Computerised Handwriting Speed Test System (CHSTS): Validation of a handwriting assessment for Chinese secondary students

Cecilia W.P. Li-Tsang (Corresponding Author), Tim M.H. Li, Mandy S.W. Lau, Amy G.W. Lo, Choco H.Y. Ho, Howard W.H. Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background/aim: Handwriting difficulties can be detrimental to students’ performance in school tests and even in public examinations. It is crucial for school-based occupational therapists to identify students with handwriting difficulties and support them with appropriate adaptive strategies. The purpose of this study is to validate a computerised assessment – the Computerised Handwriting Speed Test System (CHSTS) of both Chinese and English handwriting for Chinese secondary students and provide an objective reference for extra time allowance in paper-based examinations. Methods: The internal consistency, test–retest reliability, convergent and discriminant validity of CHSTS were examined using the data from 512 typically developing students and 64 students with special educational needs (SEN) in Hong Kong mainstream secondary schools. Results: Handwriting performance of senior students was better than that of junior students. High internal consistency was shown by over 0.80 Cronbach's α in all measurement items and over 0.90 item-total correlations in temporal domain items. Intra-class correlation indicated good to excellent test–retest reliability of CHSTS (all P < 0.0001). Principal Component Analysis revealed that four components in CHSTS accounted for over 80% of the variance. Handwriting performance was positively associated with manual coordination, automaticity and oculomotor control (all P < 0.05) in linear regression analyses. Students with SEN could be effectively differentiated from typically developing students (over 75% sensitivity and specificity) based on the CHSTS items. Conclusion: Validation of CHSTS is the groundwork for identifying students with handwriting difficulties and providing adaptive strategies including fair special examination arrangements for these students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • adolescent
  • handwriting
  • motor skills
  • paediatrics
  • secondary school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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