Graduate Psychometrics


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References Psychological Corporation (The). (2001). Wechsler Individual Achievement Test--Second Edition. Retrieved

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Wechsler Individual Achievement Test--Second Edition Review of the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Second Edition by BETH J. DOLL, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE: DESCRIPTION. The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Second Edition (WIAT-II) is a comprehensive individual achievement test that is a revision of the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT; The Psychological Corporation, 1992). It is substantially different from its predecessor in the content and format of its subtests and in the scale's administration and scoring. In most respects, changes reflect the incorporation of cutting-edge research in the acquisition and assessment of educational skills. The basic design of the test remains the same. It provides composite scores in four domains of educational achievement: reading, mathematics, written language, and oral language. The Reading Composite incorporates subtests in Word Reading, Reading Comprehension, and Pseudoword Decoding. In addition to the word reading and passage comprehension tasks of the WIAT, the WIAT-II includes items and scores that assess phonological awareness, letter-sound awareness, automaticity of word recognition, and fluency of reading. In addition, the Reading Composite includes the only new subtest-Pseudoword Decoding-as a measure of word decoding skills. The Mathematics Composite incorporates subtests in Numerical Operations and Mathematics Reasoning. In addition to the computation, problem solving, and quantitative reasoning items of the WIAT, the WIAT-II includes items assessing counting, one-to-one correspondence, estimation, and numerical patterns. The Written Language Composite incorporates subtests in Spelling and Written Expression. The Spelling subtest is very similar to that of the WIAT. The Written Expression subtest operationalizes much of the most recent research in writing instruction, incorporating items assessing word fluency, sentence construction, writing fluency, and written responses to visual or verbal cues in addition to the WIAT's descriptive and narrative writing tasks. The Oral Language Composite incorporates subtests in Listening Comprehension and Oral Expression. These have been redesigned to include greater emphasis on fluency and expressive vocabulary and recall for contextual information, and less emphasis on literal comprehension. Scoring systems for the Reading Composite and Oral Language Composite were altered to use new scoring rules that were more consistent with instructional practices.

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The WIAT-II is designed for administration to a broad range of individuals, as young as 4-year-olds and as old as 85-year-old adults. Two examiner's manuals are provided. One describes technical information for the school-aged (4 to 19 years) sample and a second, supplemental manual describes technical information for the sample of college students and adults. Administration for the entire battery ranges from approximately 45 minutes for the youngest children to 2 hours for adolescents and adults. Administration rules are generally straightforward. Start points are indicated for each subtest based upon the examinee's age, reversal rules describe when earlier basal items should be administered, and discontinue rules are described based on the examinee's missing a specified number of items in a row. The protocol guides users through the conversion of raw scores into standardized scores, using the scoring and normative supplement manual. However, administration and scoring rules for the Reading Comprehension subtest are more complex and more confusing, and these were further altered after the test's publication. Early purchasers of the kit will need ensure that they have the "updated manual" that includes these revisions. In addition to standard scores and percentile ranks for each subtest and Composite scale, the WIAT-II yields age equivalent scores, grade equivalent scores (fall or spring), normal curve equivalents, stanines, quartile scores, and decile scores. Error analysis procedures are incorporated into the test protocol, and measures of fluency are provided by timing reading speed on the Reading Comprehension subtest and using time limits for Word Fluency. Finally, because a subset of the standardization sample was administered Wechsler intelligence scales, users can also examine the significance of achievement/intelligence discrepancies between the WIAT-II and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised (WPPSI-R), the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- Third Edition (WISC-III), or the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition (WAIS-III). The authors recommend that only professionals trained in the administration and interpretation of individually administered assessment instruments are qualified to administer the WIAT-II and translate its results into education decisions. DEVELOPMENT. Work on the WIAT-II began in 1996, only 4 years after publication of the WIAT. Focus groups were convened with over 500 major users of individual achievement tests to design item modifications. Notes from the focus groups were organized into blueprints of the constructs that the test would assess. Next, these blueprints were compared to national and state standards and curricula such as the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000) of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and the report of the National Reading Panel (2000). In addition, prominent researchers in each academic domain were consulted, and some were retained as advisors throughout the test development process. Revised items were piloted with 400 individuals in 1997, followed by a large scale tryout with 1,900 students. Item analysis of these data guided the selection of items for the final version of the WIAT-II. In deference to the importance of cognitive processes underlying achievement, the publishers coordinated the development of the WIAT-II with the Process Assessment of the Learner-Test Battery for Reading and Writing (Berninger, 2001). TECHNICAL. The normative data for the WIAT-II were collected between 1999 and 2001 from 2,950 school-aged children ranging in age from 4 years 0 months to 19 years 11 months, 707 college students, and 500 adults. A stratified-random sampling procedure was used to insure that the sample would be representative of the 1998 Census of the United States on gender, race/ethnicity, geographic region, and parental education level. Students with disabilities were included in the standardization sample in proportion to their representation in public school programs, and the college sample included students from 2-year as well as 4-year campuses. Children and adults were excluded from the standardization if they did not speak English, had nerological disorders, or were taking medications that could suppress performance. A comprehensive description of the final standardization sample for

