, your student can use visual and verbal information to respond to the test as they do to respond to their environment.

There are five subtests and 10 semantic and vocabulary tasks in the test.  Five tasks are receptive and five are expressive.  This parallel allows for analysis and comparison of verbal and nonverbal performance.  The multiple question types give students ample opportunities to demonstrate the flexibility, diversity, and richness of their language.


The scene pictures are based on the themes of Learning and Playing, Shopping, Around the House, Working at School, Eating, and Health and Fitness.

  • Subtest A: Identifying Labels—points to an item named
  • Subtest B: Identifying Categories—points to a member of a category that is named
  • Subtest C: Identifying Attributes—given an attribute, point to the appropriate item
  • Subtest D: Identifying Functions—point to an item whose functions have been described
  • Subtest E: Identifying Definitions—point to an item that has been defined
  • Subtest F: Stating Labels—name an item in a picture
  • Subtest G: Stating Categories—given three members of a category, name the category
  • Subtest H: Stating Attributes—describe and item by stating one of its attributes
  • Subtest I: Stating Functions—describe what an item does or what we do with the item
  • Subtest J: Stating Definitions—define an item

Examiner Qualifications
The test should only be administered by a trained professional familiar with children's language disorders (e.g., speech-language pathologist, psychologist, teacher of students with learning disabilities, special education consultant).


Test Procedures

  • The student looks at a picture and responds to questions presented verbally by the examiner about the picture.
  • Both receptive and expressive tasks are presented for each picture.
  • Each task is presented in its entirety to every student.

Testing Time

  • 25-30 minutes

Scoring/Types of Scores

  • A score of 1 or 0 is assigned to each response.
  • Acceptable responses for Subtests A through H and a few items for Subtest I are listed on the test form.  For most test items in Task I (Stating Functions) and all items in Task J (Stating Definitions), no acceptable responses are provided on the test form.  Responses are transcribed and compared to the criteria in the Scoring Standards section of the Examiner's Manual.
  • Examples of both acceptable and unacceptable responses for all of the test items are provided in the Scoring Standards.
  • Raw scores are converted to:
    • Age Equivalents
    • Percentile Ranks
    • Standard Scores

Discussion of Performance
The Discussion of Performance section in the Examiner's Manual helps you bridge from assessment to treatment.  Academic manifestations of poor test performance are described.  Remediation guidelines for each subtest/skill level are included.


Standardization and Statistics
The TOSS-P was standardized on 1,510 subjects.  The subjects represented the current National Census for race, gender, age, and educational placement.

  • Reliability—established by the use of test-retest, SEM, reliability based on item homogeneity (KR20) and inter-rater analyses for the total test at all age levels.  The average reliability coefficient is .86 for the total test and the SEM is 2.06 on the receptive tasks.  The Expressive Tasks average is .88 with an SEM of 4.01.  These reveal acceptable levels of reliability for making decisions regarding performance for all tasks at all age levels.
  • Validity—established by the use of internal consistency and contrasted groups analyses.  Inspection of all point biserial correlations reveals acceptable levels of item consistency with 96% of the items showing statistically significant average correlations with the total test scores.  Contrasted group validity analysis reveals that the TOSS-P significantly discriminates between these two groups for all receptive tasks, for all expressive tasks, for total receptive and expressive tasks, and for the total test for both the preschool and school-age levels.
  • Race/Socioeconomic Group Difference Analyses—conducted at the item and task levels.  Tests included Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), z-tests, Chi Square Analysis, and Analysis of Variance F.  Analyses conducted at the task level resulted in some scoring differences by race.  Analyses conducted at the item level resulted in only 6.6% significant z-scores showing differences in the proportion of students passing items.  This would suggest that there appears to be no indication of consistent differences in performance by race at the item level.

Copyright © 2002

Test Set includes: examiner's manual, picture stimuli book, 20 test forms
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