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Section 4: Sample Selected-Response Questions
Educational Diagnostician (153)

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This section presents some sample exam questions for you to review as part of your preparation for the exam. To demonstrate how each competency may be assessed, sample questions are accompanied by the competency that they measure. While studying, you may wish to read the competency before and after you consider each sample question. Please note that the competency statements do not appear on the actual exam.

For each sample exam question, there is a correct answer and a rationale for each answer option. The sample questions are included to illustrate the formats and types of questions you will see on the exam; however, your performance on the sample questions should not be viewed as a predictor of your performance on the actual exam.

Domain I—Students with Disabilities

Competency 001—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of federal and state disability criteria and identification procedures for determining the presence of an educational need.

1. An eight-year-old student diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by a medical doctor has been referred to the school for an initial evaluation. The referral information documents inattention during class, poor spelling and low reading fluency. The most appropriate assessment plan for the student would include which of the following?

  1. Determining that a learning disability in reading exists based on the ADHD diagnosis
  2. Recommending medication to reduce the possible effects of ADHD on reading
  3. Utilizing a cross-battery assessment to determine whether there is the presence of a learning disability in reading
  4. Determining the student’s intellectual ability through assessments that do not rely heavily on reading
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because it is necessary to assess in all areas of suspected disability when conducting an initial evaluation. Option A is incorrect because a determination of a learning disability cannot be made from observation alone or from an existing diagnosis of ADHD. Option B is incorrect because it is unethical for educational staff to recommend medical interventions. Option D is incorrect because tests of cognitive ability do not require a student to read.

2. Evidence of physical abuse in a child’s developmental data and family history is most likely to correlate positively with a diagnosis of

  1. cystic fibrosis.
  2. autism spectrum disorder.
  3. emotional disturbance.
  4. dyslexia.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and witnessing violence are the most common causes of emotional disturbance in children. Educational diagnosticians must consider the consequences of previous abuse on the child’s development and adaptation when faced with a variety of long-term behavior problems. Option A is incorrect because cystic fibrosis is a congenital disorder and not associated with a history of abuse. Option B is incorrect because the cause of autism spectrum disorder is unknown. Autism spectrum disorder has not been linked to psychological factors such as those that result from abuse. Option D is incorrect because dyslexia is a reading disability that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process written language. It often runs in families and is not the result of abuse.

3. A student’s diagnosis of an intellectual disability is discussed during an initial Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting. The campus principal immediately recommends that the student be enrolled in a life skills class, based on the diagnosis. Which of the following would be the most appropriate next step for the diagnostician?

  1. Providing information on the student’s current level of functioning to the committee to determine an appropriate placement
  2. Focusing the committee’s discussion on the student’s formal evaluation information to decide an appropriate placement
  3. Discussing with committee members how the student’s abilities compare to those of other students in the life skills class
  4. Advising the committee members that school procedures require that the student should initially receive special services in the life skills class
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because placement decisions should be based on the student’s current levels of functional performance and educational needs. Option B is incorrect because evaluation data alone should never be the sole determinant of student placement. Option C is incorrect because student placement should not be based on a comparison with other students. Option D is incorrect because school policy should not dictate student placement.

4. The parents of a ninth-grade student wrote a request for a full and individual evaluation (FIE) to determine whether their child is eligible for special education services. At a referral team meeting, the parents provide a written report from the family’s physician documenting a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for the student. The information that would be most important for the diagnostician to consider when recommending whether the student has an educational need for services is the

  1. student’s record of medical treatment over the last three academic years.
  2. physician’s report from the parents and teacher rating scales.
  3. teacher’s documentation of progress.
  4. student’s full-scale intelligence score.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because documentation determines whether the student can make progress in the general education environment without specially designed instruction. Option A is incorrect because medicine does not determine educational need. The student may be functioning adequately in the classroom. Option B is incorrect because assessment techniques verify the presence of the ADHD but not educational need. Option D is incorrect because intelligence does not necessarily relate to an educational need, as the student may be functioning adequately in the classroom even with a lower-than-average intelligence.

Competency 002—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic diversity and the significance of individual diversity for evaluation, planning and instruction.

5. While gathering background information for an initial evaluation, the diagnostician learns that the student recently moved to the United States from Mexico. To best measure this student’s cognitive ability the evaluator should first

  1. provide the student with language-based interventions.
  2. administer the intelligence assessment to the student in Spanish.
  3. use informal assessments to evaluate the student’s intellectual ability.
  4. determine the student’s current level of United States acculturation.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because knowledge of a student’s level of acculturation and an understanding of the degree to which performance on the tests given is contingent upon culture-specific knowledge are necessary for increasing the validity and value of test results. This knowledge should be used in the selection of appropriate test materials and interpretation of results. Option A is incorrect because language-based interventions should have been implemented and progress monitored before the student was referred for evaluation. Option B is incorrect because the determination of the language of tests administered should be based on a thorough investigation of the student’s language proficiency. Option C is incorrect because informal assessments will not provide the information needed for determining the cognitive processing abilities of students being referred for evaluation. It is important to determine and administer the most appropriate standardized evaluation tools, based on accurate knowledge of the child and the tests.

6. A diagnostician is selecting a translator to provide support evaluating a student whose first language is not English. In addition to being fluent in the student’s first language, the translator should have knowledge of which of the following?

  1. The student’s culture and its impact on the diagnostic process
  2. The diagnostic procedures used by the district
  3. The student’s socioeconomic status
  4. The suspected disability
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because the examination is more likely to be effective if the diagnostician and the translator are familiar with the student’s culture, values and ideology. Options B and C are incorrect because knowledge of testing procedures and socioeconomic status is helpful, but not essential. Option D is incorrect because the translator serves as an assistant rather than as a co-examiner, in determining the presence of a disability.

Domain II—Assessment and Evaluation

Competency 004—The educational diagnostician selects and administers appropriate formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

7. Which of the following is the first subtest most likely to be administered by an educational diagnostician to assess a student’s ability to manipulate word parts?

  1. Reading fluency
  2. Phonological coding
  3. Reading comprehension
  4. Word reading
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because phonological coding consists of the analysis and synthesis of phonemes (the smallest unit of recognized sounds). Option A is incorrect because reading fluency refers to the ability to read connected text rapidly, smoothly, effortlessly and automatically with little conscious attention to the mechanics of reading, such as decoding. Option C is incorrect because reading comprehension refers to understanding the content, whereas the question is asking about the student’s ability to manipulate word parts. Option D is incorrect because word reading is a category that consists of various subgroups depending on the assessment tool. Word reading is not a subtest.

