What is the Woodcock Johnson® Test of Cognitive Abilities?
The Woodcock Johnson Test (WJ) comprises of three broad sets of tests; based on achievement, oral language and cognitive abilities. The Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement assesses the academic domains of reading, writing, knowledge and mathematics (developed knowledge and skills) of the individuals while the Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities is a long list of intelligence tests that assesses multiple cognitive skills of the individuals. On the other hand, the WJ Tests of Oral Language assesses the oral language skills and other language-related parameters. The WJ test series can be administered to individuals either separately or in combination, from as small as two years up to adulthood. The test was first developed by Richard Woodcock and Mary Johnson in the year 1977. Thereafter
the test was revised a couple of times and the latest edition was published in 2014, referred to as WJ-IV.
The tests cover a wide range of skills of the individuals that are evaluated on the basis two batteries: Standard and Extended Battery. The WJ Tests of Achievement contain 11 tests under the standard battery and 9 tests under the extended battery. The WJ Tests of Cognitive Abilities contain 10 tests under the standard battery and 10 tests under the extended battery while the WJ Tests of Oral Language function independently through a series of 12 tests. A combination of the results of both the batteries across the three types of tests will provide a detailed analysis of one’s thinking, reasoning, academic and language skills.
The WJ Tests of Cognitive Abilities assesses 9 parameters which are:
Comprehension Knowledge, Visual Spatial Thinking, Long-Term Retrieval, Auditory Processing, Processing Speed, Fluid Reasoning, Quantitative Knowledge, Short-Term Memory and Reading-Writing Ability. The test will fetch you the GIA – General Intellectual Ability (comprehensive measure of general ability) or BIA – Brief Intellectual Ability (measure of verbal and thinking abilities as well as efficiency in performing reasoning and decision making tasks). The WJ Tests of Achievement are evaluated on the basis of achievement in reading, writing, knowledge and mathematics. Each parameter is organized into clusters to assess an individual’s achievement. The Reading tests are organized into 3 clusters; The Broad Reading Cluster, The Basic Reading Skills and the Reading Comprehension Cluster. The Mathematics tests comprises of The Broad Mathematics Clusters, The Basic Mathematics Skills and the Mathematics Reasoning Cluster. The Written language tests are made up of The Broad Written Language, The Basic Written Skills and the Written Expression clusters. Lastly the Knowledge test comprises of one cluster which is the Broad Knowledge Cluster. The WJ tests of Oral Language are evaluated on the basis of two parameters: Phonetic Coding and Speed of Lexical access. Thus a combination of the results of these tests will help identify the strengths and weaknesses of a child with respect to his/her achievements, language and reasoning abilities.