Low frequency word spelling test


182-word spelling assessment that aims to help adults work out which major spelling patterns a learner knows, and which they still need to learn.

If you’d like to get a Spelfabet v3 workbook but don’t know whether/which one is suitable for your learner(s), this test should help you decide.



This test is intended as a problem-solving tool for adults seeking to teach spelling in a systematic, explicit way. It is not a standardised test, nor a substitute for standardised testing.

The main aim is to help you explore which spelling patterns and word structures learners know, and which they don’t, and thus be able to focus on teaching the patterns they don’t know yet, and not waste time teaching patterns they already know.

This test should also help answer the question I’m often asked, “Where should my child/student(s) start in the Spelfabet workbooks?” It matches the version 3 workbooks and games and this teaching sequence.

Don’t ask children to do the whole test, just start where you’re fairly confident the child can get most words correct, and work forwards if they do indeed get them correct, or backwards if not. Stop when they get about five words in a row incorrect (if going forwards) or correct (if going backwards). Help them practise the patterns on which they made errors.

This test might also help you think about English spelling/word structure, and the influence of sounds (phonemes), spelling patterns (graphemes), word position, and meaningful word parts (morphemes) on spelling.