The DORA spelling sub-test is one of seven areas tested by DORA. As a result, the test-taker only spends between 5 and 10 minutes on this sub-test. Thus, it doesn't administer enough items to break out patterns of mastery or non-mastery for individual students within spelling. Instead, it is meant to provide an overall spelling level for any particular student.
When compared to the student's other scores, you get an idea of how the student is able to spell as well as his or her probable exposure level to reading.
Because this sub-test uses regular and irregular phonetically patterned words, to have mastered any particular set the student must have been exposed to those target words when reading. Strong phonics skills is not enough to demonstrate consistent mastery of words. Since this sub-test also requires the student to type in the spelling of a word, it is again harder than a multiple choice spelling test.
Finally, mastery is set by a lower bar of three out of five correct per set of words. This 60% mastery threshold is considered on the low side.