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TOSS-I Test Of Semantic Skills Intermediate
Ages: 9-13   Grades: 4-8

The TOSS-I assesses key, age-progresssive semantic skills in upper elementary and junior high students.  Test results help you understand why your student is struggling academically. 

Test Set
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TOSS-I Test Forms
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Test Purpose
Use this test to diagnose deficits in receptive and expressive semantic skills in students after third grade.  Students who struggle to understand classroom directions and lessons and to work independently may have a disorder in semantic skills.  The TOSS-I uses curriculum vocabulary and curricular themes that appeal to nine- to thirteen-year-olds.


Test Description
The Toss-I surveys ten semantic and vocabulary tasks through five receptive subtests and five expressive subtests in the skill areas of labels, categories, attributes, functions, and definitions.  Nineteen realistic illustrations and test questions represent themes common to everyday life.  Test items emphasize vocabulary that is meaningful to the experiences of late elementary and middle school students. 



  • Subtest A: Identifying Labels—point to an item named
  • Subtest B: Identifying Categories—point to a member of a category that is named
  • Subtest C: Identifying Attributes—given an attribute, point to the appropriate item
  • Subtest D: Identifying Functions—point to an item whose functions have been described
  • Subtest E: Identifying Definitions—point to an item that has been defined
  • Subtest F: Stating Labels—name an item in a picture
  • Subtest G: Stating Categories—given three members of a category, name the category
  • Subtest H: Stating Attributes—describe an item by stating one of its attributes
  • Subtest I: Stating Functions—describe what an item does or what we do with the item
  • Subtest J: Stating Definitions—define an item

Examiner Qualifications
The test should only be administered by a trained professional familiar with children's language disorders (e.g., speech-language pathologist, psychologist, teacher of students with learning disabilities, special education consultant). 


Test Procedures

  • The student looks at a picture and responds to questions presented verbally by the examiner (about the picture).
  • Both receptive and expressive tasks are presented for each picture.
  • Each subtest is presented in its entirety to every student.

Testing Time

  • 25-30 minutes

Scoring/Types of Scores

  • A score of 1 or 0 is assigned to each response.
  • Acceptable responses are listed on the test form.
  • Examples of both acceptable and unacceptable responses are provided in the Scoring Standards section of the Examiner's Manual.
  • Raw scores are converted to:
    • Age Equivalents
    • Percentile Ranks
    • Standard Scores

Discussion of Performance
The Discussion of Performance section in the Examiner's Manual helps you bridge from assessment to treatment.  Academic manifestations of poor test performance are described.  Remediation guidelines for each subtest/skill level are included. 


Standardization and Statistics
The TOSS-I was standardized on 2,192 subjects.  The subjects represented the current National Census for race, gender, age, and educational placement. 

  • Reliability—established by the use of test-retest, SEM, reliability based on item homogeneity (KR20) and inter-rater analyses for the total test at all age levels.  The average reliability coefficient is .93 for the total test and the SEM is .49. 
  • Validity—established by the use of internal consistency and contrasted groups analyses.  Point Biserial correlations (measures the relationship between passing an item and performance on the whole test) were at acceptable levels.  The Toss-I significantly discriminates between subjects with typical language development and subjects with language disorders receiving special services. 
  • Race/Socioeconomic Group Difference Analyses—conducted at the item and subtest levels.  Tests included Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), z-tests, Chi Square Analysis, and Analysis of Variance F.  Minimal racial differences were found at the item level. 

Copyright © 2004

Test Set includes: examiner's manual, picture stimuli book, 20 test forms


Rosemary Huisingh, Linda Bowers, Carolyn LoGiudice, Jane Orman


Rosemary Huisingh, M.A., SLP, is a LinguiSystems co-owner.  As a speech-language pathologist, Rosemary served the communication needs of school children for many years.  Her special interests include childhood language, vocabulary, and thinking skills.

Linda Bowers, M.A., SLP, is a LinguiSystems co-owner.  She is a speech-language pathologist with extensive experience serving preschool and school-aged children.  Linda's professional interests include critical thinking and language abilities of children and adults.

Carolyn LoGiudice, M.A., CCC-SLP, wrote and edited products and tests for LinguiSystems for 25 years, incorporating her previous experience as an SLP in school and clinic settings.  She is now retired and savoring time with her family, friends, and hobbies.

Jane Orman, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist who serves in the customer care area at LinguiSystems.  She has extensive school experience and particular interest in the language demands on students in regard to assessment, critical thinking, and the school curricula.

Linda, Rosemary, Carolyn, and Jane have co-authored several tests, therapy kits, and games for LinguiSystems.