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 Assessments — Writing

Test of Early Written Language - 3 (TEWL-3)

Authors: Wayne P. Hresko, PhD / Shelley R. Herron, PhD / Pamela K. Peak, PhD / Deanna L. Hicks

  • Writing and Spelling
  • Ages 4-0 through 11-11
  • Individual Administration
  • Norm-Referenced
  • Qualification Level B


The TEWL-3 is a revision of the widely used Test of Early Written Language-Second Edition. It included two forms, each with a Basic Writing and a Contextual Writing subtest. The TEWL-3 is suitable as an individual assessment instrument for children ages 4-0 to 11-11. The TEWL-3 provides standard score indexes (M = 100, SD = 15) for age and grade percentiles, and age and grade equivalents.

Administration and Scoring

Basic Writing.
This subtest consists of 70 items that are scored 0, 1, or 2. All items are presented according to increasing difficulty. This subtest measures a child's understanding about language and his or her ability to use the writing tools of language. Included in this understanding is awareness of letter features, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, proofing, sentence combining, and logical sentences. The Basic Writing subtest can be administered independently or in conjunction with the Contextual Writing subtest.

Contextual Writing.
This subtest consists of 20 items that are scored 0 to 3. Two sets of pictures are provided, one for younger children (ages 5-0 through 6-11) and one for older children (ages 7-0 through 11-11). This subtest measures a child's ability to construct a story when provided with a picture prompt. The subtest measures story format, cohesion, thematic maturity, ideation, and story structure. A detailed, expanded scoring guide is provided to assist in scoring the Contextual Writing subtest. This subtest can also be administered independently or in conjunction with the Basic Writing subtest.

Overall Writing.
The Overall Writing index combines the index scores from the Basic Writing and Contextual Writing subtests. It is a measure of the child's overall writing ability; students who score high on this quotient demonstrate strengths in composition, syntax, mechanics, fluency, cohesion, and the text structure of written language. This score can only be computed if the child completes both subtests and is at least 5 years of age.

New Features of the TEWL-3:

  • Two forms (Form A and Form B) are now available with item prompts in color
  • All new contextual writing prompts are provided
  • The total number of items was increased to 70 for the Basic Writing subtest and to 20 for the Contextual Writing subtest
  • Expanded age ranges now cover ages 4-0 through 11-11
  • Revised scoring for the Contextual Writing items is included, and instructions for both subtests were made more specific and detailed
  • Data are matched to census projections for 2010 and 2015
  • The results of differential item functioning analysis are reported suggesting no biased items.



Item No.






Test Kit (Manual, 10 Student Workbooks (Form A), 10 Student Workbooks (Form B), 10 Administration/Record Booklets (Form A), 10 Administration/Record Booklets (Form B), 3 Picture Cards in a sturdy storage box)


Components (Sold Separately)

Item No.






10 Student Workbooks (Form B)



10 Administration/Record Booklets (Form B)



10 Student Workbooks (Form A)



10 Administration/Record Booklets (Form A)


See Also... (Sold Separately)


Item No. / Product Title



Test of Written Language - 4 (TOWL-4)



Academic Achievement Battery (AAB)



Test of Written Spelling - Fifth Edition (TWS-5)



Criterion Test of Basic Skills-2 (CTOBS-2)



Word Identification and Spelling Test (WIST)



Phonological and Print Awareness Scale (PPA)


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