Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement
The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement is a widely-used,
comprehensive collection of tests measuring level of achievement in
reading, mathematics, written language, and knowledge. Currently the
most recent edition is the IIIrd (WJIII). Individual tests are
organized into clusters which measure different aspects of each subject
area. These tests can be scored based on age norms or grade norms.
The Reading tests are organized into three clusters. The Broad Reading
Cluster is considered the most general measure of reading achievement,
and is composed of Letter-Word Identification and Passage
Comprehension. The Basic Reading Skills Cluster measures sight
vocabulary and the ability to apply phonic and structural analysis
skills. It is composed of Letter-Word Identification and Word Attack.
The Reading Comprehension Cluster measures comprehension of single
words (Reading Vocabulary) and of words in context of a passage
The Mathematics tests are organized into three clusters. The Broad
Mathematics Cluster measures skill in performing written calculations
(Calculation) and in analyzing and solving practical word problems
(Applied Problems). The Basic Mathematics Skills Cluster measures
computational skill (Calculation) and knowledge of mathematical
concepts and vocabulary (Quantitative Concepts). The Mathematics
Reasoning Cluster is composed only of the Applied Problems test.
The Written Language tests are organized into three clusters. The Broad
Written Language Cluster measures production of single-word responses
(Dictation) and production of sentences in context (Writing Samples).
On the Basic Writing Skills Cluster measures single-word responses
(Dictation) and identification of errors in spelling, punctuation,
capitalization, and usage (Proofing). The Written Expression Cluster
measures production of increasingly complex sentences in context
(Writing Samples) and timed production of simple sentences according to
a general rule (Writing Fluency).
The Broad Knowledge Cluster is composed of the Science, Social Studies,
and Humanities tests, and measures knowledge of general content areas,
rather than specific skills.
The WJIII Achievement tests can also be used with the coordinated
Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Ability.
The WJ III is especially useful for identifying and documenting
ability/achievement discrepancies and intra-ability discrepancies. The
ability/achievement discrepancy is the most commonly used method of
evaluating an individual's eligibility for special programs.
Professionals can obtain ability/achievement discrepancies by
administering both the WJ III Tests of Cognitive Abilities and the WJ
III Tests of Achievement. The WJ III provides three types of
ability/achievement discrepancies - general intellectual ability to
achievement, predicted achievement to achievement, and oral language to
The oral language to achievement discrepancy is a new measure offered
only in the WJ III. For the first time, professionals can calculate an
ability/achievement discrepancy using only the achievement battery. The
Oral Language-Extended cluster, which used to be in the cognitive
battery, can now be used as the "ability" score and compared to a
subject's achievement. score. This measure is particularly useful for
reading and other oral language professionals.
The WJ III also provides intra-ability discrepancies, which include
intra-achievement discrepancies, intra-cognitive discrepancies, and
intra-individual discrepancies. Information gathered from intra-ability
discrepancies helps professionals to determine an individual's
strengths and weaknesses, diagnose and document language and learning
disabilties, and make intervention plans.
The intra-individual discrepancy procedure has several advantages over
traditional aptitude/achievement discrepancy procedures. It provides a
more comprehensive evaluation because examiners can analyze a variety
of scores across cognitive and achievement clusters. The
intra-achievement discrepancy procedure examines the difference between
an individual's achievement score in a particular area with a
prediction estimated based on an average of all other achievement areas
to help professionals to identify learning disabilities, pinpoint
specific problems, and choose the most appropriate intervention for an
individual. The procedure is also particulary useful for identifying
learning disabilities early, before a child fails in school.
Most of the WJ III tests show strong reliabilities of .80 or higher;
several are .90 or higher. The WJ III interpretive plan is based on
cluster interpretation. The WJ III clusters show strong reliabilities,
most at .90 or higher. The reliability characteristics of the WJ III
meet or exceed basic standards for both individual placement and