DQ – How often do you confuse visually similar words, such as cat and cot?

This question reflects the problem that many reluctant readers suffer from, which is that sometimes they resort to a quick visual scan and make rapid decisions based on what is seen. The question is why? It may be they are trying to read quickly due to pressure of some kind (e.g. peers or time limitations). And the decision can be because they think they recognise it and run with that decision.

So let’s look at the numbers.

This is very much a progression, which make is an ideal candidate for the screening tool.


  1. This question focussed on the simple word (consonant-vowel-consonant), and as a self-assessment questionnaire, one can but assume the person answering the questions also relates this to longer questions such as reading quickly as quietly or refraction as reflection. It would be good to have a test whereby the person has (say) just a second to choose between two words to evaluate this as a cognitive skill. Whilst it may sound easy, in a speeded test there are other issues such as coordination and the decision-making process.
  2. Evidence suggests that this question is (relatively) highly predictive of  dyslexia, and it is not surprising it has higher weighting in screeners.
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