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Bilingual Verbal Ability Tests (BVAT-NU)

The Bilingual Verbal Ability Tests – Normative Update (BVAT-NU; Muñoz-Sandoval, Cummins, Alvarado, & Ruef, 2005) are based on three tests from the Woodcock-Johnson–Revised Tests of Cognitive Ability [WJ-R] (Woodcock & Johnson, 1989).


These include Picture Vocabulary, in which learners are asked to name familiar and unfamiliar objects; Oral Vocabulary, in which learners are asked to name synonyms and antonyms of selected items; and Verbal Analogies, which assesses the ability to comprehend and verbally complete a logical word relationship. All three are given first in English. Items answered incorrectly are then repeated in the learner’s home language.

The BVAT-NU yields a Bilingual Verbal Ability score, an English Proficiency score, and scores for each subtest. The test has been translated into 16 home languages. If scores are also available for the WJ-R, the scoring program may be used to compare the student’s bilingual aptitude (bilingual verbal ability [BVA]) with achievement as indicated on the WJ-R. The correlation between the WJ-R and the BVAT-NU is used to determine if the student’s level of achievement is higher or lower than expected for students at the same level of bilingual verbal ability. If a student’s BVA score is higher than the English language proficiency score and a significant aptitude/achievement discrepancy exists, this discrepancy will be attributed to limited English proficiency. The BVAT-NU may be used to assess individuals from 5 years old to adults.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Bilingual Verbal Ability Tests (BVAT-NU) Muñoz-Sandoval, Cummins, Alvarado, & Ruef (2005) 5–adult

Individually administered, norm-referenced measure of overall verbal ability for bilingual learners (in 18 languages); to be used in conjunction with WJ-R to consider impact of another language on academic learning in English; yields standard scores, percentiles, T-scores, CALP score

30 min.

Picture Vocabulary, Oral Vocabulary, Verbal Analogies, Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) scores

Availability: Riverside Publishing,

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