8. A high school educational diagnostician is collecting evaluation data for a ninth-grade student with learning disabilities, which were identified when the student was in sixth grade. Which of the following is the most appropriate type of assessment to administer in preparation for an upcoming Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting?

  1. Diagnostic assessment
  2. Standardized summative assessment
  3. Norm-referenced assessment
  4. Criterion-referenced assessment
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Option D is correct because criterion referenced assessments measure students against defined and objective criteria. Criterion-referenced assessments are often used to establish a student’s competence in performing a task. These tests measure what a student is able to do or the specific skills a student has mastered. Criterion-referenced tests do not assess a student’s standing in a group. Rather, they look at a student’s performance measured against standard criteria. They may compare present performance with past performance as a way of measuring progress. Option A is incorrect because diagnostic assessments measure a student’s current knowledge and skills for the purpose of identifying a suitable program of learning. The student has already been diagnosed. Option B is incorrect because standardized summative assessments are designed to measure how well a student has learned basic knowledge and skills taught in schools, in areas such as reading, mathematics, science and history. Option C is incorrect because norm-referenced tests are not measured against defined criteria. This is a type of assessment that is relative to the group of students taking the assessment and serves as a way of comparing the students.

9. To ensure validity and reliability of assessment data when evaluating an English learner for a specific learning disability, it is most important for an educational diagnostician to

  1. analyze verbal speech patterns to detect language impairments.
  2. utilize standardized assessments to determine academic achievement.
  3. administer a variety of formal and informal educational assessments.
  4. observe the student’s classroom habits and study habits over time.
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Option C is correct because to accurately measure ability, an educational diagnostician must use a variety of assessment tools, including informal measures. This procedure is especially important when evaluating English learners. Option A is incorrect because an English learner’s varied speech pattern is not necessarily caused by a language impairment. Option B is incorrect because traditional standardized assessments of English learners can lead to overrepresentation if they are not balanced out by more informal assessments. Option D is incorrect because the student’s classroom and study habits are important to observe, but they are not the most important factor for the educational diagnostician to consider.

Competency 005—The educational diagnostician applies skills for interpreting formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

10. During an initial evaluation, a diagnostician observes that a student is having extreme difficulty with fine motor control. Which of the following is the best course of action for the diagnostician?

  1. Assessing the student’s writing ability and reporting the findings in the student’s written evaluation
  2. Collaborating with the campus physical therapist to determine the need for further evaluation
  3. Arranging an additional evaluation for the student with the campus occupational therapist
  4. Noting the findings and discussing them with the Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because the occupational therapist is the professional who will be able to identify any of the student’s needs in the area of fine motor skills. Option A is incorrect because a diagnostician cannot fully evaluate fine motor skills. Option B is incorrect because physical therapists do not evaluate fine motor skills. Option D is incorrect because this option does not provide the student with services to assist with fine motor development.

11. While administering a cross-battery assessment to a student, a diagnostician observes that the variability among the student’s scores in fluid reasoning is statistically significant and that one of the scores indicates a normative weakness. Which of the following is the best next step for the diagnostician to take?

  1. Reporting that the scores do not provide an accurate measure of the student’s ability and that they are not interpretable
  2. Assessing additional narrow-ability processes to ensure that the student’s abilities are properly identified
  3. Evaluating the student’s ability clusters to find data that are valid and reliable for appropriate interpretation
  4. Evaluating the student’s ability clusters to find data that are valid and reliable for appropriate interpretation
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because additional assessment is warranted when a statistically significant difference is found between narrow-ability processing scores in a broad domain, and the lower of the two scores is suggestive of a normative weakness. Option A is incorrect because this would be noted in the interpretation report for the assessment. Option C is incorrect because diagnosticians should ensure that all data are valid and reliable. They should not have to find valid data within a profile. Option D is incorrect because the diagnostician would first resolve the issues with the cognitive narrow-ability assessment.

Domain III—Curriculum and Instruction

Competency 006—The educational diagnostician understands appropriate curricula and instructional strategies for students with disabilities.

12. During an initial Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting for a student, the educational diagnostician recommends modifications in the general curriculum to address mobility, vocational options and daily living skills. Which of the following classifications would most likely be identified on this student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP)?

  1. Specific learning disability
  2. Emotional disturbance
  3. Profound hearing impairment
  4. Significant visual impairment
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because students with significant visual impairments may require modifications to access the educational curriculum, and such modifications might be in the areas of mobility, vocational options and daily living skills. Options A, B and C are incorrect because students with specific learning disabilities, emotional disturbance and/or profound hearing impairments do not typically need modifications in all three areas of mobility, vocational options and daily living skills.

13. A third-grade student in a general education classroom who has been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) struggles to complete long-term projects in a timely manner. Which of the following actions by the teacher will most likely support the student’s needs?

  1. Providing extra time to complete assignments
  2. Assigning a peer scribe
  3. Implementing a behavior management program
  4. Chunking the assignment into mini-tasks
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because chunking a long-term project into smaller pieces will support the student by providing more manageable goals to complete the project. Option A is incorrect because if the student is having difficulties staying on task, providing more time in which the student will struggle to complete the project will not support the student’s needs. Option B is incorrect because the scenario does not indicate that the student has difficulty with written expression, for which a peer scribe might be helpful. Option C is incorrect because the scenario does not identify specific off-task behavior that would justify implementing a behavior management program.

14. An analysis of a student’s full and individual evaluation (FIE) reveals that the student has difficulty with fluent recall of basic math facts. Which of the following instructional strategies will most effectively address the student’s needs?

  1. Providing concrete materials and then modeling how to use them to represent math facts
  2. Timing the student practicing math facts and then graphing the results to monitor the student’s progress
  3. Modeling thinking aloud while solving math facts and then encouraging the student to do the same
  4. Connecting the use and application of math facts to real-life situations
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Option B is correct because timing a student’s practice and then graphing the results is the most effective way to monitor progress and address the student’s needs. Option A is incorrect because providing concrete materials and then modeling their use is a good strategy for helping students who struggle to understand the concept of math facts, not just recalling them. Option C is incorrect because modeling thinking aloud is a good strategy for helping students who struggle with the language of mathematics. Option D is incorrect because helping the student understand the usefulness of math facts in authentic contexts provides motivation for learning facts but does not promote rapid recall of facts.

Competency 007—The educational diagnostician understands the use of appropriate assessment, evaluation, planning and instructional strategies for developing students’ behavioral and social skills.

15. Martin, a 17-year-old student with autism spectrum disorder, wants to seek employment after he graduates from high school. At his three-year reevaluation, the Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee conducts a review of existing evaluation data (REED). The diagnostician notes that Martin has recently mastered his intervention objective of maintaining appropriate conversational exchanges. Which of the following is the best objective to help Martin prepare for community and work environments?

