For Iowa users, if earlyReading is your default literacy assessment, you must use Nonsense Words because it is part of the earlyReading test composite that was approved to address Early Literacy Implementation (ELI) assessment requirements. FastBridge didn't submit the substitution of Decodable Words within the earlyReading test composite for ELI assessment approval.
Additionally, using Decodable Words is not recommended by FastBridge in earlyReading Decodable Words:
It is important to note that the earlyReading English - Decodable Words subtest uses real English words that students might already know by sight. If they know these words already, the test will not show how well they can decode unfamiliar words. Decoding unfamiliar words is an important skill in becoming a reader, so having information about how well students can decode non-words (also called nonsense words or pseudowords) is the best way to know if they will be able to decode real words that are new to young readers. For this reason, FastBridge recommends the use of the earlyReading English - Nonsense Words subtest rather than the earlyReading English - Decodable Words subtest for screening since it is a more accurate predictor of students’ decoding skills.
Decodable Words may be administered separately, if desired, after completing the subtests that are in the composite. Beforehand, consider what additional valuable information the Decodable Words subtest will provide to support instruction.