Spelling Ability Test and Course Pathway - Notes

The Spelling Ability Test was updated on 28/08/2020 - see revised teachers notes below.
View previous teachers notes.

Technical requirements

To take the Spelling Ability Test each student will need a computer with headphones and an internet connection. We advise supervising the student during the test to get an accurate result.

The Spelling Ability Test is used to:

  • Provide a starting point for students in the Spellzone spelling course.
  • Provide a tailored course individually for a student (their Course Pathway) which will include the Spellzone Starter Course (if required) and the Main Course.
  • Find specific gaps in a student’s spelling ability.
  • Document student achievements and provide evidenced progress.
  • Identify units that students should repeat.

Method of testing

The Spelling Ability Test is a series of words randomly drawn from three lists. It starts at a medium difficulty level and depending on the answers, will either get progressively more difficult or easier. Each word relates to a particular Spellzone unit, with at least two words representing every unit.

Spelling Ability Test Results

Results of the test are given in two ways:

  • As a percentage score.
  • As a Course Pathway. This will indicate both the point at which they should start the Spellzone course and any individual units which should be studied.

NOTES: The test will give a general indication of spelling ability though the test is not intended to give an indication of spelling age.

How to turn Spelling Ability Test ON and OFF?

The default for NEW student logins is ON.

The Spelling Ability Tests for each student can be turned ON and OFF at any time by teachers and administrators in the admin area. Teachers, Administrators and single users can turn it on for their own login in ‘My details’

How long does the test take?

There are 110 questions in the full test however most students will answer less than 50 depending on their current level. This means that the test in most cases should take less than five minutes.

How often is the test taken?

Students cannot take the Spelling Ability Test at any time they feel like it. They can only access the test:

  • The first time of logging into an account or the first login after the test has been set as automatic for the first time.
  • After every 8 units that are completed.
  • Teachers, Administrators and single users can reset the test on the ‘Spelling Ability Tests’ page within the results section.

If the test is abandoned without being completed the student can continue later from the last point reached.

The Course Pathway

The Spelling Ability Test and the Course Pathway are linked.

If a student has a Course Pathway and the auto testing is disabled, then the Course Pathway is removed. All previous test results are retained in the student's results but a Course Pathway is not visible to the student until the auto-testing is re-activated.

If all words relating to a particular unit are answered correctly then the unit will not be included as part of the Course Pathway.

On the first attempt of the Spelling Ability Test some sections of the Spelling Course will be assigned instead of individual units. For example, instead of assigning the student two units out of units 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, they will instead be instead assigned this whole section. This also applies to Units 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 3 and 5. This is so that initially the student gets a broader overview and studies related topics rather than studying isolated units. When a student retakes the test however, they will be assigned individual units based on their answers.

If students are being assigned units repeatedly this might indicate an issue. It may indicate that the student is rushing through the units, is distracted or that further intervention is needed. We firstly recommend checking the students results to see if they are completing 'Learn the words' word list activities and also checking the results of the course tests. If they are not completing many word list activities you should advise the student to complete more of these activities to learn the words. If this doesn't resolve the issue, we would advise observing the student while they are completing a unit to better understand what is happening.

Three steps to spelling success...

1. The Spelling Ability Test
Take the test to get a baseline score
and a personal course pathway.
2. Spelling Course
Work through your personal course
pathway based on phonic progression.
3. Word Lists
1000s of targeted lists or your own to
use with fun activities and worksheets.

Find out more >>


Try Spellzone for free


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