Matt Heininger and Nessa Feinstein

Description of WRAT4

  • Norm-referenced achievement test that measures the basic academic skills of word reading, sentence comprehension, spelling, and math computation
  • Also called a “quick and dirty” test of achievement

WRAT-4: Brief History

    • The WRAT was originated and developed by Sidney W. Bijou and Joseph Jastak in 1930’s and early 40’s.


    • Concept was to expand on existing measures of cognitive and academic performance


  • Eventually the WRAT was first published in 1946.

WRAT-4: Brief History

    • Since first published, there have been several revisions


  • WRAT-3 – 1993
  • WRAT-4 – 2006

WRAT-4: Brief History

  • Since then and throughout the years earlier editions of the WRAT have experienced universal, widespread use throughout various settings.
  • Over these years, it’s popularity among users is attributed to its ease of administration, scoring, and provision of a significant amount of information gained through a brief investment of testing time.

WRAT-4: Goals and objectives

  • The WRAT-4 has preserved these features, as it continues to measure basic content areas necessary for effective learning, communication, and thinking: reading, spelling words, and computing solutions to math problems.
  • The WRAT-4 is a quick, simple, and psychometrically sound measure of fundamental academic skills

WRAT-4: Goals and objectives

  • It assists in:
  • Diagnosing learning disabilities
  • Assessing academic progress over time
  • Evaluating achievement/ability discrepancies
  • Checking progress in remedial programs
  • Determining instructional needs
  • Assessing children whose performance is below that of their peers
  • Evaluating of individuals referred for learning, behavioral and vocational difficulties

WRAT-4: Updates

    • To increase strength and usefulness in these areas of assessment and assistance in these categories (grades K-12), the WRAT-4 is enhanced by the addition of grade-based norms.


  • Age-based norms have also been extended beyond age 75 to the age of 94, in order to assess the basic literacy of older adults

WRAT-4: Updates

    • Thus, the age range of the WRAT-4 is 5-94 years of age.


    • Furthermore, theres a new measure of reading achievement:


  • Sentence Comprehension (subtest)

WRAT-4: Population

  • Standardized on a representative national sample of over 3,000 individuals ranging from 5-94 years.
  • The normative sample was selected with proportionate allocation controlled for age, gender, ethnicity, geographic region, parental/obtained education as an index of socioeconomic status.

WRAT-4: Administration

  • Alternate forms of the test, designated blue form and green form
  • Can be used interchangeably with comparable results, allowing for retesting within a short period of time to prevent the potential practice effects of repeating the same items.
  • The alternative forms can be administered together in a single examination.

WRAT-4: Administration/Time

  • Administration – Time

Approximately 15-25 minutes for individuals 5-7 years old.

Approximately 35-45 minutes for those 8 years or older

    • Administration of test usually done individually; specific subtests can be administered in groups


WRAT-4: Four Subtests

    • Word Reading
    • Sentence Completion
    • Spelling
    • Math Computation


    • WRAT also yields a Reading Composite score, obtained by combining the Word Reading and Sentence Comprehension standard scores


Word Reading

  • Measures letter and word decoding
  • Made up of two sections
  • Part 1: Letter Reading, which consists of 15 letters
  • Part 2: Word Reading, which consists of 55 words

Word Reading

  • Administration Procedures
  • Ages >7: Administer Part 1 first, followed by Part 2
  • Discontinue testing after 10 consecutive incorrect responses
  • Ages <8: Administer Part 2 first.
  • Discontinue after 10 consecutive incorrect responses.
  • If the participant has correctly answered 5+ items on the Word Reading section before meeting discontinue criterion, do not administer Letter Reading Section. Otherwise, continue with Part 1.

Administration on Page 8


Sentence Comprehension

  • Measures an individual’s ability to gain meaning form words and to comprehend ideas and information contained in sentences through the use of a modified cloze technique.
  • Contains 50 items

Sentence Comprehension

  • Administration Procedure
  • Determining the Starting Point: a table on the front page of the test form lists the ranges of Part 2 (Word Reading) raw scores, the starting point corresponding to each range, and the sample items to be administered.
  • Should only be administered to those who obtained a score of 5+ on Part 2
  • Participant must be at least 6 years old or in Grade 1
  • Alternate procedure: start at item 1 and continue until he responds incorrectly to 7 consecutive items.
  • Single word responses are highly encouraged

Sentence Comprehension

  • Administration Procedures
  • If the participant does not answer the first 5 items correctly, test backwards from the starting item until s/he obtains 5 consecutive correct answers
  • Then return to the last item administered before starting to test backwards and administer the next item.
  • Continue testing until the participant answers 7 consecutive items incorrectly or completes item 50.

