Test Materials: Gaining Insight and Information
By Judith Maginnis Kuster
Perhaps students reading this column are sick of the word "test," but the internet provides some freely-available "fun" tests and important professional tests that are worth checking out.
Just for Fun
- The Distorted Tunes Test, (www.nidcd.nih.gov/tunetest/dtt.asp) is a fun test of pitch perception developed by Dennis Drayna and colleagues from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). is a test of pitch perception. A series of familiar tunes are presented. Some are played correctly, others incorrectly. A child's ability to pass this test develops at greatly varying rates, reaching stability in adolescence; up to 80 percent of tune deafness is attributable to genes rather than musical or education environment source (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1209186.stm).
- An interesting GoToQuiz (http://www.gotoquiz.com) claims to determine your regional American accent -- "What American accent do you have?" (www.gotoquiz.com/what_american_accent_do_you_have). It had me pegged correctly growing up in the Midwest! For a good laugh, take the " mgjhguhvouvuhvuhv " test (www.gotoquiz.com/mgjhguhvouvuhvuhv). I got 60 percent!
Many freely available tests online can supplement commercial diagnostic tests in a speech-language pathologist's office, or help SLPs understand some of the tests on their clients' reports from other professionals. Several good examples:
Other Resources for SLPs
Kathryn L. Garrett and Joanne Lasker have put online Aphasia Assessment Materials, Revised 2007 (http://aac.unl.edu/screen/screen.html) which includes The Multimodal Communication Screening Task for Persons with Aphasia: Picture Stimulus Booklet (http://aac.unl.edu/screen/picture.pdf)
withScoresheet and Instructions (http://aac.unl.edu/screen/score.pdf)
Scanning/Visual Field/Print Size/Attention Screening Task (http://aac.unl.edu/screen/wordscan.pdf)
Aphasia Needs Assessment (http://aac.unl.edu/screen/aphasianeeds.pdf)
AAC-Aphasia Categories of Communicators Checklist (http://aac.unl.edu/screen/aphasiachecklist.pdf)
How To Develop Your Non-Instrumental Clinical Skills for Assessing Velopharyngeal Function by John E. Riski. (www.choa.org/default.aspx?id=764)
Fluency assessment materials are linked under Diagnostic Materials in Kuster's collection of stuttering resources
Many ASHA journal articles include appended materials that can be used for research and non-commercial purposes. The ASHA member journal site (http://journals.asha.org/search.dtl), which is key-word searchable, makes finding these treasures easier than paging through old journals! Exploring the online journals, using keywords such as "protocol" and "appendix" and "oral mechanism examination" uncovered articles with freely-available protocols. Two examples:
- Lee, L., Stemple, J., Glaze, L., and Kelchner, L. (2004)
Quick Screen for Voice and Supplementary Documents for Identifying Pediatric Voice Disorders Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 35,, 308 - 319.
- Miccio A. W. (2002) Clinical Problem Solving: Assessment of Phonological Disorders American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11, 221 - 229. (Appendix A is a screening procedure for describing the structure and function of children¹s oral mechanisms for speech purposes).
PRAXIS and GRE Information, Practice
The Internet can help students majoring in communication disorders prepare for two important professional exams in their future - the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) and the PRAXIS. GRE scores are typically required along with letters of recommendation and transcripts when applying for graduate school. Commercial resources online provide a free glimpse of how to prepare.
Passing a national PRAXIS exam is a requirement for acquiring the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), . Helpful information about the PRAXIS is available on the ASHA website (www.asha.org/students/praxis/overview.htm). A commercial site offers free practice PRAXIS questions (www.nespaexam.com/exammail/exchange.html) and a mini-sampler of ten questions that changes every day (www.nespaexam.com/linker/minisampler.html).
Educational Testing Service (http://www.ets.org/) maintains the world's largest test collection database, including a comprehensive listing of commercial and noncommercial educational tests and information about the GRE and PRAXIS.
Judith Kuster is a professor in the Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. All of Kuster's Internet columns are on ASHA's Web site in HTML format with active links (www.asha.org/about/publications/leader-online/archives/news.htm), although URLs change and there is no guarantee that links from previous articles are still functional.
Kuster, JM, Test Materials: Gaining Insight and Information, ASHA Leader, April 17, 2007, p. 44.