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school-aged children demonstrates that it successfully approximates the demographic characteristics of the United States. To insure the integrity of the standardization data, standardization protocols were scored by the primary examiner, and then were rescored by two additional scorers trained by the test publisher. For both samples, internal consistency reliability estimates of the WIAT-II subtests are generally high (above .85) with the exception of the Written Expression and Listening Comprehension subtests in the school-aged sample and the Written Expression and Oral Expression subtests in the college/adult sample. The reliability estimates of these subtests were only somewhat lower (above .70). Internal consistency reliability of the Composite scores was very high (above .90) in both samples with the exception of the Oral Language Composite, which was above .85. In the school-aged sample, test- retest correlations for the subtests (across intervals of approximately 10 days) were consistently above .85 and test-retest correlations for the Composite scores were above .90. Tests-retest correlations were somewhat lower in the college/adult sample, with correlations between .75 and .85 in Reading Comprehension, Written Expression, Oral Expression, and the composite scores for Written Language and Oral Language. With this level of reliability, it would be reasonable to interpret intersubtest differences for the Reading and Mathematics subtests with a moderate degree of confidence, and to interpret inter-Composite differences with good confidence for school-aged children and adults. Limited validity information for the WIAT-II is available in the examiner's manual. Predictably, the corresponding subtests of the WIAT and the WIAT-II are strongly correlated (above .80) in the school- aged sample for those subtests with minimal content changes. However, the correlations were lower for subtests that had changed the most: Reading Comprehension (r = .74), Written Expression (r = .48), Listening Comprehension (r = .68), and Oral Expression (r = .62) subtests. Similarly, the Reading Composites and Mathematics Composites of the WIAT and WIAT-II are strongly correlated (r ≥ .85) but the Written Language Composites and Oral Language Composites are not (r = .66). The examiner's manual describes very modest correlations between the school-aged WIAT-II Reading, Mathematics, and Written Language Composites and corresponding achievement subtests of the Wide Range Achievement Tests-Third Edition (correlations range from .68 to .77) and the Differential Abilities Scales (correlations range from .32 to .64). For a sample of 48 college students, correlations between composite scores of the WIAT-II and the Woodcock-Johnson-Revised were reported to fall above .7, but correlations between individual subtests were much lower (ranging from .47 to .72). The highest correlations were between WIAT-II and and WJ-R mathematics subtests, and lower correlations were reported between reading and language subtests. At the time of this review, there were no other publications describing the WIAT-II's validity evidence listed in the PsycLit or ERIC literature databases. Consequently, although it is evident that the refined WIAT-II subtests are assessing academic skills in different ways than traditional achievement tests, it is not yet fully clear whether the WIAT-II's substantial content revisions will yield better, more usable indices of students' academic abilities. COMMENTARY. The WIAT-II is a sophisticated achievement test. The authors and publishers should be applauded for their decision to align this test with timely research in learning and assessment of academic knowledge. Still, the test's conceptual sophistication will present a challenge to examiners, who must become familiar with this research and its implications for translating WIAT-II scores into effective educational decisions for students. At present, the examiner's manual does not provide sufficient guidance for making these translations. What is needed is a comprehensive "expert guide" that will introduce users to recent and revolutionary changes in the conceptual frameworks underlying academic instruction, with particular attention to emerging ideas in reading and written language, and their implications for interpreting WIAT-II scores. Administration and interpretation of the WIAT-II will also be complicated by a few practical difficulties.

