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Test of Early Written Language-3rd Edition

Wayne P. Hresko
Shelley R. Herron
Pamela K. Peak
Deanna L. Hicks


The TEWL–3 is a revision of the widely used Test of Early Written Language–Second Edition. It includes 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.

New Features
  • Form A and 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
  • 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 Back to the top

Scales & Forms

  • Basic Writing
  • Contextual Writing
  • Overall Writing
Components and Scores 

The selection of items and the development of the subtests are grounded in the available research literature and other evidence of developing literacy ability, including curriculum guides and classroom activities. Item types were selected only if recognized experts in the field have related them to developing literacy abilities.

Basic Writing

This subtest consists of 70 items that are scored 0, 1, or 2. It measures a child’s understanding about language and his or her ability to use the writing tools of language. Included in this understanding is metalinguistic knowledge, directionality, organizational structure, 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. It 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. 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. Back to the top


Author Wayne P. Hresko, Shelley R. Herron, Pamela K. Peak, & Deanna L. Hicks

Age Range 4-0 to 11-11 years

Administration Time 30-50 minutes

Administration Type Clinician-administered

Qualification Level B