How to Read Results on the Woodcock-Johnson Test

by Maria Magher Google

    The Woodcock-Johnson Test is used to evaluate individuals for academic and intellectual ability. It's often administered to evaluate children either for learning disabilities or eligibility for special education classes, including gifted education. The Woodcock-Johnson Test measures cognitive ability, scholastic aptitude, intellectual ability and oral language. Learning how to interpret the results of the test can help you better understand your child's abilities or special needs so you can make more informed choices for his education.

    Learn the Abbreviations

    A number of terms are used on the Woodcock-Johnson Test that are abbreviated for easy reference. However, if you don't know these abbreviations, reading the test won't be so easy. Some important abbreviations include RAW for raw score, SS for standard score, AE for age equivalent, GE for grade equivalent and PR for percentile rank. The raw score is the number of points your child earned on a subsection of the test, and the standard score is the average score for all other test takers, allowing you to see how your child compared to others. Age and grade equivalent provide the average age and grade of other test takers who scored the same as your child.

    Review the Table of Scores

    The table of scores is often included near the back of the report, and it includes all of the scores your child received on each of the subsections, as well as the standard scores for those subsections. Review this table to get an understanding of how your child performed, then compare the performance to other test takers. Take note of the age and grade equivalent columns, as well. Reviewing this table is a good way to quickly identify strengths and weaknesses on the test for further discussion with your child's counselor or academic adviser.

    Analyze the Written Report

    A written report provides a summation of scores and overall performance on the test. This section provides more detailed information for parents, including the types of answers your child gave to receive the score. Analyzing this section for over- or under-performance can help you recognize your child's strengths and weaknesses in order to create an effective educational plan.

    Work with an Adviser

    Professionals are trained to evaluate the results of the Woodcock-Johnson Test and make recommendations for your child's educational program. The test can be quite complicated, and even if you understand how to read the report, a lot can be lost in translation. For example, you may know how your child performed on written and oral language, but you may not know how to compare written skills to oral skills to understand if there is a deficiency in language skills. These are the kinds of evaluations that professionals can make. It's worth making an appointment with an adviser or counselor to walk you through the report and answer all your questions about the scores and what they reveal about your child's needs.

    About the Author

    Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has written about education, parenting, home care, DIY topics, business, finance and entertainment for a variety of regional newspapers, a national magazine and numerous online publications. Magher holds a Master's degree in English and creative writing.

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