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The Word Meaning Test (WMT) is an assessment of expressive vocabulary. It is an oral test that you will give to your learners individually. Scores are given as Grade Equivalents (GE).

How Do I Know Where to Begin?

  • The WMT is divided into 10 levels:

    • Level 1
    • Level 2
    • Level 3
    • Level 4
    • Level 5
    • Level 6
    • Level 7
    • Level 7
    • Level 8
    • Level 9/10
    • Level 11/12

  • Begin 1-2 levels below the learner's Word Recognition level.

    Example: If your learner's Word Recognition grade level is 6.0, you should start the WMT at Level 4, beginning with the word, "connect."

How Do I Give the Test?

  • Say to the learner: "I'm going to say a word and ask you to tell me what it means."

  • Then, beginning with the first word on the list, say: "Tell me what ____________ means." Write down as much of the learner's response as you can in the space provided after each word.

  • Sometimes, a learner will misunderstand a word you have pronounced. (For example, a learner might misunderstand "connect" as "correct.") If this happens, stop the learner and say, "I will say the word again. ______________. Tell me what ____________ means." If the learner still does not understand the target word, write down the response and note on the test that the learner misunderstood the word. A misunderstood response is counted as incorrect.

  • If you are not sure whether the learner knows the meaning of the word, you may use the prompt, "Tell me more" to get additional information. Please do not use any other prompts.

How Do I Know When to Go Forward, Go Back, or Stop?

  • In order to master a level-and go on to the next level-a learner must give the correct meanings for 4 out of the 5 words. Continue with higher levels until you finish a list on which a learner does not give at least 4 correct meanings.

    • Learner A: Going forward
      Started at Level 6: 4 out of 5 correct responses
      Proceeded to Level 7: 5 out of 5 correct responses
      Proceeded to Level 8: 4 out of 5 correct responses
      Stopped after Level 9/10: 3 out of 5 correct responses

      Learner A's score is 8.0 GE.

  • Sometimes, you will start the test on a level that is too difficult for a learner. If this happens, try the previous level instead of moving forward. For example, if you begin with Level 7, but the learner gives only 2 of 5 correct meanings on that level, the next list you should give is Level 6.

    • Learner B: Going back
      Started at Level 7: 2 out of 5 correct
      Went back to Level 6: 3 out of 5 correct
      Stopped after Level 5: 4 out of 5 correct
    • Learner B's score is 5.0 GE.

How Do I score the WMT?

For the WMT, you score the test in "real time"; that is, you will have to decide whether a learner has given a correct response while you are giving the test (this is so because the number correct on each level determines which level you will give next, as explained in the section above).

  • For this reason, it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the acceptable responses before you give the test. Feel free to keep the list of acceptable responses near you when you give your first few tests; you can then refer to it if you are not sure about a response.

  • Occasionally, a learner will give a meaning that is extremely difficult to judge while you are giving the test. You'll need more time to decide if the meaning is acceptable. If this happens to you, make sure that you don't let that response be the one to stop the test. Keep going to the next level! It is better to push the learner a little bit than to stop testing too soon.

  • Because the test is scored in real time, you will have the learner's score as soon as you have finished. The score is the highest level on which a learner correctly gives 4 or more correct responses. You will notice that Levels 9/10 and 11/12 are combined, respectively. If a learner's highest level is 9/10, the score is recorded as 10.0 GE. Similarly, if a learner's highest level is 11/12, the score is recorded as 12.0 GE.
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