Taking LectaTests

Set up, mechanics & responses

Set up

In order to take one of our adult assessments, you will need to get set up with an assignment. If you don't already have one, you can either contact us by filling in the form below, or contact an external Certified Lectical Coach.

The suggested retail price for a LectaTest is $475. Debrief prices vary. If you are a researcher or represent a nonprofit, please contact us for current nonprofit rates.

Mechanics

  1. Click on "Go to DTS" on the top right of this page.
  2. If you have difficulty logging in, click on contact us in the menu at the top of any page. Make sure to give us the name of the person who directed you to take an assessment. We will respond within one business day.
  3. Please do not try to solve login problems by re-registering on the site.
  4. After logging in, you will arrive on the assessment selection page. To take your assigned assessment, click on the appropriate icon, then on "take the [assessment name].”
  5. Write your responses directly into the fields on each page. Unless you have been instructed otherwise, you do not have to complete your assessment in a single sitting.
  6. There are upper and lower word limits on written responses. This is necessary for accurate scoring. See "how to write responses" below, to learn more about the kind of answers we need to provide an accurate score.
  7. If you are using an up-to-date browser and remain connected to our server, your responses will automatically be saved every 30 seconds. If your connection is disrupted, you will receive a warning. If this happens, cut and paste the response in your active window into another application. When you have been reconnected, paste the saved response into the appropriate field and save.
  8. If you're not able to complete your assessment in one sitting, or if you'd prefer to answer in stages, you'll be able to use your username and password to log in and continue the assessment. If you need to leave the assessment before it is finished, submit the last page you were working on and log out. 
  9. When you wish to resume the assessment, log in. Click on the icon, then on "continue your [assessment name]." Click through the completed pages until you reach the page you'd like to work on. Never try to return to an assessment by using bookmarks or leaving the assessment page open.

Writing responses

When you take a Lectical Assessment, you'll be asked a series of questions that require you to explain your thinking.

You provide answers all of the time. An answer is a decision, a choice, or a fact. Most tests require factual answers. Lectical Assessments are different. When you take a Lectical Assessment, you are required to explain your thinking. For example, here is a reflective judgment dilemma like those we use in the LRJA:

There have been frequent reports about the relationship between chemicals that are added to foods and the safety of these foods. Some studies indicate that such chemicals can cause cancer, making these foods unsafe to eat. Other studies, however, show that chemical additives are not harmful, and actually make the foods containing them safer to eat.

This dilemma, if it was part of an LRJA, would be followed by a series of probing questions—questions that ask for judgments and justifications. One such question would be: 

How is it possible that experts can come to such different conclusions? 

This question does not have one correct answer. It's like most real-life questions; there are many ways to think about it, so people disagree—even the experts. 

When you answer a question like this one on a Lectical Assessment, we can't score your answer unless you show us your thinking. To provide an accurate score, we need you to show off your best thinking. Here is an example of a poorly explained response:

They disagree because they are all biased. Everyone is biased.

This is what we call an unscorable response. Even though it is clear that this test taker believes bias is the reason experts disagree, the response doesn't tell us enough to provide a score. We need to know how this person thinks about bias and how it works to create disagreement. Here is a well-explained response:

They disagree because they are all biased. Everyone is biased. Even though experts like scientists use special methods to gather evidence and evaluate it, different scientists with different backgrounds will see things differently. This could be because they look at different evidence, do different kinds of experiments, or have different attitudes about risk. Sometimes an expert who is employed by a company that adds chemicals to food will prefer to look at evidence that shows chemicals to be safe. Even if he is trying to be fair, he will probably be biased.

It is not what this person says that makes this a scorable response, it is the amount and clarity of the explanation she provides. We can understand how she is thinking. Before you take a Lectical Assessment, consider how you would answer this question. What kind of explanation would you provide?

Learn more about providing effective responses in the video below:

How to deal with problems

At DTS, we are constantly improving our assessments, incorporating what we have learned from test-takers and academic research. This means that Lectical Assessments are never “finished”. Each time we make a change to an existing assessment, we run the risk of introducing a bug or two. You may find one of these, especially if you are taking a research assessment. If you have any problems with the site, please contact us immediately. We respond promptly.

Selected funders

IES (US Department of Education)

The Spencer Foundation

NIH

Dr. Sharon Solloway

The Simpson Foundation

The Leopold Foundation

Donor list

Selected clients

Glastonbury School District, CT

The Ross School

Rainbow Community School

The Study School

Long Trail School

The US Naval Academy

The City of Edmonton, Alberta

The US Federal Government

Advisory Board

Kurt Fischer, Ph.D. Harvard Graduate School of Education, Emeritus

Antonio Battro, MD, Ph.D., One Laptop Per Child

Marc Schwartz, Ph.D. and former high school teacher, University of Texas at Arlington

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Ed.D., University of Southern California

Willis Overton, Ph.D., Temple University, Emeritus