Word Recognition Test

I’ve had a few hearing tests. The most recent one did word recognition, but quite frankly I think it was bogus. The man giving the test had me close my eyes and he said words from two different lists asking me to repeat the words he had said… then after fitting me with hearing aids he repeated the list and asked me to repeat the words he said. Of course, I could hear much better but I question how this was done. Normally when I’m talking to someone one on one with no background noise I hear pretty well. It seemed to me like he spoke low and kind of mumbled the words intentionally and then when he redid the test it was like he spoke louder and more clearly. …I understood everything he said. Other speech recognition tests I’ve done have been via a headset with recorded words in varying degrees of background noise… Has anyone else ever had a tests done with the person doing the testing saying words and then having you repeat them? It seems a bit bogus to me…

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Never had one with the audi stating the words. Always came from a canned program one in a womans voice the other in a mans voice. Never guess at what is said. if you guess and it is wrong it is counted as correct… You would never guess if someone is talking to you. you would have them repeat until you understand what they said. Does not make sense that they would have a person guess. without guessing I am usually about 40% in word recognition. Also never had a word recognition test with the hearing aids in.


I’ve had several speech recognition tests done with the audiologist reading from a list, with mouth view blocked. I would repeat the word as I heard it. In fact that is the only method any tester has used with me. I always thought it wasn’t a very good way to test, but that’s the way it was done.

I hear/understand some people much better than others, so results would differ depending on who was doing the testing and would not necessarily be reliable. It seems as though a recorded list would give more consistent results.

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Different methods. Different results. Just never guess at the word. In real life you do not guess.

Interesting…the person giving the test told me to guess if I wasn’t sure. I too hear some people quite well and others not well at all. Guessing didn’t make sense to me either… My hearing tests have all been quite consistent showing moderate hearing loss at the higher levels… I’m testing out a set now so we’ll see how it goes. Just getting used to them at this stage…

The word recognition tests I have participated in generally give me a rating around 90% with and without my aids.

In the real world, I am far less than 90% without the aids. I would never work at a job without my aids. I do believe word recognition is about 90% with the aids.

I personally find it much more difficult to understand women and children with my loss.

The audiologist I go to in Orange Park, FL is probably the best at both testing and fitting. I try to go there when I can but I have lived at least 800 miles away from there since 2012. I try to coordinate visits when I return for family functions.

The word recognition test does need to be improved. Word recognition is THE main reason I wear aids.


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Hi. I feel like I guess all the time in real life. I get tired of asking people to repeat themselves…sometimes I get it right and often I don’t and it’s comical (for everyone else). I have been told to guess a couple of times on the test, but thinking about it, I cannot see how that helps with accurate results. From now on I won’t guess on the tests.

It was bogus.

That is the best to do. no more guessing. it just does not make sense to guess when in real life you do not guess.

I have seen people do Word Recognition test with live voice but it really should be recorded words so the presentation level is identical. Most people will score better with a male speaker than a female speaker just due to the frequency range of their voices. In addition to WR they should do some sort of speech in noise testing since that is where people have the most difficulty. Unfortunately, some “professional’” are more interested in a quick test and a sale. I would suggest finding a different provider that does the proper tests before you spend your hard earned money. Dr. Cliff has a Best Practices list on his website and it is a great resource for making sure you are getting what you deserve.

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All my WR test have been done the same as yours. One time I had an audiologist give me a WR test while eating a candy bar ! :rage: When I told him I rather he didn’t eat while testing me, he just laughed and said, "what, you think people won’t eat while talking to you in real life ?? " I just looked at him and said, " not while talking to me ". Needless to say, I got up and walked out.


I guess quite often when in a conversation with people, but it gets me in trouble at times… I think I hear them say one thing that’s wrong and when I reply they give a strange look… then my wife will chuckle and repeat what they said. She speaks rather loudly and having been together for over 40 years I have no problem understanding her. I guess she’s my “Hearing Aid”… I know it’s sometimes humorous when I respond to something I think I’ve heard and I come out with a strange response, but at the same time it’s really not funny… It’s frustrating…


I had one guy do the “beep test” and when he was done he said he didn’t need to do word recognition because he had all the information he needed. The most comprehensive test I had was with Miracle Ear, but they wanted to retain $500 for a “Restocking Fee” if I didn’t find the HR’s helpful after their 30 day trial… That was a deal breaker for me…

I’ve been to many different audiologists, some did the test verbally, most had the tape. I much prefer the tape, like you I think it is going to give better results. Male and female voices.

This is the first time I ever heard “do not guess, if you guess wrong it still counts as correct.” Why? If the word is “fit” and I repeat “sit” why would that be correct? Makes no sense to me. I’ll try to remember this going forward.

Can’t remember if I had it repeated with the hearing aids in.

If the VA is doing the test and you guess it is counted as correct no mater if it is wrong. This way they keep your rating down. If you have a low word recognition your score is higher. I only say the word back if I fully understand and recognize the word. As in life if you do not hear it correctly you have them repeat or spell it out. Makes sense to me. Guessing is really stupid. Who in there right mind would guess??? If you do not recognize what they are saying you just don’t recognize it.

Mine, like others were done by audi reading off list and my not looking at audi. Instead of reading to me at normal volume which would have been a waste of time he adjusted the volume on my headphones based on my just completed hearing test. It’s just to give you an idea whether you hear better with amplification or should I say comprehend speech better. Nothing bogus about it. It gives you an idea of what you can expect from the aids. Mine is 20%. Without that knowledge I would think the aids are a rip off. Hmm. Maybe they are.

The problem (as I see it) with verbal word recognition as a means to test how well a person understands is that the person administering the test may subconsciously (or consciously???) speak lower and not as clearly when giving the test and then speak a bit louder and more clearly after fitting the Hearing Aids…It’s just too subjective in my opinion. I do tend to be skeptical of a lot of things, not just the hearing test. When I did the test via the recorded words I was able to understand 70% of the words If I remember right, but that included the words I got correct by guessing. And like others have stated, why in the world would you want to guess at what you are hearing???

My DH of 45 yrs is my hearing too. He knows I don’t hear what was said when I hesitate or have a funny expression.

I get very frustrated with the laughs and people thinking it’s a put on. I have 60% word recognition the Audi thinks this will get worse with time since 5 years ago I had 90%. It is something I work on everyday, some of the loss comes from no longer listening, If I concentrate very hard on what is being said I get most conversations, having a conversation should not take this much work. But hearing and Listening are 2 different mechanisms. Good luck.


Actually, I beg to differ. In real life you do guess and try to figure out what was said by concentrating on the rest of the speaking to fill in the blanks.

When I have taken this test, it is my audi who speaks and I think that is not ideal. A canned program would be better. That said I think this approach is in need of major improvement. In my experience plotting changes in WR against changes in my audiogram, I have found that WR drops much faster than response to sound.

There is not better confirmation of the difficulty for speech recognition what what I am sure we are ALL facing with masks. Understanding even loud deep speech is for me is almost impossible. I use Google transcribe on my cell phone to help and explain to people why.

There is a big difference between hearing and understanding. Increasing volume on HAs and compression help a little, but much more needs to be done.