  1. Negotiating and collaborating with peers and others in a variety of settings
  2. Reading the emotional cues of others to guide behavior in social interactions
  3. Recognizing and responding appropriately to breakdowns in communication
  4. Expressing an awareness of the emotional state of self and others
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because negotiating and collaborating with peers are appropriate and necessary skills for this level of social development. They focus on regulating behavior and emotion, which is essential for optimal socio-emotional communication in the workplace. Option B is incorrect because, although reading emotional cues of others is an appropriate skill for this student’s stage of development, it focuses on joint attention. Options C and D are incorrect because they are considered emerging-level goals.

16. An educational diagnostician observes Kristin, a kindergartner, who frequently acts out at the end of center time. When asked to clean up, she throws toys, a behavior that results in her being placed in time-out until the next activity begins. After reviewing the data, the diagnostician determines that the undesirable behavior allows Kristin to avoid cleaning up. In the scenario, which of the following events is the antecedent?

  1. The teacher’s allowing Kristin to avoid clean-up activities
  2. The teacher’s asking Kristin to clean up after playing in the centers
  3. Kristin’s going to time-out until the next activity
  4. Kristin’s throwing her toys at classmates
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Option B is correct because asking her to clean up is the antecedent in this scenario. An antecedent is an event that occurs prior to the target behavior and increases or decreases the probability of the target behavior of throwing toys. Option A is incorrect because it describes the function of the behavior, which is to avoid cleaning up at the learning centers. Option C is incorrect because placing her in time-out until the next activity is the consequence. Option D is incorrect because it describes the target behavior. A target behavior is a specific behavior that requires intervention by the teacher to promote optimal academic or social learning.

Domain IV—Foundations and Professional Roles and Responsibilities

Competency 008—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of professional practices, roles and responsibilities and the philosophical, legal and ethical foundations of evaluation related to special education.

17. During the initial referral process, the parents of a third-grade student inform the diagnostician that their child has been diagnosed by their pediatrician with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Which of the following actions is the most appropriate next step for the diagnostician?

  1. Obtaining written consent from the parents to request records and evaluation data from the student’s physician
  2. Asking the parents to allow the district to administer the ADHD rating scale for evaluation and analysis
  3. Discontinuing the evaluation and using information from the student’s physician to qualify the student for services
  4. Designing appropriate accommodations to help the student manage impulsivity in the classroom
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because the student’s records and evaluation data are necessary for the educational diagnostician to consider, and written consent from the parents is required. Option B is incorrect because additional information is not needed because the diagnosis has already been made by a physician. Option C is incorrect because the evaluator must complete the assessment once the referral to special education has been made. Option D is incorrect because although this is something an educational diagnostician would do, this would not be the next step.

18. Tamara is an 18-year-old senior with a specific learning disability. She is currently on the minimum high school graduation plan. A few weeks before the Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting, Tamara indicates to the special education case manager that she would like to study cosmetology and work at a hair salon. Which of the following would be the most appropriate action for the school district to take prior to the ARD meeting?

  1. Allowing Tamara to graduate on the minimum state graduation plan based on her demonstrated mastery of specific employability skills
  2. Preparing the summary of performance document, including input from Tamara, to present at her graduation ARD meeting
  3. Providing proper written documentation to inform Tamara and her parents of the transfer of her educational rights beyond graduation
  4. Inviting, with Tamara’s consent, a representative of an agency that provides vocational training and support for students with disabilities to the ARD meeting
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because, given that Tamara is an adult student who has expressed her postsecondary goals, the most appropriate action is to invite a representative of an agency that will provide vocational training after she graduates. Option A is incorrect because graduation based on demonstrated mastery of specific employability skills is reserved for students who have work history. Option B is incorrect because the summary of performance can be completed at any time before graduation and does not have to be presented at an ARD. Option C is incorrect because written documentation of the transfer of educational rights would have occurred before Tamara turned 18.

19. Which of the following scenarios demonstrates the most compliant application of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 by an educational diagnostician?

  1. Giving parents a copy of A Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process at the ARD committee meeting
  2. Providing parents with the Notice of Procedural Safeguards: Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities annually or upon request
  3. Calling parents before an ARD committee meeting to review the information contained in the Notice of Procedural Safeguards: Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities
  4. Supplying parents with a summary in English of A Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because federal law requires school districts to provide parents of a child with a disability with a notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards once a year, except upon the following: initial referral or on request for evaluation; the first occurrence of the filing of a due process hearing complaint; a disciplinary change of placement; or upon request by a parent. The procedural safeguards are available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the United States Department of Education regulations. Option A is incorrect because A Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process was produced by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide parents with a comprehensive, easily understood document that explains the process by which an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) is developed for a student in special education and the rights and responsibilities of a parent concerning the process. Option C is incorrect because parents must be provided procedural safeguards in writing. Option D is incorrect because parents must be given a copy of the procedural safeguards in their native language.

20. An educational diagnostician is preparing for an initial Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting. Which of the following will best ensure that procedural safeguards are met?

  1. Distributing a copy of the student’s behavioral intervention plan (BIP) to involved school personnel
  2. Collecting academic and behavioral data from the student’s teachers and parents
  3. Providing a copy of assessment and evaluation reports to the student’s parents
  4. Reviewing the student’s file to obtain previous eligibility information
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct [Rationale text]because IDEA safeguards state that copies of assessments and evaluation reports must be distributed to parents at an initial Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting. Option A is incorrect because any staff member involved in the education of the child has access to the BIP. Its distribution is not the responsibility of the educational diagnostician. Option B is incorrect because the classroom teacher is the source of documented and anecdotal information; it is not the responsibility of the educational diagnostician to collect the information. Option D is incorrect because reviewing the student’s file is not one of the procedural safeguards contained in IDEA.

Competency 009—The educational diagnostician develops collaborative relationships and demonstrates skills for scheduling, time management and organization.

21. After receiving the academic records of a transfer student, a school discovers that the student was referred for a special education evaluation 30 calendar days earlier but that the evaluation was never completed at the previous school. Which of the following is the new school required to do?

  1. Complete the evaluation within 60 calendar days from the date the original consent for evaluation was signed
  2. Convene a Response to Intervention (RTI) meeting within 30 calendar days to determine whether the referral remains appropriate
  3. Agree to a new timeline that is no more than 60 calendar days from a newly established date of consent
  4. Finish the evaluation before the 30-day transfer Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) meeting
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Option C is correct because regulations allow for the creation of a new timeline. Option A is incorrect because the change in school district renders the previous timeline negotiable. Option B is incorrect because the student is still eligible for the evaluation. Option D is incorrect because a transfer ARD meeting would not be held since the student is neither receiving nor eligible for special education services.

