Educational Assessment Australia

Educational Assessment Australia

Spelling

ICAS Spelling is an independent spelling assessment developed in conjunction with Macquarie Dictionary. It assesses and reports students’ skills at spelling words in four different contexts: dictation, proofreading, error correction and applying rules and conventions.

The words tested range from frequently-used/common words with simple spelling patterns to less frequently-used/less common and technical words with difficult or unusual spelling patterns. These words can be organised under four types of spelling knowledge:


icas image spelling
  • Visual - using memory of the visual features of a word
  • Phonological - using sound-letter relationships
  • Morphological - using parts of words to build word families
  • Etymological - using word origins and derivations

The level of difficulty of the words assessed increases both within a paper and from Paper A to Paper E. Each paper contains some words that are easy to spell for students at their year level, some that are of medium difficulty and some that are quite hard and challenging.

To find out more about the spelling skills assessed, download a PDF copy of the ICAS Spelling assessment framework.

Test Structure

Paper Breakdown of Questions Test Duration
Introductory 15 dictation (teacher marked) / 15 multiple choice 'rules and conventions' / 5 proofreading Dictation plus 25 minutes
A 15 dictation (teacher marked) / 13 multiple choice 'rules and conventions' / 6 proofreading / 6 correcting (teacher marked) Dictation plus 25 minutes
B 15 dictation (teacher marked) / 13 multiple choice 'rules and conventions' / 8 proofreading / 9 correcting (teacher marked) Dictation plus 25 minutes
C 15 dictation (teacher marked) / 13 multiple choice 'rules and conventions' / 8 proofreading/ 9 correcting (teacher marked) Dictation plus 25 minutes
D 15 dictation (teacher marked) / 15 multiple choice 'rules and conventions' / 10 proofreading / 10 correcting (teacher marked) Dictation plus 25 minutes
E 15 dictation (teacher marked) / 15 multiple choice 'rules and conventions' / 10 proofreading / 10 correcting (teacher marked) Dictation plus 25 minutes

Paper to year level equivalent

New Introductory Spelling Paper in 2016

A Year 2 Spelling paper is being released in Australia in 2016. This paper will help students succeed by measuring their spelling ability and importantly, identifying very early in their schooling where they may need some extra help. It also fills the need for an introductory formal assessment of spelling in preparation for NAPLAN in Year 3. Read more.