Sentence Comprehension

  • Administration of Sample Items
  • Although there are a given amount of sample items for each starting point, you can give more if the participant needs more practice
  • Sample items may be given as many times as the participant needs until they understand the task

Administration on page 11



  • Measures an individual’s ability to encode sounds into written form through the use of a dictated spelling format containing both letters and words
  • Two parts
  • Part 1: Letter Writing, which consists of name writing and 13 dictated letters
  • Part 2: Spelling, which consists of 42 words.
  • Administration Issues
  • Pronunciation of word before administered item
  • Ask the participant to clarify any illegible words


  • Administration Procedures
  • Ages >7: Administer Part 1 first then Part 2
  • Discontinue Part 2 after 10 consecutive spelling errors.
  • Ages <8: Administer Part 2 first
  • Discontinue after 10 consecutive misspelled words.
  • If the participant correctly spelled 5+ items on the spelling section before meeting the discontinue criterion, skip the letter writing section.

Administration page 15


Math Computations

  • Measures an individual’s ability to perform basic mathematics computations through counting, identifying numbers, solving simple oral problems, and calculating written mathematics problems.
  • Two Sections:
  • Part 1: Oral Math, which consists of 15 items
  • Part 2: Math Computation, which consists of 40 items
  • No calculators allowed!

Math Computation

  • Administration Procedures
  • Ages >7: Administer Part 1 followed by Part 2.
  • Allow the participant 15 minutes to complete Part 2.
  • Ages <8: Administer Part 2 first.
  • After 15 minutes, check the participants responses. If the participant does not have at least 5 correct responses, then administer Part 1.

Math Computation

    • Example
    • Solve for n
    • 5n + 7 = 42
    • N = _____


  • 24% of 97 = _____

Administration on page 18


Internal Consistency Reliability

  • The median coefficient alpha subtest coefficients, by age, range from .87-.93 for all four subtests.

Alternative Form Reliability – Immediate Retest

  • Reliability ranges from .82-.90
  • The subtest reliability coefficients for the total age and grade samples increase slightly when participants aged 18+ are removed from the sample.
  • An analysis of the subtest reliability coefficients for the total group shows slightly lower reliabilities for sentence comprehension (.78) and word reading (.86) than for math computation (.88) and spelling (.89)

Alternate Form Reliability – Delayed Retest

  • Averaged by age:
  • 7-18 year old: .86
  • 19-94 year old: .84
  • All ages combined: .84

Internal Validity

  • Average raw scores on the four subtests increase with age and grade level until middle age and later decline – developmental changes (maturation)

Correlation to other Tests of Achievement

  • WIAT-II:
  • Word reading: .71
  • Decoding: .71
  • Reading Comprehension: .61
  • Reading Composite: .78
  • Spelling: .64
  • Number Operations: .92

Correlation to other Tests of Achievement

  • Woodcock-Johnson III:
  • Mathematics Calculation: .64
  • Spelling: .75
  • Broad Reading: .73
  • Reading Comprehension: .60
  • Basic Reading: .66

Correlation to other Tests of Achievement

  • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement-II Comprehensive Form
  • Letter/Word recognition: .76
  • Reading Comprehension: .42
  • Reading Composite: .58
  • Spelling: .89
  • Math Computation: .75

Correlation to Cognitive Tests

  • Was compared to:
  • Wide Range Intelligence Test
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – IV
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales – 5
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – III
  • Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test – II
  • Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales
  • The scores for cognitive measures were corrected for restriction of range with formula from Guilford and Fruchter (1978)

Correlation to Cognitive Test

  • The correlation between the full scale IQs and the scores of the individual subtests of the WRAT4 indicate a moderate relationship
  • The median correlations range from .57 (Spelling) to .72 (Reading Composite).
  • Expected results for comparison between achievement and cognitive tests.

Scoring of WRAT-4

  • Scoring done electronically with WRAT-4 Scoring Program (WRAT4-SP).
  • Generates reports after hand-entry of raw subset scores from the WRAT4 Blue, Green, and Combined forms

WRAT-4: Strengths

  • Ease of administration and scoring; takes very little time.
  • Psychometrically sound
  • Has excellent standardization
  • Correlates well with other achievement and cognitive tests
  • In clinical studies, separates people with learning or cognitive deficits from people without

WRAT-4: Weaknesses

  • Only screens fo

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