22. Jonathan, a high school student with a mild intellectual disability, is due for his annual Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) meeting in two weeks. Jonathan’s native language is Spanish, which he speaks at home and at school, and he receives instruction in an English as a second language (ESL) program. Jonathan’s parents have requested that the committee consider exiting Jonathan from the ESL program. Which of the following actions is most appropriate for the ARD committee to take first?

  1. Consulting with the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) to determine exit criteria from the ESL program for Jonathan
  2. Reviewing Jonathan’s performance on statewide student assessments in English to determine whether he has met criteria to exit from the ESL program
  3. Requesting a full and individual evaluation (FIE) so that language dominance can determine whether the ESL program is still appropriate for Jonathan
  4. Seeking permission to conduct a district language-proficiency assessment to determine whether Jonathan has mastered English to the extent necessary to exit the ESL program
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because according to the Texas Administrative Code, the ARD committee in conjunction with the LPAC shall determine exit criteria from the ESL program. The two committees shall also determine the level of performance for indicating Limited English Proficiency (LEP) for a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Option B is incorrect because the ARD committee and the LPAC must meaningfully collaborate on the exit criteria for a student with disabilities. Although statewide assessments might be reviewed as part of the process to determine whether the student is ready to exit the program, it would not be the first step. Option C is incorrect because the ARD committee and the LPAC must both be involved, a new FIE may not be needed and a determination of language dominance is not required to exit out of an ESL program. Option D is incorrect because the LPAC must be involved in the consideration of exiting the program, and state, rather than district, language proficiency assessments would be conducted if deemed appropriate by both committees.

Multiple-Competencies Passages

Questions 23–26 refer to the following information.

Elisa is a tenth-grade English learner who came to the United States four years ago from a Spanish-speaking country. She has participated in both bilingual and English as a second language (ESL) programs and currently functions at the intermediate proficiency level.

In an interview with Elisa, the educational diagnostician learned that she struggles with her English class writing assignments, which are based on class literature selections. Elisa told the diagnostician that even in her native country she always had poor grades on written assignments. The following information about Elisa was provided by the Response to Intervention (RTI) team. Over an eight-week period, she was given a small-group intervention for writing that involved using graphic organizers to plan essays. Her progress was monitored weekly for eight weeks, using writing-fluency tasks.

Week12345678
Words written correctly in three minutes3537333831343639

Elisa was also given a cognitive test battery with a mean standard score of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. She received the following score for broad cognitive abilities.

Comprehension-knowledge G C79
Fluid reasoning G F84
Visual-spatial thinking G V94
Processing speed G S101

Competency 005—The educational diagnostician applies skills for interpreting formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

23. Which of the following actions would be the most appropriate for the educational diagnostician to take next?

  1. Retesting Elisa with a nonverbal test of cognitive abilities to obtain a valid overall score of cognitive ability
  2. Building the case for Elisa to be diagnosed with a learning disability, given the statistically significant and rare discrepancy between the Gc and Gs
  3. Determining the level to which the individual tests making up Elisa’s cluster scores are dependent on culture-specific knowledge
  4. Recommending that Elisa be given interventions that focus on building her basic knowledge of the dominant culture and her ability to solve puzzles
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because when a student’s general background experiences differ from those of the students on whom a test was standardized, the use of the norms of that test may be inappropriate. It is important for examiners to determine the level of cultural and linguistic bias of the tests and subtests used. Option A is incorrect because an estimate of overall or full-scale intelligence is not needed for making eligibility decisions regarding the presence of a specific learning disability. Option B is incorrect because it is necessary to first determine whether the scores are valid, based on an understanding of the standardization group. The evidence of a learning disability can be made only if a student’s cultural-linguistic background is ruled out as the primary factor in low performance. Option D is incorrect because the most appropriate next step is further understanding of the test results, rather than making recommendations for intervention.

Competency 002—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic diversity and the significance of individual diversity for evaluation, planning and instruction.

24. Elisa is most likely struggling with written expression because of her

  1. initial placement in bilingual and ESL classes.
  2. weak literacy skills in her native language as well as in English.
  3. inability to find similarities between her native language and English.
  4. lack of access to educational resources.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because limited language ability in one’s native language can inhibit language acquisition in the second language. Oral language skills are highly linked to the development of literacy skills, including written expression. Option A is incorrect because the student’s placement in bilingual and ESL classes was appropriate, based on research that indicates that such programs are effective, especially over time. Option C is incorrect because there are many similarities in vocabulary and language structure between English and Spanish that are easily noted. Option D is incorrect because the student has received small-group intervention for her specific difficulties in written expression in addition to instruction provided in her general education English class.

Competency 003—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of student assessment and evaluation program planning and instructional decision making.

25. Which of the following would be the most appropriate recommendation for the educational diagnostician to make at Elisa’s Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) meeting?

  1. Her class should discuss literature in her native language.
  2. She should be allowed to record her writing assignments for an aide to transcribe.
  3. She should be assigned literature only from her native culture so she can relate it more easily to her life experiences.
  4. Her class should use more small-group discussion than whole-class discussion so that she has more opportunity to participate.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because a student with language differences is likely to feel more comfortable and participate more readily in a small-group setting and therefore gain more understanding of the concepts being discussed. Oral discussion and comprehension of literature selections will provide the foundation for more accurate written responses. Option A is incorrect because the student has been receiving instruction in English for four years. It is important for her to continue to be included with her English-speaking peers so that she can further develop her oral and written skills in that language. Option B is incorrect because there is no indication that the student has difficulty with the mechanics of writing or that her oral expression is stronger than her written expression. Option C is incorrect because there is no indication that such a significant change in course content is appropriate. The student will benefit from inclusion with her peers so that she can continue to develop oral and written language skills and an understanding of the literature required by the school district.

26. Which of the following would be the most appropriate instructional plan for the diagnostician to recommend for Elisa’s teacher?

  1. Teaching Elisa a combination of planning, revising and editing strategies
  2. Focusing writing instruction on spelling activities
  3. Instructing Elisa to write in her native language
  4. Coaching Elisa to write short, simple sentences
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because the most effective writing interventions include a combination of the multiple skills involved in writing, which are each taught explicitly. Option B is incorrect because the information given does not indicate that Elisa has spelling difficulties. Concentrated approaches that focus on a single skill are less effective than a combination approach. Option C is incorrect because there is no evidence that the student’s proficiency in her native language is any greater than her proficiency in English. Option D is incorrect because effective writing at the high school level includes writing more complex sentences.

