Nancy Mather • Rhia Roberts • Donald D. Hammill • Elizabeth A. Allen
Purpose: Measure of orthographic skills
Age: 8 through to 24yrs 11 mths
Admin: Individual or group
Time: 30-40 minutes
Qualification Level: C
The Test of Orthographic Competence–Second Edition (TOC-2) assesses aspects of the English writing system that are integral to proficient reading and writing. These aspects include letters, spelling, punctuation, abbreviations, and special symbols. The TOC-2 now has a single form that can be administered to individuals or groups. Normed on a national representative sample of 1,512 individuals, it yields standard scores and percentiles for both subtests and composites. Classroom teachers, special education teachers, reading specialists, school psychologists, speech pathologists, or any other professionals with some training in standardized test administration can use the TOC-2.
1. Punctuation. The student is given a list of printed sentences that contain no punctuation except for spacing between the words (e.g., where is edward b brown). The task is for the student to supply the missing punctuation by editing the sentence.
2. Abbreviations. The student is given a list of printed abbreviations (e.g., 4:00, Dr., USA) and is asked to write what each abbreviation means.
3. Sight Spelling. The examiner says a word and the student is shown part of the word where one or more of the letters is missing (e.g., the examiner says the word know and the student sees “ __ow”.) The student is asked to fill in the missing letter or letters (which include an irregular or unusual orthographic element) to complete the spelling of the word.
4. Homophone Spelling. The examiner says a word (e.g., oar) and the student is shown a picture (e.g., a picture of a boat oar) and the student is asked to provide the correct spelling of the homophone that is represented by the picture (i.e., the student must write the word “oar”).
5. Word Scramble. The student is shown sets of scrambled letters that can be rearranged to spell real words (e.g., the letters nra can be rearranged to spell the word ran). The student has three minutes to re-order as many groups of letters into words as possible.
6. Letter Choice. The student is shown rows of words where one of four letters (p, d, b, or q) is missing from the word (e.g., _etter where the letter b is missing from the word or sai_ where the letter d is missing from the word). The student is given two minutes to write in the correct letters that will make each one into a real word.
The TOC-2 has five composites. These composites are derived from combining the results of the subtests to achieve stronger and better indices of performance. The scores of these composites are more reliable and valid than the subtests.
1. Orthographic Knowledge (OK). This composite is formed by combining the scaled scores from all six of the subtests: Punctuation, Abbreviations, Sight Spelling, Homophone Spelling, Word Scramble, and Letter Choice. It is the best estimate of a student’s overall orthographic knowledge because it is the most reliable and valid score on the TOC-2.
2. Conventions (CO). This composite is formed by combining the scaled scores from the Punctuation and Abbreviations subtests. This composite represents the non-spelling (and sometimes not even alphabetic) aspects of the English writing system that are important to meaningful reading and writing.
3. Spelling Accuracy (SA). This composite is formed by combining the scaled scores from the Sight Spelling and the Homophone Spelling subtests. This composite represents a student’s ability to accurately spell the irregular element of words and produce the correct spelling for a word that is a homophone.
4. Spelling Fluency (SF). This composite is formed by combining the scaled scores from the Word Scramble and the Letter Choice subtests, both timed tests. This composite represents a student’s accuracy as well as speed of processing and recalling letter strings and spelling patterns. Spelling Fluency can be compared to the Spelling Accuracy composite to determine whether a student has developed accurate orthographic images but does not process these visual images quickly or automatically.
5. Spelling Efficiency (SE). This composite is formed by combining the four spelling tests: Sight Spelling, Homophone Spelling, Word Scramble, and Letter Choice. This composite represents both a student’s accuracy and speed of processing and recalling letter strings and spelling patterns, and is useful as an estimate of orthographic processing.
Access to the new TOC-2 Online Scoring and Report System is now included with the purchase of each TOC-2 Complete Kit and with the purchase of every replacement pack of Student Response Booklets. This scoring and reporting system is a quick, efficient tool for (a) entering test session data; (b) converting subtest item scores or total raw scores into scaled scores; (c) generating composite index scores, percentile ranks, and upper and lower confidence intervals; (d) comparing TOC-2 performances to identify significant intra-individual differences; and (e) obtaining a score summary or narrative report. Inclusion of the software eliminates the need to include normative tables in the Examiner’s Manual and ensures accurate calculation of scores.
The TOC-2 Online Scoring and Report System yields four types of normative scores: age and grade equivalents, percentile ranks, subtest scaled scores, and composite index scores. Percentiles provide the examiner with an index that is easily understood by parents and other with whom the test results are to be shared. Subtest scaled scores are based on a distribution having a mean of 10 and a standard deviation of 3. Composite indexes are based on a distribution having a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. Age and grade equivalents are indexes of relative standing that translate subtest raw scores into orthographic ability ages.
New Features of the TOC-2
1. The test has a single form of the test that can be administered to individuals or groups.
2. The age range of the test is now 8 years 0 months through 24 years 11 months.
3. TOC-2 is composed of six subtests: Punctuation, Abbreviations, Sight Spelling, Homophone Spelling, Word Scramble, and Letter Choice.
4. The test yields five composites: Conventions (Punctuation and Abbreviations), Spelling Accuracy (Sight Spelling and Homophone Spelling), Spelling Fluency (Word Scramble and Letter Choice), Spelling Efficiency (Sight Spelling, Homophone Spelling, Word Scramble, and Letter Choice), and Orthographic Knowledge (based on the results of all six subtests). The Spelling Efficiency composite was created for use by those who are specifically interested in orthographic processing (i.e., the ability to acquire, store, and use both mental graphemic representations, as well as knowledge of orthographic patterns [Apel, 2011]).
5. The TOC-2 norms are based on an all-new sample of 1,512 students who were tested from Summer of 2017 through early Spring of 2020.
6. The demographic characteristics of the normative sample were stratified by age to conform to those of the U.S. school-aged population for year 2021 reported in the ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States (ProQuest, 2021) and the Digest of Educational Statistics, 2020 (National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, 2020) and are thereby representative of the U.S. population. The demographic characteristics of the sample were also stratified by age for geographic region, race, ethnicity, gender, parent education, and household income.
7. Ceiling rules have been eliminated on two of the subtests (Punctuation, Abbreviations) to make the test easier to score.
8. Extensive studies of the floors, ceilings, and item gradients for the TOC-2’s subtests and composites were conducted. The results indicate the test is a consistently excellent measure of orthography across all age and ability levels.
9. Extensive studies of test bias (both differential item functioning and subgroup comparison studies) were conducted, indicating the TOC-2 possesses little or no bias regarding gender, race, or ethnicity.
10. All new criterion-prediction validity studies were conducted to demonstrate the validity of the TOC-2’s subtests and composites, including diagnostic accuracy and receiver operating characteristic/area under the curve (ROC/AUC) analyses. Diagnostic accuracy analyses are particularly rigorous techniques for establishing validity involving the computation of a test’s sensitivity index, specificity index, and ROC/AUC. These studies indicated that the TOC-2 is a highly valid measure of orthography.
11. All new studies of construct-identification validity, including studies of age differences, subgroup performance, relationship to written language, spoken language, reading, and cognitive ability, and confirmatory factor analysis of the test’s structure, were conducted. These studies indicated that the TOC-2’s internal structure is sound and its results are valid for a wide variety of subgroups, as well as for the general population.
12. Access to the new TOC-2 Online Scoring and Report System is now included and provides an efficient and easy way to obtain TOC-2 scores and corresponding narrative.