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BCS70 – Age 10 – Edinburgh Reading Test (Shortened Version)

The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 10 sweep using the Edinburgh Reading Test (Shortened Version).

Details on this measure and the data collected from the CMs are outlined in the table below.

Domain:Verbal: word recognition
Measures:A test of word recognition, which examined vocabulary, syntax, sequencing, comprehension and retention. Items were carefully selected to cover a wide age range of ability from seven to thirteen years in a form suitable to straddle the ten-year cohort. Particular attention was paid to the lower limit to allow a score to be allocated for very poor readers.
CHC:Gc (Crystallised ability) and also elements of Grw (Reading/Writing)
Administrative method:In schools; part instructed and child self-completion; pen and paper
Procedure:There were 67 questions broken down into a number of sections. In the first four the interviewer went through an example at the beginning to show the child what to do.
Section 1: the child selected one from four words to describe a picture (5 items)
Section 2: the child crossed out a word that did not belong in the sequence (5 items)
Section 3: the child matched 5 answers to 5 questions (4 items)
Section 4: the child completed a picture quiz (5 items)
In the remaining sections the child read the question and completed the answers without assistance (48 items).
Duration: 30 minutes
Link to questionnaire: (opens in new tab)
Scoring: (opens in new tab)
Item-level variable(s):i3003 - 13069
Total score/derived variable(s):BD3RREAD
*variables were being updated at time of writing, please check carefully
Age of participants (months):Mean = 121.88, SD = 2.67, Range = 117 - 139
Descriptives:Raw score
N = 11,641
Range = 0 - 65
Mean = 40.23
SD = 12.68
(click image to enlarge)
Other sweep and/or cohort:BCS70 – Age 16 – Edinburgh Reading Test (Shortened Version) (age 10 test adapted for 16 year olds)
Source:Shortened version developed from Edinburgh Reading Test by Godfrey Thompson Unit and BCS70 survey team especially for the BCS70 at age 10. GTU (1978) Edinburgh Reading Test. Sevenoaks: Hodder and Stoughton.
Technical resources:Parsons, S. (2014). Childhood cognition in the 1970 British Cohort Study, CLS Working Paper. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies.
Reference examples:Maughan, B., Taylor, C., Taylor, A., Butler, N., & Bynner, J. (2001). Pregnancy smoking and childhood conduct problems: a causal association? The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 42(8), 1021-1028.
Schoon, I., Bynner, J., Joshi, H., Parsons, S., Wiggins, R. D., & Sacker, A. (2002). The influence of context, timing, and duration of risk experiences for the passage from childhood to midadulthood. Child Development, 73(5), 1486-1504.
Pensiero, N. (2011). Parent-child cultivation and children's cognitive and attitudinal outcomes from a longitudinal perspective. Child Indicators Research, 4(3), 413-437.
McKnight, A. (2015). Downward mobility, opportunity hoarding and the 'glass floor'. London: Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

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This page is part of CLOSER’s ‘A guide to the cognitive measures in five British birth cohort studies’.