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Definition of Terms

Norm-referenced Test: Compare an individual's score against the scores of a group of people who have already taken the test.

Valid: The extent to which an assessment measures what it is supposed to measure and the extent to which inferences and actions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and accurate.

Reliable: The degree to which the results of an assessment are dependable and consistently measure particular student knowledge and/or skills.

Criterion-referenced Test: An assessment where an individual's performance is compared to a specific learning objective or performance standard and not to the performance of other students.


The most critical question a parent will ask during tutoring is, "How will I know that my child is making progress?"

Assessment before, during, and at the end of therapy is the best answer I could come up with!

In my private practice I work with clients on a one-to-one basis.  I use a combination of norm-referenced, valid, reliable tests, as well as criterion-referenced measures to assess initial client needs as well as to measure progress over time.

An initial session will include assessment using some or all of the following tools:

  • Phono-Graphix assessment in the areas of blending, segmenting, phoneme manipulation and code knowledge
  • The Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised/Normative Update (WRMT-R/NU)
  • The Gray Oral Reading Test-4th Edition (GORT-4). 

The Phono-Graphix and WRMT-R assessments provide information regarding decoding skills.  The WRMT-R and GORT are valuable for assessing comprehension and fluency.

Based upon the results of these assessments, I discuss treatment plan options with clients and/or their parents.  Additionally, different forms of these measures can be used to retest and measure progress when necessary.  I recommend retesting after every 12 hours of therapy.

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