Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

pp 703-706

Controlled Oral Word Association Test

  • Janet PattersonAffiliated withDepartment of Communicartive Sciences and Disorders, California State University East Bay


Category fluency; CFL test; COWA; COWAT; F-A-S test; Letter fluency; Phonemic fluency; Verbal fluency


The Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT) is a measure of verbal fluency and is a subtest of the Multilingual Aphasia Examination (MAE; Benton, Hamsher, & Sivan, 1994). The COWAT uses the three letter set of C, F, and L to assess phonemic fluency. Individuals are given 1 min to name as many words as possible beginning with one of the letters. The procedure is then repeated for the remaining two letters (see Strauss, Sherman, & Spreen, 2006 and Benton, Hamsher, Rey, & Sivan, 1994 for specific administration instructions). Several tests of phonemic fluency exist, some of which are part of larger test batteries (e.g., the MAE or the Neurosensory Center Comprehensive Examination for Aphasia; Spreen & Benton, 1977) and others that can be administered independently (e.g., the F-A-S Test).

Verbal fluency is a cognitive function that facilitates info ...

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