Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test: Uses And Features

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test

The evaluation of vocabulary in childhood, both receptive and expressive, is of vital importance in those cases where this or these appear altered or where there is some other disorder (for example a neurodevelopmental disorder).

Here we will learn about a useful tool to evaluate receptive language at almost all ages: the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. We will know its characteristics, what it is for and how it is applied.

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test: Features

The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III) was developed by Ll. M. Dunn and LM Dunn in 1997. In 2006 D. Arribas prepared the Spanish adaptation (TEA Ediciones). The PPVT-III is an adaptation of the Peabody Picture Vovabulary Test-Revised, although it differs from it in that it does not establish any correlation with IQ.

Is about a test to detect language difficulties and to evaluate verbal aptitude and vocabulary. Evaluates listening comprehension or verbal comprehension.

It is for individual application, and the application time is between 10 and 20 minutes, although it is generally 11 to 12 minutes. The age of application is from 2 and a half years to 90 years.

The material required for the administration of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test is the manual, 25 notes sheets and the visual stimuli notebook.


The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test is made up of 192 cards preceded by 5 practice items. Each sheet has 4 simple black and white illustrations, organized in the form of multiple selection. The task of the person being examined will be to select the image that represents the best meaning of the word presented verbally by the examiner (for example: “pear”).

You may be interested:  What Does it Mean to Dream About Your Ex?

Element sets that are too easy or difficult are not applied to the subject; Therefore, subjects generally respond to a total of 7 sets.

Test correction is generally quick and objective.and is carried out simultaneously with the application of the test.


The basic purposes of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test are as follows.

1. Assess the level of receptive vocabulary

Receptive vocabulary, also called passive vocabulary or reception vocabulary, is that which a speaker is able to interpret in different situations of receiving messages. Consequently, the receptive vocabulary is part of a speaker’s mental lexicon.

In this sense, it is a performance test that measures the level of vocabulary acquisition of a subject. We must understand it as a test of achievementsince it demonstrates such acquisition of vocabulary in Spanish.

2. Rapid detection of difficulties or screening of verbal aptitude.

The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test It can be included as one more piece of information within a comprehensive battery of tests that evaluate different cognitive processes.. However, it can only be used in this sense when the habitual language at home, in the community or at school of the examinee is Spanish.


The test is fundamentally applied in two contexts: clinical and school. Can be used in children with reading difficulties or who have language problems; also in people with autism, psychosis, intellectual disabilities and withdrawal.

As we have seen, it can be used as a test to discern scholastic aptitude (verbal ability or intelligence) or as part of a cognitive battery.

Importance of vocabulary

A vocabulary test is believed to be the single best index of school or academic success. On the one hand, Language is the main instrument to manipulate the most complex thought processes., education and communication; On the other hand, a wealth of auditory vocabulary can be understood as an important measure of intellectual competence or capacity.

You may be interested:  What is it and How to Achieve Joy?


We must keep in mind that the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test does not provide a global measure of intelligence, and that we should not make too many generalizations based on an instrument that only measures auditory vocabulary, primarily, since this is only one aspect of the complex linguistic and cognitive domain of a person.

On the other hand, It is not recommended to apply the test to people with hearing difficulties or deafness..

Construction of the test

The construction of the test was based on Item Response Theory, which ensures that only the elements appropriate to the aptitude level of the examinee are applied. Its Spanish adaptation had a representative sample of more than 2,500 subjects.

Bibliographic references: