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The Renfrew Action Picture Test (5th edition)


  • This is the latest, 5th edition (2019), which has been fully updated, including revision of scoring guidelines, modernisation of images and, through an extensive nation-wide programme, fully re-standardised against a modern school population,
  • It includes 10 picture cards depicting a range of everyday scenarios, an instruction booklet providing guidance on administration, scoring guides and a scoring form.
  • Gives scores for the amount of information given and the level of grammar used. Gives age norms to eight years five months.
  • Information scores gained for specific nouns, verbs and prepositions.
  • Grammar scores awarded encompass use of different tenses, use of irregular past tense and plurals, simple and complex sentence constructions and use of the passive voice.

Age range

3–8 years

Who can use it?

Any relevant professional using the manual.

How is it used?

  • The test involves showing children a series of pictures with associated questions. Exact instructions for administration are in the manual and should be read before using the test.
  • Record the child’s answers exactly, allowing for deviations in pronunciation. It’s often necessary to video or make an audio recording of deaf children’s responses as this can really help get a very accurate transcription of what was actually said. If the child produces some words de-voiced or uses a sign rather than a word, it’s useful to record this information as well. For example, underline de-voiced words and put signed words in brackets.
  • It may be necessary to prompt. The manual details exactly how this may be done.
  • With younger children you can make the task more interesting by allowing them to post the pictures when they are finished. Older children might focus better if they know there are only 10 pictures. It also doesn’t matter in which order you gain the responses – some children like to select a card – so you could offer them the cards face down, but what they prefer will depend greatly on the child.


  • Recently standardised test in a short and simple form.
  • Quick and easy.
  • Extremely useful to identify where a child’s language may be more delayed than thought.
  • Often useful to compare responses from one year to the next.
  • Useful for parents to observe.


  • Does not assess BSL grammar.
  • Only a screen – should be supplemented with bigger language sample.
  • Can be difficult to transcribe unintelligible speech – it’s helpful if the test is given by someone who knows the child well.

Is there a cost? 


Where can I access it?

You can access the assessment on the Winslow Resources website.