TILLS Test of Integrated Language and Literacy Skills

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Improve students’ communication skills so they can succeed in school

One tool to help you streamline your process

Are you ever frustrated by your assessment process?

Does testing tie up time you’d rather spend helping students?

Do you wonder if your test is assessing the right skills and giving you reliable results?

It’s time to discover a better way.

TILLS Test of Integrated Language and Literacy Skills logo

The new Test of Integrated Language & Literacy Skills™ (TILLS™)is the groundbreaking assessment professionals need to test oral and written language skills in students ages 6–18 years, and to assess the role of memory in how students perform. Reliable, valid, and comprehensive,

TILLS will help you streamline assessment, monitor progress, and reach your ultimate goal: improving students’ communication skills so they can succeed in school.
Here are the facts about this exciting new assessment.

At a glance

What does TILLS do?TILLS has been standardized for three purposes:

  • to identify language and literacy disorders
  • to document patterns of relative strengths and weaknesses
  • to track changes in language and literacy skills over time


How does TILLS assessment work?

Through a series of 15 subtests in key areas like speech perception and production, decoding and spelling, comprehension, and story recall, TILLS lets you capture the full picture of students’ oral and written language skills.

TILLS was developed so you can administer the entire test, single subtests, or combinations of them in one or more sessions.

Answer 3 vital questions

Who uses TILLS?

TILLS can be administered by speech-language pathologists, special educators, reading specialists, learning disability specialists, neuropsychologists, educational psychologists, and other educational specialists trained in individualized test administration.

Which students should be assessed with TILLS?

TILLS is ideal for evaluating students between the ages of 6 and 18 years

  • suspected of having a primary (specific) language impairment
  • suspected of having a learning disability, specific reading disability, or dyslexia
  • with existing diagnoses associated with difficulties in oral and/or written language
  • who are struggling with language, literacy, or social communication skills

Who developed TILLS?

The four authors—Nickola Nelson, Elena Plante, Nancy Helm-Estabrooks, and Gillian Hotz—have been working as a team for more than a decade.They’re highly respected for their test-building skills and evidence-based work in the field of language and literacy assessment.

How long does TILLS take?

Comprehensive assessment with TILLS can typically be administered in just 90 minutes or less.

Benefits of TILLS

More comprehensive assessment

TILLS is the only test that assesses both oral AND written language with a unique framework that shows how these skills relate to each other. You’ll get a meaningful profile of skills for each learner, so you can be sure you understand a student’s strengths and needs and aren’t overlooking something crucial.

More accurate diagnosis

Most other tests don’t provide adequate information on diagnostic accuracy (i.e., sensitivity and specificity)—or if they do, it’s often for a single group of students with a wide range of ages.

TILLS tested sensitivity and specificity across the full age range covered by the test.

The manual provides diagnostic accuracy in “age bands” that are meaningful to the development of language and literacy skills. That means you’ll have the evidence base you need to determine if test scores reflect typical or impaired performance.

One test is best

If you’re like many clinicians, you probably administer multiple tests over multiple sessions to patch together a complete assessment. TILLS does it all, so you get the full picture of spoken and written language skills with just one test. Because you’re not administering items from different tests, you can compare results in different areas and know that your results are psychometrically sound.

A time-saver

If you’re an experienced clinician, you can administer TILLS in just 90 minutes or less. You’ll spend less time testing and more time helping students and planning interventions. It would take you several hours to gather similar results from multiple tests.

Flexible & convenient

TILLS is designed to work with your schedule. You can administer all 15 subtests, or choose the ones most relevant to individual students.

You can do them in one 70-90 minute session, two one-hour sessions, or even two 45-minute sessions. You can even administer subtests in multiple sessions within a four-week period—whatever works for you.

Track progress clearly

With TILLS, you can easily track changes in specific areas of concern—a huge plus. TILLS profiles will help you understand your students’ strengths and needs and what you should spend time working on. And for IEP teams, TILLS makes it easier to prioritize goals and share information with parents in a clear and simple format.

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