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Woodcock-Johnson Subtests Explanations


(There are 22 academic tests. The numbers refer to the test number.)

Reading Tests:

1. Letter-Word Identification - naming letters and reading words aloud from a list.
2. Reading Fluency - speed of reading sentences and answering "yes" or "no" to each.
9. Passage Comprehension - orally supplying the missing word removed from each sentence or very brief paragraph. (e.g., "Woof," said the _____, biting the hand that fed it.").
13. Word Attack - reading nonsense words (e.g., plurp, fronkett) aloud to test phonetic word attack skills.
17. Reading Vocabulary - orally stating synonyms and antonyms for printed words and orally completing written analogies (e.g., elephant : big :: mouse : ____ ). 21. Sound Awareness - rhyming, deletion, substitution, and reversing of spoken sounds.

Reading Clusters (Are a combination of subtests, they are an average of scores.)

Broad Reading
(Is combination of these 3 subtests):

Basic Reading Skills
(Is combination of these 2 subtests):
Reading Comprehension
(Is combination of these 2 subtests)
1. Letter-Word Identification 1. Letter-Word Identification 9. Passage Comprehension
2. Reading Fluency 13. Word Attack 17. Reading Vocabulary
9. Passage Comprehension    






These 5 areas of reading are included in the assessment recommended by NCLB (NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND) :

  1. Phonemic Awareness
  2. Phonics
  3. Fluency
  4. Vocabulary
  5. Comprehension strategies
(1.) Sound Awareness subtest (for Phonemic Awareness subtest) and Sound Blending subtest
(2.) Word Attack, the ability to read nonsense words (Phonics)
(3.) Reading Fluency
(4.) Reading Vocabulary
(5.) Passage Comprehension (low level comprehension at the sentence level, using fill in the blank.)









Other useful subtests are Spelling of sounds subtest, and Picture Vocabulary subtest.
Other academic areas to assess: writing, spelling and math, including writing fluency and math fluency.

Written Language

Written Language Clusters
Broad Written Language (Is combination of these 3 subtests): Basic Writing Skills: Written Expression:
7. Spelling 7. Spelling 8. Writing Fluency
8. Writing Fluency 16. Editing 11. Writing Samples
11. Writing Samples    







5. Calculation - involves arithmetic computation with paper and pencil.
6. Math Fluency - speed of performing simple calculations for 3 minutes.
10. Applied Problems - are oral, math "word problems," solved with paper and pencil.
18. Quantitative Concepts - oral questions about mathematical factual information, operations signs, etc.

Math Clusters
Broad Math (Is combination of these 3 subtests): Math Calculation Skills: Math Reasoning:
5. Calculation 5. Calculation 10. Applied Problems
6. Math Fluency 6. Math Fluency 18. Quantitative Concepts
10. Applied Problems    






Listening Comprehension

3. Story Recall - the student answers oral questions about stories that were dictated to the student.
4. Understanding Directions - the student follows oral directions to point to different parts of pictures.
12 Story Recall – Delayed - the student answers questions about the stories heard earlier.
14. Picture Vocabulary - the student points to named pictures or names pictures.
15. Oral Comprehension - the student provides anto- or synonyms to spoken words and completes oral analogies (e.g., elephant is to big as mouse is to ___ )
19. Academic Knowledge - oral questions about factual knowledge of science, social studies, and humanities (art, literature and music).
21. Sound Awareness - (Phonemic Awareness) rhyming, deletion, substitution, and reversing of spoken sounds.

Oral Language Clusters
Oral Language Standard skills Oral Language Extended Skills Listening Comprehension Oral Expression
3. Story Recall 4. Understanding Directions 4. Understanding Directions 3. Story Recall
4. Understanding Directions 14. Picture Vocabulary 15. Oral Comprehension 14. Picture Vocabulary
  15. Oral Comprehension    






Academic Skills: Academic Fluency: Academic Applications: Phoneme/Grapheme Knowledge:
1. Letter-Word Identification 2. Reading Fluency 9. Passage Comprehension 13. Word Attack
5. Calculation 6. Math Fluency 10. Applied Problems 20. Spelling of Sounds
7. Spelling 8. Writing Fluency 11. Writing Samples  





Total Achievement:

Broad Reading
Broad Math
Broad Written Language

The information on this was adapted from Fairleigh Dickinson University, website created by Dumont and Willis 

Riverside Publishing Company website      


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