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What is the population sample size?   The standardization samples for the MAVA included over 1,300 children for the receptive test and over 1,200 for the expressive test. Both samples closely resemble the U.S. Census Bureau data for 2007.
What ages does the MAVA assess?   The MAVA assesses the receptive and expressive vocabulary of children ages 3;0–12;11.
Does the MAVA have norm-referenced scores?   Yes. The MAVA has separate standard scores, percentile ranks, and age equivalents for the Receptive and Expressive Vocabulary Tests.
How long does the MAVA take to administer?   It takes 30–40 minutes to administer both tests of the MAVA and 15–20 minutes to administer one of the tests (receptive or expressive).
How did you choose the words for the MAVA?   Dr. Montgomery selected the words for the MAVA using the three word tiers identified by Beck, McKeown, and Kucan (2002).
What are the three word tiers?   Tier one words are the most basic words. They are the early reading words, sight words, nouns, verbs, and adjectives that students learn to identify or decode with instruction. Examples of tier one words are boy, fence, happy, chicken, green, fancy, and running. There are about 8,000 word families in English in tier one.

Tier two words are the high frequency words found in many domains. They play a large role in our speaking and reading vocabularies. These words often represent multiple meanings, subtle nuances, and typically "add productivity to an individual's language ability" (Beck et al., 2002, p. 16). Tier two words are the most important words to teach directly to students, as they are expected to know these words as they progress through school. Examples of tier two words are masterpiece, preference, fortuitous, glean, and measure. There are about 7,000 word families in English in tier two.

Tier three words relate to specific domains and have a low frequency of use. Domains include subject areas in school, hobbies, geographic regions, technology, weather, etc. Examples of tier three words are ukulele, asphalt, genome, crepe, cornice. The remaining 400,000 words in English fall in this tier (Beck et al., 2002; Graves, 2006).
What is the Qualitative Response Analyzer?   The MAVA kit includes a Qualitative Response Analyzer (QRA) that automatically sorts the words the student identifies into the three tiers. Create intervention goals and learning strategies by pinpointing where the student needs help the most. Some students will need help with basic words while others will need help with high-frequency, multiple-meaning, and curriculum-based words. If you have the MAVA kit, you can access the QRA online here.
What percentage of words in each tier should a student know at each age/grade?   There is no specific percentage of words in each tier that a student should know by a certain age/grade. For example, if a student in 2nd grade receives a standard score of 96 (average) on the Expressive Test of the MAVA, the Qualitative Response Analyzer states that the student knew 97% of the words in Tier 1, 43% in Tier 2, and 7% of the Tier 3 words. In this case, you would not work on Tier 1 vocabulary (early reading words, common oral vocabulary) because the student knows 97% of these words. You could write a goal for Tier 2 words to improve expression of high-interest and/or multiple-meaning words. If the student is not receiving special education services, these types of words could be targeted in general education with the help of a speech-language pathologist. For Tier 3 words (words learned from exposure to school subject areas, life experiences, special interests), this 2nd grade student is too young to consider 7% a deficit area since his expressive vocabulary score is average. You may, however, want to continue monitoring the student’s curriculum-based vocabulary.
Did you compare the MAVA to another test?   Yes. In comparing the MAVA to the Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test and the Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test, we found that the tests examine similar skills.
Wat does the MAVA kit include?   The complete MAVA kit includes:
  • Examiner's Manual
  • Two test easels
  • 30 Receptive forms
  • 30 Expressive forms
  • Calculator clipboard
  • Sturdy tote bag
  • Online Qualitative Response Analyzer