Understanding Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement
February 24th, 2013
Woodcock Johnson, or WJ, is a popular standardized test
If your child or a loved one is scheduled to take the Woodcock Johnson, or WJ III, you probably have some questions. This test is used for a variety of reasons, in subjects ranging from very young students to older individuals into their 90′s. In children, the most common uses for the WJ test are assessing advanced placement eligibility and identifying a suspected or hidden learning disability.
In understanding the Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement, it helps to know what will be tested. You can view an (unofficial) breakdown of each section at http://alpha.fdu.edu/psychology/woodcock_ach_descrip.htm. Knowing what’s coming can help your child prepare through practice questions and simple reviews of good testing habits.
Since the subjects tested are, at least in part, based on learned knowledge, you can also use your child’s recent assignments and their textbooks to do some quick reviews. It’s important not to over-study or place pressure on a child with a big test coming up, especially when you’re using traditional academic materials like textbooks. This can cause testing anxiety, which often leads to inaccurately low scores. Keeping things light and interactive, on the other hand, typically allows a child to relax and perform to their true ability.
There are several ways to make practice fun and avoid putting too much pressure on your child. Online games and other interactive activities can be invaluable in making “test prep” fun for your child and avoid making her too anxious about the test. Similarly, there are board games that focus on the skills tested in the Woodcock Johnson and similar tests. You can also find patterns and phenomena in the everyday world that correlate to concepts and skills tested on the exam. This will make things light and fun for your child, rather than make it seem like “work” in the traditional sense.