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Question about standardized testing

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I have always used the Iowa test for my boys - now 11 years old.


Recently a friend started a service administering the Woodcock Johnson test.


Testing is not a big deal to me. I am required to do it by state law, but I don't find it particularly helpful most of the time. My children always score well and I just file the results away as required.


Are there any advantages to the Woodcock over the Iowa? Anything new I could hope to learn? I'd love to support her in her new business, but it's a tad expensive and I want to make sure I will get something of value to me.



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We started out with the Woodcock (WJIII) when my daughter was in kindergarten, did it for first and second grade, then added in the ITBS in 2nd grade because I wanted to see the comparison. This year we are doing ITBS and CogAt, but not WJIII because I can't do all of them due to cost ;) and I want the ITBS scores for qualifying for a particular program.


I like the WJIII for many reasons. The one we were given was a streamlined test that only took 45 minutes. The results were immediately given to us and discussed with us, which was great. It's wonderful for kids who are working on a number of different levels depending on the subject rather than at around the same grade level in everything, as is frequently true of accelerated kids in particular. There are longer versions of the WJIII available. It is individually given by an accredited person.


I like the ITBS because, once I found the level we wanted, it was a bit more in-depth in specific areas, scores were similar and I wanted to give the CogAt this year. I did have to give an out-of-level test to get that, however, because the scores mean different things on the two tests.


For the ITBS (and I believe any single-grade level achievement tests), when a child scores at a 5th grade level, say, on a 2nd grade test, that means that she is doing as well as an average 5th grade student *on 2nd grade material*. On the WJIII, because of the way it is normed, if that 2nd grade student scores at a 5th grade level, it is on *5th grade material*. So it is very useful for the kid who may score 98th percentile in a category on the ITBS or similar test, but you would like to know more about what that means. Is that 2nd grader with a 98% in reading going to top out at 3rd grade or 8th grade? A single -level test won't tell you, but the WJIII will.


So, both are good and have useful applications, just depends on what you want. My daughter's overall scores were similar on both last year, and they were given in the same week.

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That's a quick test! Thank you for your reply!


It does with the particular folks that we use for testing. It depends on the number of subtests she chooses to use---I think a full scale WJIII is something like 3 hours. Here's what the folks we have used say about it:



As they point out, it was mostly oral which worked really well when my daughter was younger and she found it a very low stress situation. I like it and found the answers useful, for this year it is just that the other tests meet our specific needs right now. We may go back to the WJII in the future.

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