Questions 27–29 refer to the following information.

The parents of a fifth-grade student request that their child be evaluated for a possible learning disability. The student’s general education teacher also reports a concern about the student’s performance in reading and language arts. At an Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting to discuss the parents’ request, the student’s grades, test scores and Response to Intervention (RTI) data are provided to the educational diagnostician.

Student's Grade Summary

Subject Current Year Grade Last Year Grade
English 72 72
Math 80 85
Reading 75 80
Science 76 80
Social Studies 90 76

Student's State Assessment Scores

Subject Third Grade Fourth Grade
Reading Met standard Did not meet standard
Math Met standard Met standard
Writing blank Did not meet standard

Student's RTI for Reading Tier II

Fluency (words per minute) Week of Intervention
92 2
99 4
111 6
120 8

Competency 003—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of student assessment and evaluation program planning and instructional decision making.

27. Which of the following actions is most appropriate for the committee to take first?

  1. Denying the parents’ request, since the student is currently passing all academic classes
  2. Providing the student with Tier III interventions for four to six weeks before responding to the request
  3. Seeking written parental consent to begin the evaluation process for the student
  4. Convening a Section 504 committee meeting to discuss an accommodation plan to meet the student’s needs
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because written consent from the parent to have the student evaluated is the next step in the referral process. Option A is incorrect because despite the fact that the student is passing, evidence suggests that an educational need may still exist. Option B is incorrect because the parent has a right to request an evaluation at any time, and a prompt response must be provided. In this scenario, waiting to respond until after Tier III interventions have been administered would not be appropriate. Option D is incorrect because Section 504 also requires a disability determination before creating an accommodation plan.

Competency 009—The educational diagnostician develops collaborative relationships and demonstrates skills for scheduling, time management and organization.

28. Before the diagnostician conducts an evaluation for a learning disability, it is most important for the referral committee to

  1. collect evidence that the student was provided appropriate instruction.
  2. review the student’s screening data collected in first and second grades.
  3. note the student’s health and medical histories including any hospitalizations.
  4. conduct an observation of the student participating in a language arts lesson.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because a student must be provided with appropriate instruction, and state regulations require that the data be collected before the evaluation. Option B is incorrect because the information would be optional and out-of-date. Option C is incorrect because the information should be collected as part of the eligibility statement during the evaluation. Option D is incorrect because the information should be collected as part of the evaluation.

Competency 004—The educational diagnostician selects and administers appropriate formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

29. Which of the following suggestions is most appropriate for the educational diagnostician to make to the student’s teacher?

  1. Raising the reading fluency goal to 150 words read correctly per minute and continuing fluency progress monitoring biweekly
  2. Providing a reading intervention focusing on comprehension skills and tracking progress using a curriculum-based measurement (CBM) weekly
  3. Documenting the provision of appropriate reading instruction and collecting test data documenting the student’s proficiency
  4. Administering practice state examinations in all subjects weekly and documenting the specific areas of weakness
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because if the teacher is still not seeing the required improvement in reading, the intervention and progress monitoring should be shifted to the area of need. Option A is incorrect because the student is already demonstrating appropriate fluency, and interventions should shift to reading comprehension. Option C is incorrect because the student’s weaknesses should be treated with formal intervention and targeted progress monitoring before an evaluation. Option D is incorrect because the student is in need of targeted intervention and targeted progress monitoring.

Questions 30–32 refer to the following information.

Martin is a sixteen-year-old high school student who receives special education services under the category other health impairment (OHI) because of his attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a learning disability in math calculations. After a series of behavioral incidents involving inappropriate language and insubordination, Martin was sent to an alternative school for six months pending a manifestation determination meeting. At the meeting the committee asked for new evaluation data to determine whether Martin’s behavior was linked to his disability. According to Martin’s physician, Martin still has symptoms of ADHD. However, based on the new full and individual evaluation (FIE), Martin’s status as a student with a learning disability was questioned at the Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting. Martin obtained the following standard scores during the reevaluation.

Cluster Standard Score
Math calculations 69
Math reasoning 89
Comprehension and knowledge 95
Visual processing 112
Fluid reasoning 105
Short-term memory 112
Long-term retrieval 96
Auditory processing 103
Processing speed 103

Competency 006—The educational diagnostician understands appropriate curricula and instructional strategies for students with disabilities.

30. Which of the following assessment strategies is the educational diagnostician most likely to use during evaluations to make instructional recommendations?

  1. Examining grade-equivalent scores on Martin’s math computational skills tests
  2. Assessing computational skills through an error analysis of Martin’s math assignments
  3. Administering a variety of norm-referenced tests to measure Martin’s math achievement
  4. Charting scores from standardized math tests taken by Martin
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because error analysis and diagnostic interviews can provide information about what Martin is doing and why. Option A is incorrect because grade equivalents will not provide specific information regarding intervention and knowledge of specific skills. Option C is incorrect because norm-referenced scores will not provide analysis of specific weaknesses and needed instructional interventions. Option D is incorrect because state testing results, benchmark results and grades will not provide information regarding specific skills that need to be addressed. The educational diagnostician needs to determine what Martin can or cannot do, not the progress he has made.

Competency 005—The educational diagnostician applies skills for interpreting formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

31. Given the results obtained in the new evaluation, it is most appropriate for the evaluator to conclude which of the following about Martin’s cluster scores?

  1. Math calculations and comprehension and knowledge indicate a concurrent weakness typical of a student with a learning disability.
  2. Math reasoning indicates that he would have little difficulty with grade-level material in math classes.
  3. The results indicate that there are no cognitive weaknesses that provide a pattern consistent with the presence of a learning disability.
  4. The results indicate that the behaviors he displays as a result of his ADHD are the primary cause of his academic weaknesses.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because the cluster scores in areas of cognitive performance indicate no cognitive weakness. Best practice as identified in current case law would indicate the student does not have a pattern of strengths and weaknesses. The discrepancy model (comparing innate intellectual ability to actual performance), while still acceptable, is no longer the state’s preferred standard for determining a learning disability. Instead, best practice is the use of the psychological processes model, which was used in this case. Option A is incorrect because a cluster score of 95 is in the average range and would not indicate a weakness in comprehension and knowledge. Option B is incorrect because a standard score of 89 does not indicate that a student has grade-level skills. Option D is incorrect because other exclusionary factors besides ADHD may be present including lack of proper instruction. ADHD cannot be concluded to be the primary factor until all factors, including those not identified by standard scores, are evaluated.

Competency 007—The educational diagnostician understands the use of appropriate assessment, evaluation, planning and instructional strategies for developing students’ behavioral and social skills.