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The administration and scoring of the Reading Comprehension subtest is complex, and was confused further by the changes made in the recent technical bulletin. Novice examiners will need to carefully review and practice the procedures before using the test. Also, the item type frequently changes within a single subtest. For example, the Word Reading subtest begins with phonemic awareness tasks, changes to letter-sound association tasks, and then shifts to word reading. The interpretation of a student's score could change significantly depending upon the items that were administered and the items that were missed. Similar shifts in item content were noted within most of the subtests. The administration procedures in the examiner's manual sometimes deviate from procedures that are supported by the technical properties of the test. For example, the manual notes that some users may decide to administer a partial battery rather than the full WIAT-II test. However, it is clear that only the full battery was administered during norming, such that administration of a partial battery would violate the standardization procedures of the test. Finally, the meaning of these content revisions will not be fully examined without additional validity studies. For example, it would be very useful to know how the WIAT-II compares to the Peabody Individual Achievement Test-Revised (1997) or the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (2001) in both the school-aged and college/adult samples. Additionally, it would be useful to know how well the refined reading comprehension tasks predict instructional needs of students. SUMMARY. The WIAT-II is a carefully designed individual achievement test with exemplary standardization on and a welcome option for administration to college students and adults. Its tasks and scores reflect important, emerging research in reading, mathematics, and language instruction. This refinement reduces the test's familiarity for many users, but it will be worth their effort to update their understanding of recent research and simultaneously upgrade their achievement test interpretation skills. Although the validity of the WIAT-II is not yet fully tested, its substantial correlation with the WIAT and strong reliability estimates allow users to use it with some confidence. More caution should be exercised in using and interpreting the Written Expression Composite and the Oral Language Composite, as these show the least relation to prior WIAT tasks, and so require more extensive validation to establish their relevance to learning. REVIEWER'S REFERENCES Berninger, V. (2001). Process Assessment of the Learner: Test Battery for Reading and Writing. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation. Markwardt, F. C. (1997). Peabody Individual Achievement Test-Revised/Normative Update. Circle Pines, MN: AGS Publishing. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: Author. National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00-4754). Washington, DC: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The Psychological Corporation. (1992). The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test. San Antonio, TX: Author. Woodcock, R. W., McGrew, K. C., & Mather, N. (2001). Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement. Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.

Review of the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Second Edition by GERALD TINDAL, Professor in Educational Leadership, College of Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, and MICHELLE NUTTER, Research Associate, Behavioral Research and Teaching, College of Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR:

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DESCRIPTION. The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Second Edition (WIAT-II) is the second edition of a test that was first published in 1992. This test is a "comprehensive, individually administered test for assessing the achievement of children, adolescents, college students, and adults" (examiner's manual, p. 1). Although Reading, Writing, Mathematics, and Oral Language remain as the basic content domains, the actual items and subscales within these domains have increased in this latest edition. Reading is composed of three subtests: (a) Word Reading (name letters, rhyme words, identify beginning and ending sounds, blend sounds, match sounds with letters and blends, and read words), (b) Reading Comprehension (match words with pictures, and answer comprehension questions from sentences and passages), and (c) Pseudoword Decoding (read phonetic nonsense words). Mathematics is composed of two subtests: (a) Numerical Operations (identify and write numbers, count, and calculate) and (b) Math Reasoning (count, identify shapes, and solve word problems related to time, money, and measurement). Written Language includes two subtests: (a) Spelling (letters, blends, and words) and (b) Written Expression (alphabet writing, word fluency, and write sentences, paragraphs, and essays). Oral Language consists of two subtests: (a) Listening Comprehension (receptive vocabulary, sentence completion, and expressive vocabulary) and (b) Oral Expression (sentence repetition, word fluency, visual passage retell, and giving directions). The materials include stimulus booklets, student administration cards, a response booklet, a record form, an examiner's manual, a scoring and normative supplement (Pre-K to Grade 12), and a supplement for college students and adults. Other materials have to be provided by the administrator (e.g., blank paper, stop watches, pencil, money). In the examiner's manual, specific descriptions are presented for the content and theoretical explanation of the measures. The WIAT-II is designed to yield information about diagnostic, placement, eligibility, and intervention decisions across a variety of settings with a range of scoring options available for summarizing performance: (a) standard scores, (b) percentile ranks, (c) age or grade equivalents, (d) normal curve equivalents, (e) stanines, (f) quartile scores, and (g) decile scores. Either age- or grade- based conversions to standard scores can be made (with fall, winter, and spring administrations). Standard scores are based on a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15. The manual suggests that professionals who have been trained in the use of individually administered assessment tools and who are involved in psychological or educational testing are qualified to administer the WIAT-II. Subtests should be administered in the prescribed order indicated in the stimulus book, irrespective of whether the entire battery or a single subtest is administered. Administration time will vary depending on the age of the examinee and the number of subtests administered but approximately 45 minutes is needed for students in grades Pre-K, 90 minutes for students in elementary grades, and 2 hours for students in middle-high schools. Although consideration is given to testing examinees with physical or language impairments, no specific list of acceptable or allowable accommodations is presented to provide standard score reporting, which suggests that testers rely on their "professional judgment to evaluate the impact of such modified procedures on the test scores" (examiner's manual, p. 23). The WIAT-II utilizes start points (specific to the particular subtest), reversal rules (typically invoked if 0 is scored on any of the first three items of a subtest, although Reading Comprehension has unique rules), discontinue rules (if 0 is scored on 6 or 7 consecutive items in a subtest), and stop points (for Reading Comprehension and Written Expression). Basal and ceiling levels also are provided. For many of the items, both modeling the task response and repeating or prompting is allowed. Items are either scored dichotomously (0, 1) or awarded partial credit (0, 1, or 2) based on specified scoring procedures and guidelines presented in the supplemental books; for these items, verbatim recording is required.

