Single Word Reading

This is a test of word recognition out-of-context: i.e. reading accuracy. Single Word Reading is the only test in the LASS suite for which scores are not distributed in a normal curve. In fact, there is a significant negative skew, indicating that most students will achieve a maximum or near-maximum performance (in statistical terms this is sometimes referred to as a ‘ceiling effect’). The Single Word Reading test does not have sufficient sensitivity to discriminate amongst students within the average range, and so its use should be confined to students who are significantly behind in reading development, either to determine their attainment level or evaluate progress.

Hence there is generally little point in administering Single Word Reading unless the teacher suspects that the student is a poor reader, because:

  • the student has scored below the threshold of concern (less than centile 20) on the sentence reading module; or
  • a significant discrepancy between the score for the sentence reading module and the score on the reasoning module has already been detected; or
  • there is other evidence to suggest deficient reading skills.

In such cases, the purpose of administering this module is to ascertain whether there is a serious deficiency in word recognition as well as reading comprehension (the latter being judged on the basis of the student’s performance on the Sentence Reading test or some other reading comprehension test).