An evaluation for dyslexia must include three major components:

  • Achievement measures in multiple language-based areas
  • Intelligence test to determine the student’s capability for learning
  • Tests of phonological awareness to determine dyslexic symptoms

The following tests are commonly used when evaluating a child for dyslexia.

  1. Achievement tests

For Decoding

  • Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ III Achievement)
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-3nd Edition (WIAT-III)
  • Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT-5)

For Reading Comprehension

  • Gray Oral Reading Tests
  • Woodcock-Johnson III
  • Woodcock Reading Mastery Test
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-3nd Edition (WIAT-III)

For Spelling

  • Test of Written Spelling-4
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-3nd Edition (WIAT-III)
  • WRAT-5
  • Woodcock-Johnson III

For Pseudoword Decoding

  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-3nd Edition (WIAT-III)
  • Test of Word Reading Efficiency
  • Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP)

For Reading Fluency

  • Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT)
  • Woodcock Johnson III (Test 2 Reading Fluency)

For Language

  • Oral and Written Language Scales (OWLS)
  • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT -4)
  • Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF-5)
  • Test of Auditory Processing Skills (TAPS-3)


  1. Intelligence Tests

 There are many intelligence tests on the market, but it’s important to IQ tests that don’t penalize for language disabilities since scores could be deflated if a child is struggling with receptive and expressive language, reading and vocabulary.  Follow links for background on IQ tests and misconceptions about IQ and how to prepare for testing.

  • Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS-II); half of test is nonverbal
  • Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT-2)
  • Test of Nonverbal Intelligence (TONI-IV): used as a screener
  • Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC); minimizes language
  • Wechsler Nonverbal (WNV)
  • Naglieri Nonverbal Aptitude test (NNAT)


  1. Phonological Awareness Tests
  • Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP-2)
  • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-4)
  • Test of Phonological Awareness (TOPA-2)
  • The Phonological Awareness Test 2

For extensive descriptions of these tests and others used for diagnosis see Dyslexia Help.