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Qualitative recording of examinee behavior also is encouraged and a checklist is provided for codifying frequency of behavioral occurrence on several dimensions. Written and Oral Expression, as well as optional Reading Comprehension, scores require conversion of raw scores to quartiles (before reporting standard scores) and are reported as unique supplemental scores. Four composite scores can be obtained on the WIAT-II by adding standard scores of individual subtests: Reading (with three subtest scores), Mathematics (with two subtest scores), Written Language (with two subtest scores), and Oral Language (with two subtest scores). Confidence intervals also can be recorded on the summary report before displaying various rank scores. Finally, the report form includes a place to report an ability- achievement discrepancy analysis and plot the results on a bell curve. DEVELOPMENT. The most significant change in this edition is the extension of the age range from 5-19 years to 4-85 years. Development began in 1996 with a rigorous analysis of the WIAT and blueprint of content or curriculum specifications. The theoretical perspectives used to develop this edition include research reported by Berninger (2001), the National Reading Panel (2000), and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, 2000) standards. Pilot testing of items was conducted in 1997 with approximately 400 individuals; the results were analyzed using traditional item analyses. The authors note that this revision provides more complete behavior sampling in the domains, a broader range of students, closer links to instruction, improved scoring (with error analysis), and procedures for documenting ability-achievement discrepancies. In Reading, letter identification, phonological awareness, and pseudoword decoding were added along with measurement of reading rate, oral reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension (oral and lexical) in expanded sentence and passage reading. New items were added in the Mathematics subtests to reflect both low level (patterns, counting, 1:1 correspondence, and numerical identification), as well as high-level mathematics problems (e.g., estimation, probability, and multi-step problem solving). Spelling subtests were revised to reflect morphological knowledge; Written Expression subtests include new low measures (timed alphabet writing and fluency) in addition to the assessment of high-level skills (sentence combining and sentence generation, as well as analytic scoring on four traits). Finally, Oral Language is more anchored to real contexts as part of Reading and Writing and adds word fluency, auditory short-term recall, and story generation. TECHNICAL. Two standardization samples were drawn (in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001): for PreK-12 (ages 4-19) and for the college/adult population. Both standardization samples were stratified on the basis of grade, age, sex, race/ethnicity, geographic region, and parent education level, using the 1998 Bureau of the Census as the basis for stratification. Over 5,000 individuals participated in the standardization process. "A stratified random sampling approach was used to select participants representative of the population" and "students who received special education services in school settings were not excluded from participation" (examiner's manual, p. 86). Sample proportions closely approximate census proportions for all stratification variables. Qualified and trained examiners, with test administration experience, were used for the standardization sample. During the standardization process, rules to start, discontinue, and stop testing were developed to conservatively allow students to avoid being tested on items deemed too easy or too difficult. A subset of the standardization participants also was administered one of the three Wechsler intelligence scales: the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised (WPPSI-R; Wechsler, 1989), the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Third Edition (WISC-III; Wechsler, 1991), or the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Third Edition (WAIS-III; Wechsler, 1997). The linking sample consisted of 1,069 participants. The information collected from this portion of the standardization process was used to develop the achievement- discrepancy statistics. The authors report data on split-half coefficients, test-retest, and interscorer agreement. Most split-half

