Protocol - Non-word Repetition

Add to My Toolkit

Non-word Repetition is an interviewer-administered test that is a part of the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP). The respondent listens to a series of nonsense words played on an audio CD and repeats them back to interviewer.

Specific Instructions:
Non-word Repetition is a proprietary subtest of the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP). Subtests are a part of the complete CTOPP assessment and are not sold separately. To administer a subtest requires a licensing agreement from Pro-Ed. Researchers should complete and return an application to testquestion@proedinc.com The Speech and Hearing Working Group notes that the Digit Span protocol included in the PhenX Working Memory measure should also be performed to obtain more quantitative information for adolescents.

Summary of the Non-word Repetition subtest of the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP)

The Non-word Repetition test, a subtest of the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing, is comprised of items containing varying numbers of nonsense syllables. Accuracy is scored as the number of consonants and vowels repeated correctly. Items are presented with a ceiling. The maximum number of items is 18.

Scoring Instructions

Percentiles, standard scores, and age and grade equivalents are provided with the purchase of the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing. Age and grade equivalents show the relative standing of individuals' scores.

The Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP). © 2010 Pro-Ed, Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.

Protocol Name from Source:

This section will be completed when reviewed by an Expert Review Panel.



Personnel and Training Required
The Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) can be administered by trained research assistants. Examiners should have formal training in the ethical administration, scoring, and interpretation of clinical assessments. Additionally, investigators are encouraged to have quality control procedures in place to maintain consistency among examiners.
Equipment Needs
The interviewer will need the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) record booklet, picture book, and test manual.
Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Interviewer-administered questionnaire

Life Stage:

Child, Adolescent, Adult


Children, adolescents, and adults, ages 5-24 years

Selection Rationale

Non-word Repetition was selected because it is a short, widely used, validated protocol that is easy to administer and includes normed data to assist scoring.



Common Data Elements (CDE) Speech Non-word Repetition Assessment Score 3144933 CDE Browser
Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) Non-word repetition proto 62990-7 LOINC
Derived Variables


Process and Review

This section will be completed when reviewed by an Expert Review Panel.


Wagner,R., Torgesen,J. & Rashotte, C. (1999) The Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP).

The Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) is a proprietary instrument and can be obtained through:

Pro-Ed, Inc.
Attn: Customer Service
8700 Shoal Creek Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78757
Telephone: 800-897-3202
Email: info@proedinc.com
General References

Non-word repetition has been identified as a clinical marker of specific language impairment (SLI) in children. See Tager-Flusberg, H., & Cooper, J. (1999). Present and future possibilities for defining a phenotype for specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 42, 1275–1278.

CTOPP scores have yielded borderline significance in a family-based linkage study with probands ascertained as SLI. See Rice, M. L., Smith, S. D., & Gayan, J. (2009). Convergent genetic linkage and associations to language, speech, and reading measures in families of probands with Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 1, 264–282.

Protocol ID:


Export Variables
Variable NameVariable IDVariable DescriptionVersiondbGaP Mapping
PX200601000000 Protocol 200601 - proprietary. Check DCW for contact. N/A
Speech and Hearing
Measure Name:

Non-word Repetition

Release Date:

October 8, 2010


This measure is a test to assess the ability of the respondent to repeat multi-syllable nonsense words.


This measure is used to assess an individual's ability to code and temporarily store information phonologically. This ability is related to verbal memory and language acquisition.


Non-word repetition, Verbal memory, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing, CTOPP, Specific language impairment, SLI, proprietary, Speech and Hearing