Q-global scoring and the CELF-5

Jan 2, 2014 by

Q-global scoring and the CELF-5

While I am fairly pleased with the changes to the CELF 5, I’ve found the Q-global scoring system to be very inflexible around the way Speech Language Pathologists work.  I expressed my concerns to Pearson a few weeks ago and they suggested I follow up with a letter.  Below is a copy of the letter I sent to ClinicalCustomerSupport@Pearson.com.

I would like to hear from other SLP’s who share my concerns or have other concerns with Q-global.  If you feel the same way, please take the time to follow up with your own letter to Pearson.  If you would like a copy of my letter to use as a template, please email me at theschoolspeechtherapist@gmail.com.



January 2, 2014

Dear Pearson,

     A few weeks ago I contacted customer service to express my concerns with the Q-Global scoring system used to score the CELF-5.  Your customer service representative mentioned that other SLPs have expressed similar concerns and that I should write a letter to follow up on our conversation.  Basically, the Q-Global system is not user friendly with the way Speech Language Pathologists work. Currently I’ve been using my 10 free scorings that you offered until my school district sets up their account with you.  While I’ve only tested 4 students, using Q-global I’ve burned through 6 of the free scorings.

     There is always going to be a period of adjustment when learning a new system.  Frankly at this point it is easier and quicker to look up scores than to use the Q-global but that will work itself out.  However, it is clear to me from this scoring system that Pearson has little idea about how speech and language testing works and how SLPs work, especially within the public school system.

     While much of what we do aligns with the school psychologist, our testing is very different.  It’s been my experience to observe that school psychologists get most of their testing done in one maybe two sessions.  Because of the variety of skills we assess, decreased attention span of some of our clients, limits of some of our clients, other factors we have to consider and most important our limited time available in the schools to test, we often have to complete our extensive testing over 3-5 shorter sessions.  In the schools we have 45 days to complete our testing.  It is not unusual to have the best of intentions and start testing right away but not finish testing until closer to the end of the 45 day period.

     While the CELF-5 is comprehensive and provides some good composite scores, not all students receive all subtests.  SLPs may want to give a few subtests to begin with, obtain certain scores (or observe manner of performance) then determine what other testing they’ll give.  So here lies the main glitch with the Q-global and the CELF-5.  In order to obtain scores on a few subtests to begin with, I have to generate a report to get those scores.  Once I generate a report it will cost me another dollar to add or change any information.  Considering that most SLP’s are extremely overwhelmed and work very piecemeal, Q-global scoring is going to be a very expensive proposition for schools and private therapists.  Once schools realize how expensive Q-global scoring will be, they will discontinue access for their SLPs.  


 This is what I have experienced so far with Q-global:

Example 1:  I gave the CELF-5, scored it out using Q-global, generated a report and put the file back in my bag to work on at a later date.  The next time I picked up the file to work on, I noticed I entered some data incorrectly it cost a credit to fix that.

Example 2:  I decided I needed to include an item analysis (item analysis is something I occasionally attach to my reports) but I had already generated the report to get the scores.  I wasn’t sure if that cost me a credit but I found it very difficult to change the scoring from the raw score to the item analysis.

Example 3:  As part of the CELF 5 evaluation process I asked one of my classroom teachers to fill out the pragmatic profile.  I had most of the report scored and written up before that document was handed back to me.  It did cost me a credit to add that information into Q-global and it took a lot of time to figure out how to do this.

     I believe the Q-global system can work with the CELF-5 but you need to allow more time for SLPs to go in and change data.  Given the way SLP’s work, at this time Q-global is not flexible enough for us.  We need more time to go in and enter data, update date and frankly be able to correct mistakes if we make them.  I guess if I have to I don’t mind paying $1 for each test scored but If I have to pay more than that per student for what ever reason, I will give up Q-global or maybe even give up the CELF-5.

     I’ve been a fan of the CELF since the original came out.  Using the scoring system provided with the CELF-4 made my life very easy.  It was on my own computer, easy to use, saved time and was flexible with changes.  Priced correctly, most SLPs using the CELF-5 would consider purchasing their own scoring system.  I’m also not thrilled about giving over any of my data to Pearson.  I am very careful about the student information I enter.  

     One other thing you should know.  I can’t speak for every SLP out there but I’ve never known an SLP to print out the report generated by a scoring system and present that document at a meeting.  SLP’s are usually just looking for scores and some item analysis.  We tend to write very comprehensive narrative reports, incorporating a variety of test measures.

     Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I hope you will consider making some changes to the Q-global scoring for the CELF-5 to make it more user friendly for Speech Language Pathologists.  If you have any specific questions or other concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  


Teresa Sadowski MA/SLP-ccc



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  1. Diane

    Very well said. I do not have the CELF 5 yet. But I have been following comments and discussions. I believe there are many SLPs out there experiencing similar difficulties.

    I would prefer the model we now have where I downloaded the program on a computer and then generated my report. I doubt highly that the school district will pay for us to generate reports online. I also am concerned that Pearson is getting confidential information.

    I plan on placing an order in our next school year’s budget. I am hoping that many folks will write in and they will change their report writing methods.

    Thanks for advocating for School SLPs. 🙂


    • Teresa Sadowski MA/SLP-ccc

      Hi Diane,
      So far I am liking the CELF 5 update. I wrote an article on my first impressions After I give it a few more times I’ll write a follow up article. I am hoping to get a favorable response from Pearson. I’ll let you know if they work on the Q-global concerns. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Carin

    Thank you for this overview of the new scorings system. For the schools that we serve, we just purchased five CELF-5 tests over the winter break. I will instruct our SLP’s to read your post before using the ‘freebie’ scoring.

    I also agree that giving Pearson our data is of great concern. Do we need to get releases from parents before doing so as the information is regarding their children? Can you imagine how crazy that would be do obtain yet another level of permission just to score the test.

    I appreciate your professional information

    • Teresa Sadowski MA/SLP-ccc

      Hi Carin,
      Thanks for taking the time to respond. I never thought about the need for a release to use the scoring. Something to think about though.

  3. Teresa Sadowski MA/SLP-ccc

    Late yesterday I received this prompt and pleasant response from Pearson

    Dear Teresa:
    Thanks so much for taking the time to describe issues you have found in working with Q-global. The system is supposed to be set up so that an SLP is able to go back and add scores for tests administered at a later date without incurring an additional charge for the report. I will forward your email to our Q-global staff so that they can do some trouble shooting with you. I imagine this experience has been frustrating, and we appreciate your willingness to reach out to us and explain the difficulties you are having. One of our Q-global staff will be in touch with you either tomorrow or early next week.


    Nancy Castilleja, MA CCC-SLP
    Senior Product Manager, Speech and Language
    Assessment & Instruction

  4. Kimberly Sweeney, MS, CCC-SLP

    Thank you for all of the information on the CELF-5 and the Q Global system. Did the troubleshooting help achieve what you wanted? Has your opinion changed? Thank you for your response.

    • Teresa Sadowski MA/SLP-ccc

      The Q-global developers did listen to what I had to say and made some positive changes. We still have to pay for scoring and that will take some getting use to. Honestly for the little info we need from the test it is almost quicker to hand score. Not to mention if you lose your password and Pearson is closed you’re out of luck. I made it clear that few of us use the testing template they provide and we just want the scores. I think that surprised the developers. I pointed out that you need to talk to us first.

      • AA

        This Q global scoring is ridiculous and time consuming. It is horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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