Controlled Oral Word Association Test

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Controlled Oral Word Association Test, abbreviated COWA or COWAT, is a verbal fluency test that measures spontaneous production of words belonging to the same category or beginning with some designated letter.[1]


The test was first called the "Verbal Associative Fluency Test", and then was changed to the "Controlled Word Association Test".[2]


The participant is usually asked to name words beginning with a letter, excluding proper nouns, for one minute and this procedure is repeated three times. The most commons letters used are FAS because of their frequency in the English language.[3] The examiner must quickly write down the words provided by the participant on a piece of paper. The whole examination usually takes 5–10 minutes.


  1. ^ Patricia Espe-Pfeifer; Jana Wachsler-Felder (30 April 2000). Neuropsychological Interpretation of Objective Psychological Tests. Springer. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-306-46224-5.
  2. ^ Muriel Deutsch Lezak (2 March 1995). Neuropsychological Assessment. Oxford University Press. p. 545. ISBN 978-0-19-509031-4.
  3. ^ Margaret Semrud-Clikeman; Phyllis Anne Teeter Ellison (15 June 2009). Child Neuropsychology: Assessment and Interventions for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 2nd Edition. Springer. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-387-88963-4.