The DAST has been designed to be used as a screening instrument, for use routinely within further education establishments and the commercial workplace.
In designing the test, care has been taken to make the testing procedure as straightforward as possible, avoiding the use of IQ tests.
As a result, DAST provides an excellent first step in deciding whether to request further testing, and to provide a profile of the strengths and weaknesses which can be used to guide the intervention training strategies for the individual.
DAST can also form the first step in deciding whether a more comprehensive dyslexic assessment is warranted.
The DAST sees the culmination of several years of research and testing by Dr Angela Fawcett and Professor Rod Nicolson, authors of the established Dyslexia Screening Test (DST) and Dyslexia Early Screening Test (DEST), now widely used for screening younger aged candidates.
The DAST comprises a total of 11 subtests which emphasises fluency as well as accuracy:
- Rapid Naming
- One-Minute Reading
- Postural Stability
- Phonemic Segmentation
- Two-Minute Spelling
- Backwards Digit Span
- Nonsense Passage Reading
- Non-Verbal Reasoning
- One-Minute Writing
- Verbal Fluency
- Semantic Fluency
Test-retest reliability: e.g. tests of attainment .93 (2 minute spelling, .90 (one minute reading), .92 (nonsense passage reading) Inter-rater reliability: .98 (between experienced rates's) and .94 (between inexperienced rater's).