Woodcock-Johnson Test

How relevant someone's intelligence might be is simply a matter of opinion. There are very few jobs or instances where a person's Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is used to measure their ability to do a certain job or handle certain responsibilities. In fact, measuring IQ really seems to be more about establishing bragging rights while measuring a person's ability to employ certain cognitive capabilities.

One of the best tools used for measuring human intelligence is the Woodcock–Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities. It is used all over the world to measure the way people employ their cognitive abilities when processing information. Let's take a more in-depth look at the test.

About the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities

The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities (IQ TEST) was developed by Richard Woodcock and Mary E. Bonner Johnson, though the extent of Ms. Johnson's contributions has been called into question. The first tests were administered in 1977. Through the years, revisions have been made to the test with the last revision coming in 2014. The current iteration of the test is often referred to as the "WJ IV."

The WJ IV is actually a series of tests that can be administered to anyone from ages two (2) and up. The test is considered a comparative test that can be used to rank the intelligence of test-takers overall and by age category. The popularity of the test for adolescents is well-established based on the fact the test is often chosen over one of its competitor IQ tests, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) or WAIS.

In its current form, the WJ IV can be divided into three (3) batteries of tests, each serving to quantify the test taker's intellect in five (5) areas:

The three separate batteries are identified as follows:

How the Woodcock-Johnson IV Test of Cognitive Abilities is Administered

The WJ IV is typically administered by members of the psychiatric community or school administrators. Each battery of tests is taken manually (pencil and paper) and include a series of multiple-choice questions.

Each battery can be employed separately to measure a certain aspect of intelligence or as a complete series to use to evaluate the test taker's IQ in all dimensions.

The Cognitive battery includes seven (7) tests that are administered over a little less than an hour for the complete battery. The Achievement battery includes eleven (11) tests that take 55 and 65 minutes to complete while the Oral Language battery encompasses thirteen (13) tests that are administered in just over an hour.

Here is a list of the sub-areas that these tests measure cumulatively:

Ways the Woodcock-Johnson IV Test of Cognitive Abilities is Used

As an evaluation tool, the Woodcock-Johnson IV Test of Cognitive Abilities is used to test the learning and processing capabilities of the test taker. The results are then used to evaluate each test taker's performance in comparison to their age/grade group and as an individual.

As a tool of comparison, the test results are quantified for purposes of comparison by age or grade.

The average standard score is set at 100 with a standard deviation of 15 points. Test takers can then be ranked by percentile and put into IQ classifications. Here's a listing of score rankings with percentile rank and IQ classification:

On an individual level, test takers can be evaluated based on their "level of development" and "degree of proficiency."

A test taker's level of development is used to determine where their cognitive abilities stand in relation to their age and grade. If a test taker has an "age equivalent" (AE) of 12.5, there have the cognitive abilities of an adolescent between 12 and 13 years old. That's a high score for a child aged 10, but not so good for a child aged 15. The "grade equivalent" (GE) provides the same analysis in terms of a test taker's grade in school.

In terms of the degree of proficiency evaluation, a "Relative Proficiency Index" (RPI) is used. The index provides predictions as to the test taker's ability to achieve as they advance scholastically.

In summary, the Woodcock-Johnson IV Test of Cognitive Abilities provides a comprehensive analysis of where the test taker's intellect is at the time they take the tests. It also offers insight into where the test taker's intellectual capabilities might advance in the future. If there are indications of learning shortcomings, those can be addressed sooner rather than later.