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Woodcock Johnson® Tests of Cognitive Abilities


Woodcock Johnson Overview

Woodcock-Johnson® Tests of Cognitive Abilities are IQ tests devised by Woodcock and Johnson in the late 1970’s. The Woodcock-Johnson Tests were revised most recently in 2001 and this latest version is commonly called the WJ-III test. The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities can be given to children from the age of 2 through adulthood. The Woodcock Johnson test covers a wide range of cognitive skills.

The Woodcock-Johnson-III and Woodcock-Johnson-IV Tests of Achievement are a 22-section achievement test, which assesses both academic achievement (what children have learned in school) and cognitive development. It is sometimes paired with an intelligence test to qualify children for gifted and talented programs.

The Woodcock-Johnson IV ® test, or Woodcock-Johnson Fourth Edition, was recently released as the newest version of the Woodcock-Johnson test. The Fourth Edition replaces the Woodcock-Johnson III, or Third Edition, which was used for some time until replaced by this newest version.

Historically, the Woodcock Johnson test is used for a broad range of ages, from young children to elderly individuals. For kids, the test is often used to determine whether they are eligible for entry into a gifted or advanced program, so doing well on the test can be important for their educational future.

Skill Assessment

The skills tested on the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities are:

  • Comprehension-Knowledge
  • Long-Term Retrieval
  • Visual-Spatial Thinking
  • Auditory Processing
  • Fluid Reasoning
  • Processing Speed
  • Short-Term Memory
  • Quantitative Knowledge
  • Reading-Writing Ability



The Woodcock-Johnson® Tests of Achievement IV is a multi-section achievement test that assesses academic achievement (what children have learned in school), cognitive development (thinking and reasoning skills), and oral language (listening and comprehension abilities).


More specifically, it provides an identification of your child’s strengths and weaknesses by providing comparisons both within and across each of these three batteries: Cognitive AbilitiesAchievement, and Oral Language.


It is easy and flexible for examiners to use and gives them the tools to best evaluate learning problems and improve instructional outcomes for your child.  Oral Language Tests can be given in Spanish or English or both if a dominant language has not been determined.   The test can be paired with an intelligence test to qualify children for gifted and talented programs.


Children taking the Woodcock-Johnson® test are not always given all of its subtests.  The Brief Intellectual Ability score is determined from subtests 1 thru 3 while the General Intellectual Ability score requires subtests 1 thru 7.   Test Administrators will choose as many of the subtests that they deemed necessary especially if they are areas of concern (cognitive reasoning, dyslexia, processing speed or reading fluency).  The revisions to the Woodcock-Johnson® Tests of Achievement IV has reinstated the ability of the test to determine if a student is performing on, below or above grade level. The test shows how a child processes different kinds of information or performs on tasks by measuring certain narrow cognitive skills.


The Woodcock-Johnson® test must be individually administered by a psychologist or another administrator.  Other achievement tests are given with a teacher-supervisor, but many times these are self-contained tests and the adult is merely going over the examples and monitoring the time.


With this test, there is more involvement by the psychologist or administrator.  If the entire test is given, it can take between 1-hour and 45-minutes to 2-hours and 45-minutes.  Several breaks would be given between Parts of the test.  If your child must prepare for any achievement test, going through the practice questions for the Woodcock-Johnson®-IV Tests of Achievement will be excellent preparation. Our practice questions for this test include the core subjects that most standard achievement tests cover.

Woodcock-Johnson® Tests of Achievement® (W-J-III® and WJ-IV ®) is a registered trademark of Riverside Publishing, a Houghton Mifflin Company, or their affiliate(s), or their licensors. TestingMom.com is not affiliated with nor related to Houghton Mifflin Company or its affiliates (“Houghton Mifflin”). Houghton Mifflin does not sponsor or endorse any TestingMom.com product, nor have TestingMom.com products or services been reviewed, certified, or approved by Houghton Mifflin. Trademarks referring to specific test providers are used by TestingMom.com for nominative purposes only and such trademarks are solely the property of their respective owners.

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