Teste de Leitura de Palavras Irregulares (TeLPI) / The Irregular Word Reading Test (TeLPI)

Portuguese Version (Original)

Teste de Leitura de Palavras Irregulares (TeLPI) The Irregular Word Reading Test (TeLPI)

1. Alves L., Martins, C., & Simões, M. R. (2018). Teste de Leitura de Palavras Irregulares (TeLPI): Manual. [The Irregular Word Reading Test - TeLPI: Manual]. Lisboa: Hogrefe. [commercial edition]
2. Alves, L., Simões, M.R., & Martins, C. (2012). Teste de Leitura de Palavras Irregulares (TeLPI): Manual. PsyAssessmentLab, Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade de Coimbra. Coimbra: Portugal.

Theoretical background

The absence of a neuropsychological assessment instrument able to estimate premorbid intelligence for the Portuguese population was the initial motivation for the development of the TeLPI. This test was originally developed for the Portuguese population, following the methodology used for its development was based on the National Adult Reading Test (NART: Nelson, 1982), and the subsequent NART-a-like instruments.
The TeLPI is a reading test containing 46 Portuguese words of decreasing familiarity that estimates premorbid intelligence in subjects aged 25 years old or more. Each word presents at least one case of non-bi univocal, and thus irregular, grapheme-phoneme correspondence in Portuguese. The TeLPI assess crystallized intelligence, was being designed to resist the effects of neurological dysfunction or damage, revealing a relative insensitivity to cognitive decline. Thus it has clear clinical advantages in evaluating loss of intellectual functioning after brain insult and its use in the assessment of cognitive decline conditions allows the achievement of the previous functioning of the individual’s cognitive abilities, namely, the estimation of intellectual abilities prior to onset of dementia (Alves et al., 2013b; Alves et al., 2015).
The TeLPI, as a short test, does not demand extended concentration from the subject. As minimal effort is required from the subject to read aloud the words he/she does recognize, the TeLPI is relatively unaffected by poor concentration or motivation.


Assessment: premorbid intelligence.
Type of instrument: Reading task.
Administration: individual administration.
Population: 25 years old or more.


As expected, the TeLPI scores are correlated with the Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ; r= .800) of the Portuguese version of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Third Edition (WAIS-III, Wechsler, 2008), including higher correlations with Vocabulary subtest (r= .815), and incorporates demographic variables in regression formulas that explain 63,3% of the FSIQ variance (Alves et al., 2012). The TeLPI scores exhibits very good psychometric properties analyzed by classical test theory since it has an excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = .939) and test-retest reliability [4 months (N = 30): .95; 18 months (N = 30): .98] (Alves et al., 2012). The TeLPI was validated in MCI and AD groups (Alves et al., 2013b), and a normative study for Portuguese population was carried out (Alves et al., 2015) enhancing its validity [N= 637; 25-86 ys old].
Recently, Freitas and colleagues (2018) computed a Item Response Analyses (Rasch model for dichotomous items, N=729) to analyze the psychometric characteristics of the TeLPI, founded an overall adequacy and a good fit of values regarding both items and persons, a high variability of cognitive performance level and a good quality of the measurements, a marked unidimensionality and the reduced DIF effects. These findings provide good evidence of the overall psychometric validity of TeLPI results.
TeLPI research project was 2015 CEGOC PRIZE. TeLPi has a new and commercialized recente edition (Alves, Martins & Simões, 2018)

Future research

PsyAssessmentLab is available to actively collaborate in any validation research projects related to the TeLPI.
The systematic research plan of the TeLPI for the Portuguese population continues through several ongoing studies, namely: (i) normative study.
The TeLPI was also included on the BARC - Bateria de Avaliação da Reserva Cognitiva [BARC - The Assessment Battery of the Cognitive Reserve] and in this scope are in course several psychometric and clinical validation studies.


The studies were supported by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology; SFRH/BD/37748/2007 to Lara Alves and IF/FCT/01325/2015 to Sandra Freitas) and by the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation) through the project "Memória, avaliação funcional e qualidade de vida: Estudos de validade e normas para a população portuguesa" (Memory, functional assessment and quality of life: Validation studies and norms for the Portuguese population; Proc. 74569, SDH-22 Neurosciences; PI: Mário R. Simões).


Sandra Freitas (sandrafreitas0209@gmail.com)
Mário R. Simões (simoesmr@fpce.uc.pt)



1. Alves L., Martins, C., & Simões, M. R. (2018). Teste de Leitura de Palavras Irregulares (TeLPI): Manual. [The Irregular Word Reading Test - TeLPI: Manual]. Lisboa: Hogrefe.
2. Alves, L., Martins, C., & Simões, M. R. (2010). Avaliação da Inteligência Pré-Mórbida: Desenvolvimento da versão experimental do Teste de Leitura de Palavras Irregulares (TeLPI) para a população Portuguesa [The assessment of premorbid intelligence: Development of the Irregular Word Reading Test (TeLPI) experimental version]. Psychologica, 52(3), 295-311.
3. Alves, L., Simões, M. R., & Martins, C. (2012). The Estimation of Premorbid Intelligence levels among Portuguese speakers: The Irregular Word Reading Test (TeLPI). Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 27(1), 58-68. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acr103
4. Alves, L., Simões, M.R., & Martins, C. (2014). Metodologias de estimação da Inteligência pré-mórbida na identificação do declínio cognitivo ligeiro [Premorbid intelligence estimation methodologies in the identification of mild cognitive impairment]. Avaliação Psicológica, 13(1), 37-46.
5. Alves, L., Simões, M.R., Martins, C., Freitas, S., & Santana, I. (2013). TeLPI Performance in subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease: A validation study. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 27(4), 324-329. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e31827bdc8c
6. Alves, L., Simões, M. R., Martins, C., Freitas, S., & Santana, I. (2013). Premorbid IQ influence on screening tests' scores in healthy patients and patients with cognitive impairment. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 26(2), 117-26. doi: 10.1177/0891988713484194
7. Alves, L., Freitas, S., Martins, C., Santana, I., & Simões, M.R. (2013). O TeLPI e o seu papel na identificação do declínio cognitivo [TeLPI: in the identification of cognitive impairment]. Revista E-Psi, 3(1), 25-47.
8. Freitas, S., Prieto, G. Simões, M. R., Nogueira, J., Santana, I., Martins, C., & Alves, L. (2018). Using the Rasch analysis for the psychometric validation of the Irregular Word Reading Test (TeLPI). The Clinical Neuropsychologist, doi:10.1080/13854046.2018.1468481.
9. Simões, M.R., Alves, L., Baptista, L., Fonseca, M., Ferraz, M., & Almiro, P. A. (2018). Inteligência e personalidade pré-mórbidas: Questões em torno da sua avaliação. In Mauro Paulino e Laura Alho (Coords.), Comportamento criminal e avaliação forense (pp. 61-87). Lisboa: Pactor.

Other references

Nelson, H. E. (1982). National Adult Reading Test: Test Manual. Upton Park, England: NFER-Windsor.
Wechsler, D. (2008). Escala de Inteligência de Wechsler para Adultos – Terceira Edição (WAIS-III): Manual. Lisboa: Cegoc.