32. After reviewing the new evaluation data, the ARD committee determines that the behaviors in question are a manifestation of Martin’s disability. The next step the committee must take is to

  1. return Martin to his original instructional arrangement or obtain a written waiver from the parents.
  2. offer Martin’s parents a resolution session within fifteen days of the manifestation determination or agree to mediation.
  3. conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) to provide behavioral supports or review Martin’s current behavioral intervention plan (BIP).
  4. take Martin’s parents to a due process hearing to defend the assessment data or offer an independent educational evaluation (IEE).
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because the local education authority (LEA) must conduct an FBA or review the BIP already in place. Option A is incorrect because the student may still be sent to an alternate education placement for up to ten consecutive days. Option B is incorrect because resolution sessions are only conducted when one of the parties is considering a due process hearing. Option D is incorrect because the LEA only offers an IEE when a parent requests one, but there is no need for a due process hearing in this situation.

Competency 003—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of student assessment and evaluation program planning and instructional decision making.

33. Jill, a sophomore in high school, has received special education services with an eligibility of emotionally disturbed since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the sixth grade. She has been on medication since that time with appropriate behavior and academic progress. However, for the last two months, her teachers and parents have noticed that Jill has exhibited behaviors associated with depression and has had several violent outbursts at school and at home. She is currently failing two of her classes and was recently caught skipping school. When Jill’s teacher approached her about these issues, Jill started screaming obscenities. Which of the following actions is most appropriate for the educational diagnostician to take?

  1. Having the teacher write an office referral for Jill’s behavior
  2. Calling Jill’s medical doctor and asking for a change in Jill’s medication
  3. Scheduling an Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting to discuss Jill’s changes
  4. Asking Jill why she is acting out and giving her suggestions on how to handle her outbursts
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because the IEP team needs an ARD meeting to discuss reasons that Jill's behavior has changed so dramatically and interventions they can try to help Jill get back on track. Option A is incorrect because it is obvious that Jill's behavior has gone past an office referral. The educational diagnostician needs to dig deeper to find how best to help Jill. Option B is incorrect because a school representative has no legal right to contact a student’s medical doctor to request a change in medication. Option D is incorrect because an educational diagnostician is neither a counselor nor a medical doctor and should know to meet with the ARD committee to evaluate Jill's situation.

Competency 007—The educational diagnostician understands the use of appropriate assessment, evaluation, planning and instructional strategies for developing students’ behavioral and social skills.

34. Jeremiah is a sixth grader who has been in behavior management classes since he started school. Recently, he threw his book on the floor in the middle of class and began cursing at another student. His teacher intervened according to Jeremiah’s behavioral intervention plan (BIP) and asked him to stop. He proceeded to curse at the teacher. Which of the following actions is best for the teacher to take next in response to the situation?

  1. Requesting an Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) meeting to discuss Jeremiah’s BIP and brainstorm ways to help Jeremiah develop appropriate social skills
  2. Sending Jeremiah outside to tell him that his behavior was inappropriate and contacting his behavior management teacher to remove him from the room
  3. Calling his parents in front of the class to explain Jeremiah’s behavior and to tell them that an ARD meeting will be scheduled as soon as possible
  4. Writing an office referral for Jeremiah’s behavior and requesting that the behavior management teacher remove him permanently
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because it is the teacher’s responsibility to follow the student’s BIP to defuse the situation, then call for a meeting to see how the IEP team can best help Jeremiah improve. Option B is incorrect because lecturing is not the same as discussing with the student what he did incorrectly in class, and that action could have an adverse effect on the student. Option C is incorrect because calling a parent in front of the whole class to discuss a student’s behavior is not appropriate and can be demeaning to the student. Option D is incorrect because even though writing a referral to the office and asking his behavior management teacher to remove him could be written on his BIP, it is inappropriate for the teacher to request in front of the student that he be removed permanently from the class.

Competency 002—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic diversity and the significance of individual diversity for evaluation, planning and instruction.

35. In a certain school district, the percentage of Hispanic students in the special education program was 52%, whereas the percentage of Hispanic people in the general population of the community was 33%. Personnel were assigned to examine the district’s practices in assessing this group of students and were then directed to implement evaluation instruments and practices that were fair and unbiased. Which of the following issues were the evaluation personnel attempting to improve?

  1. Stigmatization
  2. Disproportionality
  3. Isolation
  4. Individuality
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because disproportionality refers to the overidentification or underidentification of a particular demographic group, which is demonstrated here. The students in the special education program are from the same cultural ethnicity even though the school is culturally diverse, indicating the disproportional representation of that group receiving special services in the school system. Option A is incorrect because in the scenario the issue is overrepresentation of the minority group in the area of special education. This does not imply stigmatization. Option C is incorrect because the Hispanic population is overrepresented when it comes to classifying students for special education. They are not isolated. Option D is incorrect because individuality relates to distinctive characteristics of an individual, which are not described in the scenario.

Competency 007—The educational diagnostician understands the use of appropriate assessment, evaluation, planning and instructional strategies for developing students’ behavioral and social skills.

36. A student’s behavior, subject to discipline, during the second semester was determined by the Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee to be a manifestation of the student’s disability. During the first semester, a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) was completed and a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) was implemented. Which of the following is now a requirement of the ARD committee?

  1. Changing the student’s placement and developing a BIP that includes counseling
  2. Reviewing the BIP and modifying it as necessary to address the behavior
  3. Recommending a psychological assessment to address the behavior
  4. Placing the student in a mandatory alternative education placement
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because IDEA 2004 requires a review of an existing behavioral intervention plan (BIP) and a modification of that plan if necessary to address the behavior during an ARD committee meeting in which the behavior subject to discipline was determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability. Option A is incorrect because a change in the student’s placement with a BIP developed for counseling would not be appropriately determined prior to the review of the BIP. As the BIP was developed after a functional behavioral assessment, a review of the assessment and recommendations would be the first step to determining further services or changes in placement. Option C is incorrect because the BIP would need to be reviewed, and modified, if necessary, prior to the recommendation for further psychological assessment to address the behavior. Option D is incorrect because unless drugs, severe bodily injury, or weapons are involved, the behavior that is determined to be a manifestation of the disability does not require a mandatory change in placement.

Competency 002—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic diversity and the significance of individual diversity for evaluation, planning and instruction.

37. A third-grade student whose primary language is Spanish was referred for a full and individual evaluation (FIE) for lower-than-expected performance in reading and mathematics. The student’s teacher reports that the student puts forth appropriate effort in class but is making slow progress even with tiered intervention. Which of the following factors should the educational diagnostician primarily consider when designing the evaluation?

