Bilingual Verbal Ability Tests

Administration and Technical Qualities
Scoring and Interpretation
  • Benefits


    • Includes updated norms
    • Provides assessment in 17 languages plus English
    • Creates a more equitable prediction of ability for gifted and special education evaluations
    • Assesses the total knowledge of a bilingual individual using a combination of two languages
    • Includes a scoring and reporting software program
  • Administration and Technical Qualities


    When using the BVAT Normative Update, the examiner administers the three subtests in English first. Any item that was answered incorrectly or skipped is then administered in the native language. If the person gets that item correct in the native language, it is added to the score for that subtest. The end result is a raw score that reflects the individual's knowledge in both languages. That raw score is then converted to derived, normative scores.

    Each test record is designed for easy administration and scoring. English is included in each test record with blanks for the second language administration. Any item that could not be translated from English is blocked out for the second language administration. This design facilitates administration of items missed in English as well as combining results from both languages.

    There are ten separate test records for the BVAT depending upon which languages you wish to assess. One test record is used for the following languages: Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), German, Hindi, Korean, Polish, and Turkish. A second test record contains French and Russian. The other languages each have separate test records. The languages included in each test record are clearly indicated on the cover. The language being assessed can simply be circled on the cover by the examiner.

    Technical Qualities

    Technical characteristics of the BVAT Normative Update meet basic standards for both individual placement and programming decisions. English language normative data for the BVAT Normative Update are the same data gathered from 8,818 subjects in more than 100 geographically diverse U.S. communities during the standardization of the Woodcock-Johnson® III and provide basis for interpretation of English Language Proficiency (ELP) and Bilingual Verbal Ability (BVA) scores. Alternate-form procedure reliabilities are provided for the BVA score. The construct validity of the BVA score was validated by comparing estimates of bilingual verbal ability obtained by two parallel, but independent, testing procedures.


    Tests and Scoring Software

    • Ancillary Examiners

      An Ancillary Examiner Procedure is presented in the Supplemental Manual that accompanies the Batería Woodcock-Muñoz-Revisada. There may be times when a qualified, Spanish-speaking assessment professional is not available. This procedure is designed to help a qualified, English-speaking examiner prepare a Spanish-speaking individual to help administer the Batería-R. Of course, the qualified examiner continues to be responsible for the correct administration and scoring, as well as for interpretation of the results. The Ancillary Examiner Procedure simply provides the guidance necessary to implement this approach following approved assessment standards.

    • Ancillary Examiner Training Procedure

      Batería-R Includes Ancillary Examiner Training Procedure
      by Melanie A. Bartels Graw

      An Ancillary Examiner Procedure is presented in the Supplemental Manual that accompanies the Batería WBatería Woodcock-Muñoz-Revisada (Batería-R) is an expansion of the Batería Woodcock psico-educativa en español (Woodcock, 1982) and the parallel Spanish version of the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised (WJ-R) (Woodcock & Johnson, 1989).

      The Batería-R is a comprehensive set of individually administered tests measuring cognitive abilities, scholastic aptitudes, achievement, and Spanish language abilities. Like the WJ-R, the Tests of Cognitive Ability/Pruebas de habilidad cognitiva is based on the Horn-Cattell theory of intellectual processing. In addition to a Broad Cognitive Ability score, it provides measures of Short-Term Memory, Long-Term Retrieval, Auditory Processing, Visual Processing, Fluid Reasoning, Comprehension-Knowledge, and Processing Speed.

      The Tests of Achievement/Pruebas de aprovechamiento allow in-depth analysis of four broad achievement areas (reading, mathematics, writing, and general knowledge) with content parallel to the WJ-R. Through a procedure that statistically equates Batería-R test scores to U.S. norms, direct comparisons of performance can be made between Batería-R and WJ-R scores.

      An Ancillary Examiner Procedure is presented in the Supplemental Manual that accompanies the Baterìa WA problem often faced by examiners when testing Spanish-English bilingual students is their own lack of Spanish language ability. The Batería-R accommodates the non-Spanish-speaking examiner by providing a procedure for training a Spanish-speaking service-extender such as a bilingual teacher or paraprofessional. This training procedure prepares the Spanish speaker to administer the test not as an interpreter, but rather in a manner in keeping with the American Psychological Association (APA) standards for proper test use (American Psychological Association, 1985). This training is limited to test administration only. Interpretation of test results remains the responsibility of the primary examiner.


      Woodcock, R. W. (1982). Baterìa Woodcock psico-educativa en español. Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.
      Woodcock, R. W., & Johnson, M. B. (1989). Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised. Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.
      Woodcock, R. W., & Muñoz-Sandoval, A. F. Baterìa Woodcock-Muñoz: Pruebas de aprovechamiento-Revisada. Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.
      Woodcock, R. W., & Muñoz-Sandoval, A. F. (1996). Baterìa Woodcock-Muñoz: Pruebas de habilidad cognitiva-Revisada. Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.
      Melanie A. Bartels Graw is a Project Coordinator and Supervising Editor, at Riverside Publishing.

  • Scoring and Interpretation

    Available Scores

    Scores that can be generated by using the BVAT Normative Update include: AE, GE, instructional zones, RPI, PR, SS, W score, T score, NCE, z score, stanine, and CALP levels.


    The BVAT Normative Update provides an overall Bilingual Verbal Ability (BVA) score, which can be used to determine an individual's overall level of verbal ability. For comparative purposes, the BVAT also provides a measure of English language proficiency. The BVAT yields an aptitude measure that can be used in conjunction with the WJ III® Tests of Achievement.

    A Scoring and Reporting Program is included with each complete test kit and with the BVAT Normative Update package. This program automates all scoring procedures and provides a narrative report of the individual's bilingual verbal ability, English language proficiency, and language use and exposure. When used with the WJ III Tests of Achievement, the achievement test results are scored and aptitude/achievement discrepancies are calculated and interpreted. The program determines and explains whether any identified discrepancy is related to limitations of English language proficiency.

    Minimum System Requirements

    BVAT Normative Update

    • Microsoft® Windows® 98/NT 4.0/Me/2000/XP operating system
    • 486 processor
    • 16 MB of free memory (RAM)
    • CD-ROM drive
    • 5 MB of free hard disk space
    • VGA resolution monitor
    • Printer supported by Microsoft Windows


    • Microsoft® Windows ® operating system version 3.1 or later
    • 386 processor
    • 4 MB of free memory (RAM)
    • One 3.5 inch disk drive
    • 2 MB of free hard disk space
    • VGA resolution monitor
    • Printer supported by Microsoft Windows

Shop Program Components

View All Program Components