Single Word Spelling Test (SWST) Quick Reference Guide

  • Age range: 6-14 Years
  • Suitable for: Teachers, Assessment Co-ordinators and SENCOs
  • Test duration: 30 minutes
  • Test format: Digital/paper

Single Word Spelling Test (SWST)

Relevant for all the UK’s curricula, each test covers everyday vocabulary and contains between 30 and 50 words (depending on level), including high frequency, literacy hour and spelling bank words.

Errors on the SWST reveal information about what a pupil knows or needs to learn – this is important since good spelling raises both writing standards and an individual’s self esteem. The tests map on to a set of structured spelling lists that assist in the teaching of spelling by providing a quick and easy reference for finding words with similar visual and phonological patterns.

Why use SWST?

  • Measure pupils’ spelling attainment with the flexibility of choosing a test appropriate to their individual ability
  • Compare pupils’ results with the national average through the identification of Standard Age Scores
  • The test provides useful teaching strategies for improving spelling and suggestions for follow-up activities
  • Each word is presented in a sentence context making the test more relevant for pupils
  • Spelling ages, percentile ranks and progress scores are provided to provide a comprehensive profile of a pupil's spelling ability

Available in both paper and digital formats Digital users will benefit from instant scoring and reporting, with group and individual results presented in an easy-to-follow format. For paper users, the Online Marking Tool is available.

Download the teacher guidance

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