  1. The rate of cognitive ability growth for culturally diverse students is connected to their exposure to instruction in their native language.
  2. Labeling students from diverse cultural backgrounds with a specific learning disability will lead to more positive educational outcomes over time.
  3. Students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds often develop appropriate linguistic skills by their third year in formal schooling.
  4. Many evaluation instruments have an inherent bias toward students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because any evaluation instrument used has some amount of cultural and linguistic bias, which the evaluation specialist must consider when interpreting results. Option A is incorrect because cognitive ability should remain steady over time. However, students may score higher on intellectual tests as their exposure to dominant language and culture increases. Option B is incorrect because labeling students with disabilities has not been shown to increase positive educational outcomes. Option C is incorrect because students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds are often mislabeled as having language disabilities for speaking in a different manner learned in their home environment.

Competency 009—The educational diagnostician develops collaborative relationships and demonstrates skills for scheduling, time management and organization.

38. A monolingual English-speaking educational diagnostician needs to interview the monolingual Spanish-speaking parents of a student being assessed for possible special education services. Which of the following is the best approach to take?

  1. Scheduling a home visit to interview the parents and bringing an interpreter along to help
  2. Sending the interview questions home in Spanish to be completed by the parents and returned
  3. Arranging an interview with the parents at the school and having the student attend to help with communication
  4. Requesting that an interpreter visit the home and interview the parents to ensure they do not feel intimidated
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because making an invited home visit with an interpreter would afford the educational diagnostician the opportunity to speak with the parents through the use of the interpreter and would also show the parents support and appreciation. This could be the first step to creating more inclusive and welcoming conditions. Option B is incorrect because the educational diagnostician would not have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with the parents and it may intimidate them or make them uncomfortable to have to fill out a set of Spanish interview questions on their own without a chance to ask questions. Option C is incorrect because using the student as an interpreter during an eligibility conversation is not ideal; the conversation could contain sensitive information that only adults should know. Option D is incorrect because the educational diagnostician would not have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with the parents; in addition it may intimidate the parents or make them uncomfortable to participate in an interview with an interpreter who may not have the background to explain questions as needed.

39. Which THREE of the following are appropriate uses of technology when an educational diagnostician needs to discuss confidential student information?

  1. Using a social media source to show student progress
  2. Sending a password-protected e-mail to staff and parents of the student
  3. Making a phone call to the parents of the student
  4. Providing an online database through which teachers can access student information as needed
  5. Setting up a videoconference so parents can attend an Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because all student information is password protected, and only parents and teachers of the student would receive the password to open the document. Option C is correct because an over-the-phone conversation with the parent does not breach student confidentiality. Option E is correct because the parents of a student with a disability have the right to request a videoconference if they are unable to attend the ARD committee meeting in person. This will not breach student confidentiality. Option A is incorrect because social media would be able to identify student information and is not appropriate without parental consent. Option D is incorrect because not all teachers need access to a database in which they could access any student’s information.

Competency 003—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of student assessment and evaluation program planning and instructional decision making.

40. During a ten-day recess for an Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) meeting, the parents of a student request a copy of the special education records for their child. The school district complies and charges the parents a nominal fee for the documents. Which of the following statements is correct regarding the fee?

  1. The district may not charge any fees; the fees are covered, since the parents are taxpayers in that school district.
  2. The district may charge a copying fee if the fee does not keep the parents from being able to inspect and review the records.
  3. The district may not charge any fees because the student is entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
  4. The district may charge a fee for searching and retrieving the student’s educational records.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because the district may charge a fee per the Notice of Procedural Safeguards, under “Clarification, Copies and Fees.” Options A and C are incorrect because Procedural Safeguards state that a copying fee can be charged. Option D is incorrect because Procedural Safeguards state that the school may not charge a fee to search for or retrieve educational records.

Competency 001—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of federal and state disability criteria and identification procedures for determining the presence of an educational need.

41. An educational diagnostician is notified that a student with an emotional disturbance is exhibiting the warning signs listed below.

The student’s behaviors are primarily an indication of a need for

  1. behavior prevention.
  2. safety management.
  3. suicide intervention.
  4. suicide management.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because the list contains warning signs that a student who is contemplating suicide may exhibit and, therefore, suicide intervention is required. Option A is incorrect because behavior prevention is designed to increase appropriate behaviors and decrease negative behaviors and interactions. Option B is incorrect because safety management implies a wide range of safety concerns including fire, traffic, crowd control, intruder, school violence, weather, bullying, etc. Option D is incorrect because suicide management is the plan the school implements when a student has committed suicide.

Competency 002—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic diversity and the significance of individual diversity for evaluation, planning and instruction.

42. A diagnostician is conducting a full and individual evaluation for a student with a suspected specific learning disability in math. The student’s native language is Spanish. In light of concerns about a disproportionality of English learners receiving special education services, which of the following staff members is best for the diagnostician to get information from first to ensure an appropriate evaluation?

  1. Speech-language pathologist (SLP)
  2. Translator
  3. Classroom teacher
  4. Language Proficiency Assessment
  5. Committee (LPAC) representative
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because the LPAC representative has data about the student’s language in regard to academics over the school years. Option A is incorrect because the speech-language pathologist would be contacted only if the student needed language assessment, not for a specific learning disability referral. Option B is incorrect because a translator would be used to interpret any part of the evaluation process. A translator would not necessarily have data regarding the student’s progress in the classroom. Option C is incorrect because the classroom teacher would most likely have beneficial information to be used in the evaluation from the current year but would not have access to the data gathered from previous years in regard to language acquisition.

Competency 006—The educational diagnostician understands appropriate curricula and instructional strategies for students with disabilities.

43. The educational diagnostician determines through observations and interviews that a student’s disability affects hearing and focus on auditory stimuli in large group settings. Which of the following accommodations, when used in the least-restrictive environment, would best reduce the negative effects of background noise and distance on the student’s hearing and focus?

  1. Using tutorial repeat, review, and drill of lectures, concepts, and class discussions
  2. Providing amplification devices such as speakers or frequency-modulated systems
  3. Using small-group settings with an interpreter available for concept reinforcement
  4. Providing frequent reminders to stay on task, study, and complete assignments
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because amplification devices allow the student to remain in the mainstream classroom with peers and provide the most access to the general curriculum. Option A is incorrect because tutorial repeat, review, and drill of lectures, concepts, and class discussions do not provide access to the general curriculum as class is in session and are not the least restrictive accommodations for the environment. Option C is incorrect because small-group settings with an interpreter available for concept reinforcement remove the student from the general education classroom and do not provide access to the general curriculum as class is in session and therefore are not the least restrictive accommodations for the environment. Furthermore the background noise from the large-group activity in the rest of the classroom could prove a distraction. Option D is incorrect because frequent reminders to stay on task, study, and complete assignments do not appropriately address the need to reduce the interference of background noise and the effect of distance between the speaker and the student.

