Monday, August 11, 2014

Articulation Test Center {an app review!}

If you are a big fan (like me) of Little Bee Speech's Articulation Station App, then I think you will love their new, improved Articulation Test Center App.  It’s a two-in-one tool a screener and a full assessment of articulation with all the crisp, kid-friendly photographs that we love from Articulation Station. 

Before I give you the lowdown, I should mention that I was given a free download of this handy app in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my very own. 

Perfect timing!! 
Last week was my very first week of school and I had new students who transferred to my school from out of district and out of state.  I jumped on the chance to use this app in order to assess these little guys. 

I watched the video tutorials first.  I’m not normally a tutorial-watching-SLP but this one was quick and painless and made using this app a snap.

Although this app gives you the option to have screen rotation which allows you to sit across from the student, I sat on the side of the children to adminster the test. 

I used the screener first.  I was so excited to see that you can choose the child’s age for the screener. If you do so, the app will only present the stimuli that is approrpriate for the child’s age.  

That was it.  
I was in love.  


The screener works very much like the full test so I am going to fill you in on my experience using the full test. 

First of all, In the settings, there plenty of smart setting choices.  For instance, you can turn off the option for the app to “say” the stimulus words when the picture is tapped.  I loved this option because I find my little ones very “tappy” with the screen which results in the stimulus word being said over and over again. 
Ever happen to you?  Oh yeah.  No more of that. 

I choose to administer the whole test but I was stoked to see that you can opt to assess only certain areas which would come in handy for re-evaluations for my students who only needed an /r/ assessment, for instance. 

The full test has 59 stimulus words but it still took very little time to administer- especially once I got familiar with marking the errors. 
No flipping pages- just flick, flick, flick.  
No hauling books around - just my iPad.  
~ Happy SLP right here ~

For each stimulus item, the target sounds in green at the top of the screen.  

When the students makes an error, you simply tap the sound until it turns red.  If it’s an approximation, tap the sound until it turns yellow.  
For omissions, you swipe the sound up and off of the screen. 

You can also record each production so you can listen to it later.  This is perfect for those days when I’m running around like a madwoman and don’t have time to mark errors right away. 

The app allows you to mark substitutions by tapping the arrow in the upper right corner which pulls up a pop up box with possible substitutions. Simply touch the sound substitution and drag it to the phoneme it substituted like I did here when my students substituted /s/ for "ch." 

In the same way, you can also indicate phonological processes (which I really like!)  Normally I keep track on those in my head.  
This way I don’t have to strain my brain :) 
I also really appreciate that it reminds me at what age the process I select should cease.  Good info! 

Again, you can also record each production so you can listen to it later. Call me crazy, but I love transcribing my students’ productions.  I need to see the productions in transcription to truly process the error patterns so I liked having the ability to listen and transcribe later ... dʒ^st tu mek ʃʊr aI dɪdənt mɪs ɛniθɪŋ

I would actually love it if the app came with a printable protocol.  
Does that make me old school? 

Once the test is done, you get the happy bee telling you you’re all done!
 If you’d like to, you can move on to the speech sample scenes to assess connected speech.  This is also a nice way to take a language sample even though this app wasn't designed for language assessment.  

There are three large sample scenes that are really colorful & irresistable. 
Lots to look at and totally interactive! 
If you tap an image, you get a nice close up and a conversation starter/prompt pops up. 
Talk about doing the work for you!! 
I didn’t even have to think of the questions! 
This could come in handy for those hectic days when I really feel fried.  
{Just keepin’ it real, y’all.}  

OR if you want to turn that option off, you can. 
Seeeee - the options just keep coming!  

After you rate the child intelligibility, you are done! 

Then here comes the best part- the results!!  
Little Bee Speech does a fantastic job of compiling the results in multiple ways.  
They really wrap up all of the data and let you view it many ways. 
Just beautiful. 
  1. You can view the errors marked according to position. The age the sound should be mastered is also indicated. I personally use different norms than the ones provided but this is great information. 

2.  The app creates a report that summarizes all of the information according to the child’s age.  It tells you recommendations about which sounds they need to address in therapy according to their age and which sounds are in error but developmentally acceptable. Again, it has done the thinking for us.  I actually love assessment so I kind of missed analyzing the data and coming up with my own conclusions (I’m nerdy like that) but this was a humongous time saver.   

3. Know what else I dig? You can print or email the results which is perfect for paper lovers like me. 

So let me sum it up, y'all: 

Overall, I think this app is the best iPad based articulation assessment tool out there, and I’ve tried them all!  
For an SLP on the go, it’s the perfect alternative to lugging around test booklets, and I don’t know any elementary student who wouldn’t respond well to it. 
 You can find it at iTunes for $49.99 BUT this week Little Bee Speech will have Articulation Test Center AND Articulation Station on SALE for back to school! Woohoo!! 
Both apps are 30% off from August 12-15! 
That means you could grab this app for $34.99 right now! 
  Don’t you just LOVE a sale!? 
So tell me, have you tried Articulation Test Center? I’d love to hear about your experience with this app!  Fill me in! 
Happy assessing to you!


  1. this a norm referenced test or considered a quick screen? How do you use it in a school (as a progress monitor)? You don't use this for evals for eligbility, do you? Thanks.

  2. I use this app in private therapy for easy updates or 6 month reviews. I had to make my own "record form" because I had the same concerns as you...I didn't like the big red errors right where the kids saw. I also find it is quicker for me to transcribe productions rather than try to arrow down and select the right substitution, etc. This was a wonderful review.


Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget