Rapid - The IT Education Company NZ

Go to content
Rapid - Quick Dyslexia Screening
For ages 4-15 years
Test duration 15 minutes
Online test format

Rapid can quickly and easily screen large numbers of students to identify those who may have dyslexia.

Rapid takes just 15 minutes to accurately detect the probability of dyslexia, making it ideal to screen whole year groups or classes to help you prevent dyslexic children slipping through the net. Rapid has very low rates of false positives ('false alarms') and false negatives ('misses').

Results are available immediately in a simple, printable report and the test manuals provide appropriate follow up support.

Rapid screening tests are enjoyable and non-threatening.

Rapid tests have an enjoyable game format in an easy to administer online platform. Many of the sub-tests in Rapid are adaptive, which means that their difficulty automatically adjusts to a child’s ability making assessment less intimidating whilst ensuring accurate results.

The computer gives each child three sub-tests on areas that are sensitive cognitive indicators of dyslexia, each of which takes about 5 minutes. The subtests administered vary with the age of the student but have been carefully selected and validated so that screening accuracy is maximised.
Age Range
Cognitive skills being assessed
Phonological Processing (ages 4-15 years 11 months)
4:0 - 7:11
Rhymes is a test of phonological awareness, involving detection of rhyme (for students aged 4–6) and rhyme and alliteration (for students aged 7).
Word Chopping
8:0 - 10:11
Word chopping is a test of phonological processing using syllable and phoneme deletion.
11:0 - 15:11
Segments is a test of phonological processing using syllable and phoneme deletion.
Auditory Sequential Memory (ages 4-15 years 11 months)
4:0 - 7:11
Races is a test of auditory sequential memory using animal names. It starts with lists of three animals and progresses up to four animals (for students aged 4–6) or five animals (for students aged 7).
Mobile Phone
8:0 - 15:11
Mobile phone is a test of auditory sequential memory using digit span.
Visual-verbal Integration Memory  (ages 4-7 years 11 months)
4:0 - 7:11
Crayons is a test of visual-verbal sequential memory, in which students are required to remember the order that different coloured crayons are presented in.
Phonic Skills  (ages 8-15 years 11 months)
Funny Words
8:0 - 10:11
Funny words is a test of phonic skills involving non-word reading.
11:0 - 15:11
Non-words is a test of phonic skills involving non-word reading.

Assessing students with limited English

Rapid is an English language based test so this needs to be considered, however it has a strong visual format, minimal reliance on spoken instructions, and does not include any direct measures of reading and spelling - so can be used with many students who have limited proficiency in spoken English. In order to tackle the subtest of auditory sequential memory (Races / Mobile phone), however, the student will need to know the English animal names (for 4-7-year olds) or the digits 1–9 in spoken and written form (for 8-15-year olds). The practice items enable most students, even those with very little English, to understand the tasks, and where there is uncertainty a teacher or assistant who speaks the student’s first language can help with explaining instructions.

Follow-up from Rapid dyslexia screening

Rapid can quickly identify most instances of dyslexia with a good degree of accuracy, however it is not a comprehensive diagnostic tool, nor does it necessarily give information about students’ strengths in learning.

Many educators will want more information to inform appropriate action. The best way to overcome those limitations is by the combined use of Rapid with a follow-up diagnostic assessment given to those students who are at risk, using either CoPS (for age 4:0–7:11), LASS 8–11 (8:0–11:11) or LASS 11–15 (11:0–15:11). Students ‘at risk’, in this sense, are those who are found to have Rapid screening results in the ‘high’ or ‘moderate’ probability of dyslexia categories.

For 4-11 year olds, the results of Rapid automatically integrate into the more detailed online GL Ready assessments, CoPS 4–7 and LASS 8–11, which can be used for in-depth assessment of those children you identify as requiring further investigation. You can also plan appropriate support and referrals guided by the test manuals. Discounted bundle pricing is available when these three tools are purchased at the same time.  LASS 11-15 can be purchased as a seperate local install tool.

GL Educations explanation of dyslexia

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty characterised principally by problems in certain aspects of language processing. Dyslexia is generally inherited and is independent of intelligence or social background. The main neurological systems affected are those that deal with processing of phonological information and auditory working memory; in other words, those involved in storage, processing and recall of information about the sounds of language (phonemes) and how these relate to the symbols of written language (graphemes). This results in difficulties in acquiring the skills of reading, writing and spelling (and sometimes numeracy), as well as problems in activities that require rote learning and recall, e.g. examinations. One of the most common and pervasive difficulties in dyslexia is in acquiring ‘phonics’, i.e. in learning the relationships between letters and sounds and using this knowledge to decode unfamiliar wordsand write words that are spelled regularly.

The theory of dyslexia that has the greatest weight of scientific evidence is the ‘phonological deficit theory’ (Snowling, 2000; Vellutino et al., 2004; Saksida et al., 2016). According to this theory, certain parts of the brain that are responsible for the storage, processing and recall of information about speech sounds do not function as efficiently as they should. Consequently, any activity that depends heavily on these systems (such as reading and writing) is particularly difficult. There are other theories which attribute dyslexia to malfunctioning in the visual system, or in the neurological systems concerned with balance, motor control and skilled learning generally. Although the possibility of some dyslexic individuals having neurological abnormalities other than those in the phonological processing system cannot be ruled out, the evidence to support these alternative theories is comparatively weak.

Back to content