Wide Range Achievement Test Guide

Wide Range Achiement Test Summary
What: Wide-Range Achievement Test, 4th Edition
Who: People ages 5 to 94
Where: The test can be administered anywhere.
When: The test can be given at any time once a child turns five.
How: The test assesses basic reading, spelling and math skills.
Type: Paper and pencil
Why: The test can be used to evaluate progress, predict academic success and diagnose learning disabilities.
Time: 15-25 minutes for kids 5-7 and 35-45 minutes for those 8+
Language: English
Preparation: No special preparation is needed.
Cost: $250 - $275

By: Erin Hasinger, Tests.com


The Wide-Range Achievement Test, fourth edition (WRAT-4), is an achievement test that quickly evaluates a person’s basic reading, math, spelling and science skills. Originally developed in 1941 by Joseph Jastak and Sidney Bijou, the WRAT is used to test children and adults ages five and up. The WRAT-4 was developed by Dr. Gary S. Wilkinson and Dr. Gary J. Robertson and is published by Psychological Assessment Resources Inc.


The test is designed to test a person’s basic academic skills and skills in thinking, learning and communicating. In adult test takers, the WRAT-4 can be use to assess basic literacy skills. The test can be use to help diagnose learning disabilities, evaluate discrepancies between ability and achievement, measure a student’s academic progress throughout a time period, predict a test taker’s academic future and determine career potential.


WRAT-4 is comprised of four individual subtests:


-    Word Reading , including identification and word recognition


-    Sentence Comprehension, which assesses a test taker’s ability to understand meaning and ideas in sentences


-    Spelling , which is a written test given orally by the proctor


-     Math Computation, including basic math functions such as counting, number identification, simple oral problems and written math problems


 The subtests should be given in the order as listed above. A test taker’s performance on word reading will determine which item to start with first on the sentence comprehension section, if this subtest is needed at all. Testing in this order can help to lessen the total testing time.


Two test levels are available, one for children between ages five and eleven, and one for adults ages twelve and up. Fifteen to 25 minutes are given for children between ages five and seven, while 35 to 45 minutes are given for test takers ages eight and older. The test should be administered on an individual basis, but can be given to small groups of up to five participants. Tests for all test candidates are in paper-and-pencil format with short answer completion.


Score reports for the WRAT-4 include individual subtest scores, as well as a reading composite score for the word reading and sentence comprehension subtests. Each subtest has been standarized for grades kindergarten through twelve as well as for ages 5 to 94 so that results are particular to each test taker’s individual age or grade level. Score reports also include percentile ranks and grade equivalents.


Two versions of the test are available: blue and green. This is to allow retesting in a short period of time if there is question about a test taker’s results or if retesting is needed to evaluate progression.


Complete test kits are available for purchase from organizations such as Western Psychological Services, PAR Inc. and Multi-Health Systems Inc. for a cost ranging from $250 to $275.


For more information on the WRAT-4, visit the Wide-Range Achievement Test Directory. To learn more about cognitive ability tests, please read the interview with cognitive ability test experts Tim Sitar and Robin MacFarlane, Ph.D.


Sources: Western Psychological Services, PAR Inc., Multi-Health Systems