PPVT vs. ROWPVT Survey Results

Dec 26, 2012 by

PPVT vs. ROWPVT Survey Results

This was an easy survey to interpret.  About 80% of the therapists who responded use the PPVT and EVT combo to assess vocabulary skills.  15% are using the ROWPVT/EOWPVT combo and 5% reported using neither.

The most common response for choosing a test is because that’s what is available.  With therapists moving around so much, you are usually in a position where you are using tests chosen by another therapist.  Sometime the administration thinks they know better and buy the ROWPVT/EOWPVT combo because it is significantly less expensive.

No one gave any praise for the ROWPVT/EOWPVT combo but those who use the PPVT/EVT combo felt that it was reliable and give s a good overall representation of the students ability.

One person who wrote neither followed up with the following comment.  “I work in a low SES school and have found that too many students score low on vocabulary measures. Low vocabulary scores reflect more on their home environment than whether they have a true language disability. A large portion of our school is also ELD.”  I think this presents an interesting dilemma.  I certainly understand this therapists position having worked in that type of school on a small scale.  Now the school I worked in was big on developing vocabulary.  However, what I noticed is that the children were being taught higher level vocabulary words without knowing a lot of lower level or basic vocabulary words.  Body parts were a perfect example, most of my students did not know their smaller body parts in either language.  Kids did not know word relationships or simple ambiguous words.  Interestingly enough school I worked at is now using the PPVT/EVT combo as a screening tool as part of some state program.  I like the idea of it but people with very little training are administering it so I of course question the reliability of the results.

Basically the PPVT/EVT combo wins as therapists choice.  It’s my choice too usually but I have to admit, I’ve used the ROWPVT/EOWPVT a couple times recently.  I used it either because it was quick or it is what the child had during previous testing 3 years before.  It bothered me a little but no one else seemed to mind.  I don’t have the comfort level with it or the experience to view it as a reliable measure.  I do feel the updates they made to it have improved the test though.

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  1. Kira R

    Hello! My district is currently looking at purchasing either the R/EOWPVT or PPVT-4/EVT-2 and I found your article. How many SLPs responded to your survey?

    • Teresa Sadowski MA CCC-SLP

      Hi Kira
      It would have been a small sample probably under 20. I can tell you from experience that the PPVT/EVT combo is much better than the R/EOWPVT. While the R/EOWPVT has gotten a little bit better over the years it frequently inflates scores. It use to be so bad that almost every student tested had a significantly higher expressive than receptive. I’ve used this R/EOWPVT on and off for years when the school system did not have the PPVT/EVT and I always get them to purchase the PPVT/EVT.


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