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The Evaluation Tool of Children’s Handwriting (ETCH)

The Evaluation Tool of Children’s Handwriting (ETCH; Amundson, 1995) is a criterion-referenced assessment of manuscript and cursive writing for students in grades 1 through 6 (6 years through 12 years, 5 months).


The Evaluation Tool of Children’s Handwriting is designed for use primarily with students with mild developmental delays, learning disabilities, and mild neuromuscular impairments. The ETCH assesses legibility, speed, letter formation, spacing, size, and alignment. Additionally, it contains observation sections for pencil grasp, pencil management, and classroom behavior. The ETCH consists of the following seven tasks: writing alphabet from memory, writing numerals from memory, near-point copying, far-point copying, manuscript to cursive translation, dictation, and sentence composition. This test is simple to administer in 20 to 25 minutes. Scoring is more challenging and can take 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the scorer’s familiarity with the scoring guidelines. ETCH results in legibility and speed scores for the seven tasks, as well as a composite score for total legibility.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Evaluation Tool of Children’s Handwriting (ETCH) Amundson (1995) 6-12.5

Criterion-referenced; clinician-administered

Grade 1 and 2 students write in manuscript; grade 3–6 students write in cursive

Legibility and speed measured in tasks similar to classroom activities

Observation sections: pencil grasp, pencil management, classroom behavior

15-20 min.

Alphabet from Memory, Upper- and Lowercase; Numerals from Memory, 1–20; Near-Point Copying; Far-Point Copying; Manuscript to Cursive Transition; Dictation; Sentence Composition

Availability: Therapro, Inc.,

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