The Woodcock-Johnson-III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III) is a battery of tests that seeks to measure academic achievement. Schools often use the tests to identify learning differences or determine eligibility for special education services. The tests may be administered by a school psychologist, special educator or other trained professional. The WJ-III has a standard battery of 12 subtests measuring math, vocabulary, reading and writing skills, and a 10-subtest optional extended battery. Parents should examine this report and be prepared to ask questions.
Learn the abbreviations and terms used on the score report. These include raw score, which is the number of points the test taker earned on a subtest, and standard score (SS), which is how he compares to the average test taker. The average standard score is 100. Other important terms you will see are age equivalent (AE), grade equivalent (GE) and percentile rank (PR).
Examine the table of scores. This table, which usually appears at the back of the test report, provides a summary of all the scores on the test. Highlight the standard scores column and the age or grade equivalent columns. These provide a quick way to compare your child's performance with that of her peers. Average standard scores on the WJ-III fall between 85 and 115.
Read the written report of results. This portion of the report is usually broken down by domain or subtest and may offer detailed information about what types of answers your child gave that resulted in the scores reported.
Look closely at any areas where your child scored above or below average. Also examine areas where she scored significantly higher or lower compared to other subtests. These areas of strength or weakness are the ones that provide the most information about the student's performance and needs.
Read the report of composite scores. These describe the student's overall performance throughout the test. Because the test has many components and tests many domains, the composite scores can be confusing because they describe average performance across all of the subtests. The average of a student's math and reading scores is not necessarily informative.
Elizabeth Sullivan has been teaching special education since 2001, specializing in classroom management and behavior. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Education in special education from Lesley University.