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The Diagnostic Spelling Test for Irregular Words (DiSTi) tests how well a person can spell irregular words.

Proficient spellers use two key processes: translating sounds to letters using sound-letter-rules, and knowledge of spellings of whole words. While the DiSTn uses nonwords to test which sound-letter-rules a person can apply, the DiSTi uses irregular words to test knowledge of whole word spellings. Irregular words are used because they cannot be spelled correctly by following the sound-letter rules of English and therefore must be learnt as whole words.

The DiSTi is composed of 74 items (ie., irregular words). The irregular words are read aloud (or played back from a CD player) by the tester and the speller tries to spell the words as accurately as possible. The test can be administered to a group or to individual students.

Normative data for this test allows comparison of students’ irregular word spelling accuracy to that of children in Grades 1-7.

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