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Educational Psychology Tests You May Encounter

Educational psychology tests are vital tools for understanding and addressing the diverse learning needs of students. In addition to the well-known KTEA, WIAT, WISC, and WJ tests, the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) and the Test of Integrated Language & Literacy Skills (TILLS) are also instrumental in evaluating specific aspects of academic and cognitive functioning. When your student has an IEP evaluation through their school and/or receives a private neuropsychological evaluation for dyslexia, at least two of these tests should be used. Let's explore how these assessments compare and what unique insights they offer.

1. Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA):

The KTEA evaluates academic achievement across various subjects, including reading, math, written language, and oral language skills. It offers comprehensive insights into a student's performance relative to standardized norms, aiding in the identification of learning disabilities and the formulation of intervention strategies. It covers a very wide range, almost all, of the areas that should be tested when considering dyslexia. These include listening and reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, silent reading fluency, word recognition/decoding, phonological processing, and nonsense word decoding.

2. Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT):

Similar to the KTEA, the WIAT assesses academic achievement in reading, writing, mathematics, and oral language. It provides detailed diagnostic information to guide educational planning and intervention, facilitating the monitoring of students' progress over time. In contrast to the KTEA, the WIAT tests oral reading fluency instead of silent, and it does not test phonological processing. Most students receive either the WIAT or the KTEA, but not both as they have a lot of overlap. The WIAT is said to be better suited for lower-achieving and/or younger students.

3. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC):

Unlike the KTEA and WIAT, the WISC focuses on assessing cognitive abilities, including verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed. It aids in identifying intellectual giftedness, learning disabilities, and cognitive strengths and

weaknesses, informing tailored interventions. The WISC serves as a differential diagnostic tool, helping to assess whether the students reading difficulties are due to a cognitive or intelligence problem.

4. Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities (WJ):

Similar to the WISC, the WJ assesses cognitive functioning across various domains, offering detailed insights into verbal and visual-spatial abilities, processing speed, and working memory. It informs educational planning and intervention by identifying cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Unlike the WISC, the WJ includes dyslexia-related tests such as letter/word identification, sound awareness, reading fluency, spelling of sounds, and passage comprehension.

5. Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP):

The CTOPP evaluates phonological awareness, phonological memory, and rapid naming skills, which are crucial for reading development. It aids in identifying specific difficulties related to phonological processing, informing targeted interventions for individuals with dyslexia or other reading disorders. However, it does not test nearly as many other important areas as the other tests, so it should be used in conjunction with other assessments.

6. Test of Integrated Language & Literacy Skills (TILLS):

Unlike other assessments, the TILLS evaluates both oral and written language skills, including listening comprehension, oral expression, reading comprehension, and written expression. It offers a comprehensive evaluation of language and literacy abilities, aiding in the diagnosis of language-based learning disabilities and guiding intervention planning. This test, in our experience, is less commonly administered.

Comparative Analysis:

- Focus: The KTEA, WIAT, WJ, and TILLS primarily assess a wider range of academic achievement, while the WISC, focuses on cognitive abilities and the CTOPP focuses on phonological processing.


- Scope: The KTEA and WIAT cover specific academic domains, whereas the WISC, WJ, CTOPP, and TILLS assess a broader range of cognitive and language abilities.


- Application: Each assessment serves a unique purpose, from identifying learning disabilities and informing academic interventions (KTEA, WIAT, WJ, TILLS) to assessing cognitive abilities and IQ (WISC), and phonological processing (CTOPP).


- Age Range: While most tests are suitable for children, your psychologist will pick the one(s) best suited for the age and current abilities of the student.


In conclusion, the choice of educational psychology test depends on the specific needs and objectives of the assessment, as well as the age and developmental stage of the individual being evaluated. By understanding the differences and strengths of these assessments, educators and psychologists can make informed decisions to support students' learning and development effectively.


Wilson Reading System Introductory Course , Wilson Language Training Corporation, Oxford, MA, 2020, pp. 61–61.


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