New Italian version of the Wilkins Rate of Reading Test: Materials for repeated‐measure designs in optometry and neuropsychological research

Fabrizio Zeri, Silvia Tavazzi*, Marco Punzi, Federica Miglio, Bruce J. W. Evans, Maria De Luca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To develop a series of equivalent passages of text in Italian, according to the principles of the Wilkins Rate of Reading Test (WRRT), suitable for both clinical examination and scientific research when equivalent stimuli are needed to compare performance in repeated‐measure designs. Method: Fifteen high‐frequency Italian words (matched for grammatical class and length to the English WRRT) were used to generate 15 different 10‐line meaningless passages, according to the design principles of the English WRRT. Thirty‐two healthy Italian‐speaking higher education students read the passages aloud according to a fixed randomisation schedule. Performance was recorded digitally to measure reading speed and accuracy offline. Equivalence between the passages and the practice and fatigue effects for both reading speed and accuracy were examined as well as test–retest reliability. Results: No significant difference in reading speed and accuracy was found between the passages. There was a significant practice effect on reading speed but not accuracy, with the first presented passage read significantly slower than the others. There was no evidence of a fatigue effect. Reading speed, the reference metric for the WRRT, showed good test–retest reliability. Conclusions: The passages of the Italian version of the WRRT were equivalent to each other. The practice effect suggests that familiarisation with the test (i.e., reading at least one matrix of words) should be carried out before consecutive/repeated reading of different passages for experimental or clinical purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-639
Number of pages11
JournalOphthalmic and Physiological Optics
Issue number4
Early online date31 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of College of Optometrists.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


  • accuracy
  • reading
  • reading speed
  • Wilkins Rate of Reading Test


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