44. In using direct instruction to teach phonics skills, which is the first step in a sequence of steps toward sound-symbol relationship acquisition?

  1. Blending sounds in words together
  2. Reading nonsense words
  3. Identifying consonant-vowel syllables
  4. Segmenting words into sounds
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because phonics skills are taught systematically, beginning with a small unit. Option A is incorrect because blending occurs after the student has mastered simple consonant and vowel sounds. Option B is incorrect because while nonsense words can be used to help students decode, their use comes later in the sequence of learning phonics. Option D is incorrect because segmenting occurs later in the sequence after the student develops automaticity in basic sound-symbol relationships.

Competency 004—The educational diagnostician selects and administers appropriate formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

45. A second-grade student who is an English learner has been referred for evaluation for a possible specific learning disability in reading. The best way to test the student’s cognitive abilities is to

  1. ask an administrator to recommend a listening assessment in the student’s native language.
  2. provide training to an aide to interpret assessment results written in English.
  3. contract a bilingual educational diagnostician to conduct the assessment.
  4. conduct a formative assessment that is created by the student’s classroom teacher.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because a bilingual educational consultant is knowledgeable about instruments that eliminate or minimize the language problems in testing and provide valid results. The best of such tests have been normed on a population of students who are similar to the student being evaluated. Option A is incorrect because an administrator may not know what tests to use. Option B is incorrect because the use of an aide to interpret results affects the validity of the test. Option D is incorrect because formative data that is based on the student’s current curriculum does not provide a quantitative measure of the student’s cognitive abilities.

Competency 008—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of professional practices, roles and responsibilities and the philosophical, legal and ethical foundations of evaluation related to special education.

46. Sarah attends Ms. Hopkins’ fifth-grade class for science only. Ms. Hopkins reviews Sarah’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) after the first six-week grading period and realizes that Sarah is not showing academic achievement in science. To best meet Sarah’s needs, Ms. Hopkins’ next step is to

  1. call Sarah’s parents to discuss her progress in science class and suggest after-school tutoring.
  2. change Sarah’s IEP to lower her science mastery percentages to reflect her grade.
  3. request a meeting with the ARD committee to review Sarah’s goals in science and make adjustments.
  4. monitor Sarah’s progress for six more weeks to see whether her science grades improve.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because it is a teacher’s responsibility to let the ARD committee know of a student’s lack of progress before too much time has passed. Option A is incorrect because the teacher needs to let the ARD committee know so that they can discuss and evaluate the student’s lack of progress and then call in the parents to discuss ways to improve her performance. Option B is incorrect because the teacher cannot change the IEP goals alone; she must have input from other members of the team and parents. Option D is incorrect because it is the teacher’s responsibility to identify potential academic problems of the student and take care of these issues in a timely manner.

Competency 009—The educational diagnostician develops collaborative relationships and demonstrates skills for scheduling, time management and organization.

47. An educational diagnostician receives consent to complete an initial full and individual evaluation (FIE) of a fifth-grade student. Legally, how many days does the educational diagnostician have to provide a written FIE report?

  1. 45 school days
  2. 30 school days
  3. 30 calendar days
  4. 15 calendar days
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because the full and individual evaluation is legally required to be completed and written by the 45th day. Option B is incorrect because 30 school days is not the appropriate timeline for an initial evaluation, 45 days is the legal timeline to complete a full and individual evaluation. Option C is incorrect because if the student is found eligible for special education services, then the school has 30 calendar days to determine the services the child needs. Option D is incorrect because 15 calendar days is the time period in which the ARD must be held after the evaluation is completed.

Competency 003—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of student assessment and evaluation program planning and instructional decision making.

48. Which of the following recommendations by an educational diagnostician is most helpful in improving spelling for a student who demonstrates a deficit in the area of processing speed on a standardized measure of intelligence?

  1. Administering individualized testing for spelling assessments
  2. Providing preferential seating during spelling lessons
  3. Strengthening phonemic awareness skills during spelling lessons
  4. Supplying spelling options in a word bank for spelling assessments
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because a student with a processing speed deficit may need additional time to develop responses and therefore would be tested more appropriately alone. Option B is incorrect because preferential seating does not address processing speed concerns. Option C is incorrect because there is no correlation between a processing speed deficit and weak phonemic awareness skills. Phonemic awareness problems stem most frequently from deficits in auditory processing. Option D is incorrect because a word bank would not improve spelling ability; this recommendation would better serve a student with comprehension-knowledge deficits.

Competency 005—The educational diagnostician applies skills for interpreting formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

49. Kyndal, a ninth-grade student, is administered the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement. She attains the following scores and equivalents on Reading Comprehension: a standard score of 73, at the 4th percentile, with a grade equivalent of 3.0 and an age equivalent of 8.1. Which of the following is true about Kyndal’s reading comprehension performance?

  1. It is comparable to that of an average 8 year old.
  2. It is lower than 96 percent of her ninth-grade classmates.
  3. It reveals that she performs like a ninth-grade student.
  4. It shows that she answered 73 out of 100 questions correctly.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because Kyndal attained an age equivalent of 8.1 on the Reading Comprehension subtest, which indicates performance comparable to an average 8 year old. Option B is incorrect because Kyndal scored lower than 96 percent of students that are her age or in her grade when compared to the entire nation. Option C is incorrect because Kyndal’s grade equivalent of 3.0 indicates that she answered as many questions correctly as most third-grade students. Option D is incorrect because 100 is the mean of the standard scores and not the total number of questions Kyndal answered.

Competency 007—The educational diagnostician applies skills for interpreting formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

50. Which of the following is primarily considered the least intrusive behavior intervention within the general education learning environment for a student requiring positive behavior supports?

  1. Providing the student with a time-out during noncompliant behavior outbursts
  2. Assigning a paraprofessional to walk the student out of the classroom
  3. Sending the student to related services counseling
  4. Giving verbal reinforcement of expected social behavior
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because verbal reinforcement of expected social behavior is an appropriate positive behavior support that is designed to promote and encourage compliant behavior. Option A is incorrect because the use of a time-out removes the student from the general education classroom and precludes the ability of the student to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum. Option B is incorrect because assigning a paraprofessional to walk the student out of the classroom each time the student misbehaves is a more intrusive behavior management plan. Option C is incorrect because sending the student to related services counseling is not the least intrusive intervention and is not likely to have an immediate impact in the classroom environment.

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