The Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement
The Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement
The Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement, abbreviated as WJ-III, is a standardized instrument used for measuring academic performance as well as cognitive abilities. It was first published in 1977 by Richard Woodcock and Mary E. Bonner Johnson, revised in 1989, and again in 2001 (Wendling, Schrank, & Schmidt, 2007). The final version is referred to as WJ-III and was published by Riverside Publishing, 425 Spring Lake Drive. The third version of the test provides examiners with more comprehensive instruments for measuring academic achievement. It can be used on subjects ranging from the age of two years to ninety years and above. It includes 22 tests that are used for measuring skills in broad areas that include reading, mathematics, writing, oral skills and academic knowledge (Wendling, Schrank, & Schmidt, 2007).
The tests are administered through two parallel forms, Form A and Form B, with both containing the 22 tests. A third form exists, which is known as Form C or Brief Battery that includes nine tests for the most frequently used skills, reading, mathematics and writing. The tests can be administered through individual tests conducted by a trained examiner or evaluator. A trained examiner is more reliable and comprehensive since he or she can identify strengths and weaknesses. Administration time for the test can vary with each test taking about 5 minutes. The administration of a standard 11 tests such as Form A can range from 55 to 65 minutes long.
The target population of this test is already mentioned, where it seeks to target all individuals from as early as 2 years to the oldest. The scoring system of these tests is varied across each group of individuals since different groups especially in terms of age will have different academic and cognitive abilities (Schrank 2006). The test has standardized scores based on age. The scores range from 0 to above 131. Above 131 is considered immensely superior, 121-130 is superior, 111-120 is high average, 90-110 is average, 80 – 89 is low average, 70 – 79 low while 69 and below is considered extremely low. Any individual performance will be gauged using such scores, where age and score indicate a person’s level of achievement (Wendling, Schrank, & Schmidt, 2007). Software scoring is also available for Windows and Mac software where results are automatically assigned scores (Woodcock, McGrew & Mather, 2001).
The Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement has several specific purposes with the main ones being to measure the academic achievement of individuals. It seeks to achieve individually administered tests for academic achievement as well as cognitive ability of individuals. Some of the specific purposes include diagnosing learning disabilities, determining variations in learning, assessing growth, educational programs planning, individual planning, conducting research, offering guidance to clinical and educational settings and providing psychometric training (Schrank 2006). These purposes are achieved through identifying the abilities of an individual, as well as their inabilities at different tests. Thus, by testing individuals, examiners are able to gather relevant developmental, factual and academic information concerning a student. Such information helps examiners in identifying the individual abilities from which they know the needs of each of them (Wendling, Schrank, & Schmidt, 2007). By knowing the needs of each individual, examiners are able to find out whether they require special services. This can further aid in planning for their intervention programs.
The Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement is considered to be quite reliable across many areas of the academic setting due to its numerous tests and a technical-norm sample of 8, 818 individuals (Eau Claire Area School District, 2007). The co-normed 8,818 individuals consisted of diverse groups ranging from the earliest ages to adults. It was made up of 1,143 preschool children, 4,784 school-going children from kindergarten to 12 grade, 1,165 students from college while the rest were adults (Eau Claire Area School District, 2007). The groups included students attending public or private schools, home scholars, disabled students and English learners with more than one year in an English class. This technical-norm sample enhanced the reliability of the tests conducted due to its size (Eau Claire Area School District, 2007).
The technical-norm sample was tested using the tests described in the Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement. The internal consistency reliability scored highly for all individual tests as well as cluster tests that were utilized (Eau Claire Area School District, 2007). Total achievement for individual reliability scored at .98. Studies meant to show reliability of the instrument such as test-retest that were done over time intervals of 1 year, 1-2 years and 3-10 years provided acceptable medians on reliability ranging from .70 to .90s. Another study testing stability of the tests conducted on a time interval of 1 year yielded satisfactory results ranging from .80s to .90s. Further, scores for Form A and B across different age groups proved to be average at .80 to .96. All the tests conducted to evaluate the reliability of this testing instrument yielded acceptable results, proving its reliability and validity.
It seems that the test has many purposes across different settings considering it tests individuals ranging from 2 years to the oldest. The 22 tests used as well as the additional ones in the Brief Battery are comprehensive enough to cover a specific area that one is interested in testing (Woodcock, McGrew & Mather, 2001). I believe the tests are good and reliable considering their high scores on reliability and validity are acceptable. One of the areas that I could use the test is in finding out my academic achievement level as well as performance. It is clear that these tests can indicate ones academic levels as well as areas of weakness and strengths. Finding out about ones strengths and weaknesses would be extremely helpful in planning on how to improve on the weak points. This would be quite useful in planning my educational program, where information gathered from the tests would help be in several areas such as finding out what I need at my level as well as intervention methods that I can use to overcome my weaknesses. I believe that this would go a far way in improving my academic performance.
Eau Claire Area School District. (2007). Woodcock Johnson-III: Tests of Achievement (WJ-III). Retrieved from http://www.ecasd.k12.wi.us/student_services/assessments/WJ-III%20Tests%20of%20Achievement.pdf
Schrank, F.A. (2006). Specification of the Cognitive Processes Involved In Performance on the Woodcock-Johnson III. Riverside Publishing.
Wendling, B.J., Schrank, F.A. & Schmidt, A.J. Educational Interventions Related to the
Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement. Riverside Publishing Company. Retrieved from http://www.riversidepublishing.com/clinical/pdf/WJIII_ASB8.pdf
Woodcock, R. W., McGrew, K. S. & Mather, N. (2001). Woodcock-Johnson® III (WJ III®). Retrieved from http://www.assess.nelson.com/documents/cp-02-19.pdf
(Woodcock, McGrew & Mather, 2001)