The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-5th Edition and The Expressive Vocabulary Test- Third Edition – Recent Revisions of Assessments Essential to a Comprehensive Evaluation

Guest Post by Michael F. Shaughnessy, Eastern New Mexico University


Dr. Michael F. Shaughnessy received his Bachelor’s degree from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY, his master’s degree in counseling and guidance from Bank Street College of Education, and his master’s in School Psychology from the College of New Rochelle. He did his doctoral work at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and has done post-doctoral study at George Washington University in Head Injury and Brain Trauma and additional study at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas in multiple disabilities.

Dr. Shaughnessy’s research interests are Intelligence Testing and Personality, Gifted Education, Projective Psychology, and Clinical Psychology


In this blog post, Dr. Shaughnessy reviews revisions of two well-known tests – The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-5th Edition and The Expressive Vocabulary Test- 3rd Edition. These instruments are often used as part of comprehensive evaluations and their revisions provide updated norms and easy paper and pencil or digital administration.


The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-5th Edition

The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test 5th Edition (PPVT™-5) is a well-known test that has been around literally for decades, serving as an integral part of most comprehensive evaluations. The PPVT-5 is a measure of receptive vocabulary designed for Standard American English. The test measures receptive vocabulary and its acquisition; strengths and weaknesses in the domain of semantics, word knowledge; and overall general language development. The PPVT-5 can be used for screening for receptive language disorders, screening for pre-school children, measuring word knowledge, understanding reading delays and difficulties, and measuring reevaluation and growth.

The goal of the revision was to update normative data to provide accurate comparative information; simplify and shorten the administration process; and include item analyses for assessment to intervention connections. The PPVT-5 keeps the basic well-known format of the PPVT–4 – respondents select a stimulus word from a four-picture layout – with stimulus words and pictures more applicable to different cultures within the United States.

Examiners compute raw scores to receive age-based standard scores (M = 100, SD = 15), percentile ranks, normal curve equivalents (NCEs), stanines, and both age and grade equivalents. Douglas Dunn, the author of the PPVT-5 has written a quite comprehensive manual delving into the statistical aspects of the test. The manual provides evidence of reliability, evidence of internal consistency, standard error of measurement and confidence intervals, and reliability of test scores. In terms of validity, the manual provides evidence based on test content, and response processes. The manual also reports relationships with other variables, specifically correlations with the PPVT-4, EVT-3, CLEF-Preschool -2, CLEF-5, and the KTEA-3-Brief.

Special group studies included populations diagnosed with language disorder, language delay and specific language impairment, autism spectrum disorder, specific language disability in reading and or writing, and hearing impairment with cochlear implants.

The publisher’s website and testing manual has additional information about testers’ qualifications, age-rage, administration time, and the paper and pencil and digital format of the assessment. 

The Expressive Vocabulary Test- Third Edition

The EVT-3 is a valid reliable measure of expressive vocabulary and word retrieval for Standard American English. The EVT–3:

  1. Measures expressive vocabulary
  2. Offers comparisons of receptive and expressive vocabulary with concurrent administration of the PPVT-5 
  3. Assesses strengths and weaknesses in the realm of semantics, word knowledge
  4. Offers an assessment of general language development.
  5. Generates evidence-based interventions through the online Q-global system

The goals of the updated Expressive Vocabulary Test, Third Edition (EVT™-3) were to update normative data, include item analyses to connect assessment to intervention, and offer digital applications that maintain the basic qualities of the EVT–2 – ease of administration and response capture, brief administration time, and accurate and straightforward scoring.  The stimulus words and pictures were also updated to be culturally relevant.

The EVT-3 will be available in paper and pencil and digital formats. The digital format includes digital scoring and reporting, digital stimulus books and manuals, and digital administration and scoring via Pearson’s Q-interactive® system.

The test yields age-based standard scores (M = 100, SD = 15), percentiles, normal curve equivalents (NCEs), stanines, and age and grade equivalents. Scoring options include digital Q-global scoring, although examiners can also use the manual for hand score.

The manual provides evidence of reliability and validity, including test-retest, internal consistency, standard error of measurement, confidence intervals, and reliability and standard errors of measurement of the normative sample. In terms of evidence of validity, the manual provides evidence based on test content, response processes, and relationships with other variables such as correlations with EVT-2 and PPVT-5. The PPVT-5 and EVT-3 were co-normed, offering a high degree of confidence in the results of the two tests.

The publisher’s website and testing manual has additional information about testers’ qualifications, age-rage, administration time, and the paper and pencil and digital format of the assessment. 

Overall Summary

When used together, the PPVT-5 and the EVT-3 offer direct comparisons of receptive and expressive vocabulary.  The general idea is that using both tests together expedites movement immediately to evidence-based interventions using the data gathered from these two tests.

Both instruments will be available via Q-interactive, Pearson’s web- and iPad®-based system for interactive, seamless assessment, scoring, and reporting. With Q-interactive, examiners administer interactive assessments with an intuitive, portable system that employs two iPads that are connected by Bluetooth. The student or subject views the test stimuli on one iPad while the examiner uses the other iPad to view and control test administration directions and the verbal stimuli, and record and score responses. New users can receive orientation or sign-up at HelloQ.com. for an overview.

Both tests have a long and rich history of use and their importance cannot be over-estimated. These two instruments are easy to administer and score, and provide an excellent baseline and pre-post measure of growth and development to ascertain if students are responding to intervention. These two instruments will provide excellent information for speech language therapists, school psychologists, educational diagnosticians and others involved in the evaluation and assessment of preschool and school aged children, adolescents and adults.

References

Dunn, D. M. (2019) .  Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (5th ed.) [Measurement instrument]. Bloomington, MN: NCS Pearson.

Williams, K. T. (2019). Expressive Vocabulary Test (3rd ed.) [Measurement instrument]. Bloomington, MN: NCS Pearson.