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coefficients (based on age and grade) are well above .80. Grade-based split-half coefficients are consistently lower than age-based coefficients, with coefficients falling below .80 on Numerical Reasoning, Written Expression, and Listening Comprehension in fall and spring. Age-based reliability coefficients fall below .80 for Listening Comprehension only. The split-half coefficients for the four composites are all greater than .80. To determine test-retest reliability, a sample of 297 was drawn from three bands in the standardization sample: ages 6-9, 10-12, and 13-19. Test-retest intervals varied from 7-45 days with an average interval of 10 days. Test-retest subtest scores range between .81 and .99. Composite scores range between .91 and .92. Two separate studies were conducted to evaluate interrater agreement. The first study examined the dichotomously scored items in the Reading Comprehension subtests for 2,180 participants. Interrater reliability coefficients ranged between .94 and .98. The second study examined the Written Expression and Oral Expression subtests for 2,180 participants. The intraclass correlations between the two sets of scores ranged from .71 to .94 across ages, with an average correlation of .85. The intraclass correlations between pairs of scores for the Oral Expression subtest ranged from .91 to .99 across ages, with an average of .96. The WIAT-II presents evidence of content, construct, and criterion-related validity. Although curriculum objectives were referenced for item selection and experts in reading, mathematics, speech, and language arts reviewed the subtests to ascertain the degree with which items measured specific curriculum objectives, no specific information is presented (e.g., which curricula, who served as experts, and how the process was completed). Conventional and item response theory analyses are presented to document item consistency and to eliminate poorly constructed items, determine correct item order, as well as to prevent item bias. Evidence of construct validity is provided through intercorrelations of subtests, correlations with measures of ability, and group differences across grades and groups. Finally, the WIAT-II provides ample support for criterion-related validity with a number of individually administered achievement tests. Moderate correlations appear between selected WIAT-II and Process Assessment of the Learner: Test Battery for Reading and Writing (PAL-RW; Berninger, 2001; considered a companion to the WIAT-II) and WIAT subtests, the Wide Range Achievement Test-3 (WRAT3; Wilkinson, 1993), the Differential Ability Scales (DAS; Elliott, 1990), and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III (PPVT-III; Dunn & Dunn, 1997). In these studies, moderate to high correlations are presented in an extensive set of tables in the examiner's manual. Correlations with the WIAT-II and group-administered achievement tests also are presented: Results indicate moderate correlations between the WIAT-II and the Stanford Achievement Tests-Ninth Edition (Stanford 9; Harcourt Educational Measurement, 1996), and the Metropolitan Achievement Tests, Eighth Edition (MAT8; Harcourt Educational Measurement, 1999), as well as the Academic Competence Evaluation Scales (ACES; DiPerna & Elliott, 2000) and school grades. Again, the correlations are moderate to high between the WIAT-II and these tests. Given the WIAT-II is to be used in the differential diagnosis of students with disabilities, it is important that construct validity be examined by comparing groups of students. Nine different comparisons are presented to document the performance of students participating in gifted programs (n = 123), with mental retardation (n = 39), with emotional disturbance (n = 85), with learning disabilities in reading (n = 123), with learning disabilities not specific to reading (n = 109), with attention deficit-hyperactive disorder (ADHD) (n = 179), with both ADHD and learning disabilities (n = 54), with hearing impairments (n = 31), and with speech and/or language impairments (n = 49). In all of these comparisons, the data confirm the differential performance of students with special needs. COMMENTARY AND SUMMARY. The WIAT-II has several strong features. First, its comprehensive nature allows for a thorough examination of student strengths and weaknesses within and across

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several academic domains. Second, the modifications made to the most recent edition subtests reflect current trends in research and curriculum. Third, the materials are well organized and very accessible, for both administration and scoring or reporting. Finally, the link between assessment and instruction/intervention is explicit through the inclusion of an error analysis component and partial correct scoring. The examiner's manual provides a strong guiding framework for the development of interventions. However, without the thorough interpretation presented by the examiner trained in linking the data to interventions and instructional programs, the error analysis component is meaningless. The protocol alone does not lend itself to linking data to interventions. REVIEWERS' REFERENCES Berninger, V. (2001). Process Assessment of the Learner: Test Battery for Reading and Writing. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation. DiPerna, J. C., & Elliott, S. N. (2000). Academic Competence Evaluation Scales-Manual K-12. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation. Dunn, L., & Dunn, L. (1997). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (3rd ed.). Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Services. Elliott, C. D. (1990). Differential Ability Scales. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation. Harcourt Educational Measurement. (1996). Stanford Achievement Test (9th ed.). San Antonio, TX: Author. Harcourt Educational Measurement. (1999). Metropolitan Achievement Tests (8th ed., standardization ed.). San Antonio, TX: Author. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: Author. National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00-4754). Washington, DC: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Wechsler, D. (1989). Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (rev. ed.). San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation. Wechsler, D. (1991). Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (3rd ed.). San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation. Wechsler, D. (1997). Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (3rd ed.). San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation. Wilkinson, G. (1993). Wide Range Achievement Test (3rd ed.). Wilmington, DE: Wide Range.

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