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Test of Semantic Reasoning

by Beth Lawrence, MA, CCC-SLP and Deena Seifert, MS, CCC-SLP - Ages: 7;0-17;11

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  • Ages: 7;0-17;11
  • Test Administration: 20 minutes
  • Norm-referenced: Raw scores, standard scores, percentile ranks, and age equivalents
    Test of Semantic Reasoning
    Complete Kit: Examiner’s manual, Test Plates, 25 Record Forms. Plastic tote. (2016)
  • Qualification Level: B

The Test of Semantic Reasoning (TOSR) is a new, standardized vocabulary assessment for children and adolescents ages 7;0 through 17;11. Semantic reasoning is the process of learning words and retrieving them from one’s lexicon through the analysis of multiple images that convey various contexts of a word’s meaning.
The TOSR assesses the breadth (the number of lexical entries one has) and depth (the extent of semantic representation for each known word) of vocabulary knowledge without taxing expressive language skills, providing an important new resource for individuals assessing children with possible language and literacy deficits. Breadth and depth are both important for literacy. Breadth of vocabulary relates to early decoding, and depth to later comprehension.
The TOSR assesses three narrow abilities defined in the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory of cognitive abilities:
  • Lexical Knowledge (VL): The extent of vocabulary understood in terms of correct word meanings
  • Induction (I): Discovering the underlying characteristic that governs a problem or a set of materials
  • General Sequential Reasoning (RG): The ability to start with stated rules, premises, or conditions, and then engage in one or more steps to reach a solution to a problem
Two practicing speech-language pathologists developed the TOSR in addition to their successful vocabulary instruction InferCabulary™ app. TOSR presents 90 sets of four high-quality color photographs that reflect a vocabulary word in a variety of contexts. The individual must use semantic reasoning to analyze the pictures and then select the single word from a choice of four that best represents the multiple contexts of the word represented by all four images.
Information obtained from this assessment can provide educators, psychologists, and speech-language pathologists with information on children and adolescents’ basic receptive vocabulary knowledge as well as their higher order thinking and reasoning in the semantic domain.
Administration and Scoring
The TOSR incorporates the easy administration and scoring of traditional one-word-vocabulary assessments. The test is untimed and takes about 20 minutes to administer. Age-related starting points and ceilings ensure only a subset of items to administer. Scoring is straightforward, generally taking less than 5 minutes and translates into standard scores, percentile ranks, and age equivalents. Normed on a nationally representative sample of 1117 individuals ranging from 7;0 through 17;11 years of age, the TOSR included individuals with learning disabilities, language impairments, ADHD, and autism.
Test Information
  • TOSR test reliability for internal consistency: Cronbach’s alpha from 0.94 to 0.97
  • Test-retest interrater reliability: r(86)=0.94, p<0.01
  • TOSR validity shows a correlation between TOSR and ROWPVT-4: r(20)= 0.72, p<0.001
  • Matched samples for specific language impairment: t(34.37)=3.28, p=0.002 and for a Learning disability: t(29.77)=3.34, p=0.002
Test of Semantic Reasoning Complete Kit (2016)
  • Examiner’s Manual
  • Test Plates
  • 25 Record Forms
TM870 -  TOSR Complete Kit $175.00 
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TMF871 -  TOSR Record Forms (25) $40.00 
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