The Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery - (WJ-III®)

WJ-III has a total of 42 subtests, made up of Cognitive Abilities, Tests of Achievement.

Evaluators can select the tests they want to assess the abilities they are interested for a particular student.  They must give all the test necessary to obtain a cluster scores.

WJ-III can not be hand-scored, computer-scoring only.  The The scoring software calculates scores using variables, such as time limits, test sections, age-equivalents, grade equivalents, and delay times, that can not be built into the printed score tables.

Cognitive Abilities

Comprehension-Knowledge (Gc)

1. Verbal Comprehension. Naming pictures, giving ant-- or synonyms for spoken words, and completing oral analogies.
11. General Information. Answering "where" and "what" factual questions.

Long-Term Retrieval (Glr) [note - "long-term" can be as short as several minutes]

2. Visual-Auditory Learning. The student is taught rebus symbols for words and tries to "read" sentences written with the symbols.
12. Retrieval Fluency. The student tries to name as many things as possible in one minute in each of three specified categories, e.g., fruits.

Visual Processing (Gv)
3. Spatial Relations. The student tries to select by sight alone, from many choices, the fragments that could be assembled into a given geometric shape.
13. Picture Recognition. The student is shown one or more pictures and then tries to identify it or them on another page that includes several similar pictures

Auditory Processing (Ga)

4. Sound Blending. The student tries to identify words dictated broken into separate sounds.
14. Auditory Attention. The student tries to recognize words dictated against increasingly loud background noise.

Fluid Reasoning (Gf)

5. Concept Formation. For each item, the student tries to figure out the rule that divides a set of symbols into two groups.
15. Analysis-Synthesis. The student tries to solve logical puzzles involving color codes similar to mathematical and scientific symbolic rules.

Processing Speed (Gs)
6. Visual Matching. As quickly as possible for three minutes, the student circles two identical numbers in each row of six numbers.
16. Decision Speed. As quickly as possible for three minutes, the student tries to find the two pictures in each row that are most similar conceptually (e.g., sundial and stopwatch).

Short-Term Memory (Gsm)

7. Numbers Reversed. Repeating increasingly long series of dictated digits in reversed order.
17. Memory for Words. The student tries to repeat dictated random series of words in order.

Additional Tests
8. Incomplete Words. The student attempts to recognize words dictated with some sounds omitted. Ga.
9. Auditory Working Memory. The student tries to repeat randomly dictated words and numbers (e.g., cow 9 up 3 5) with the words first and then the numbers in the order they were dictated. This test also measures Gsm or working memory or division of attention.
10. Visual-Auditory Learning – Delayed. The student tries again to "read" sentences written with the rebuses learned in Visual-Auditory Learning. There are norms from one half-hour to 8 days. This is an additional measure of Glr.
18. Rapid Picture Naming. The student tries to name simple pictures as quickly as possible for 2 minutes. This test measures Gs and naming facility or Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN)
19. Planning. The student tries to trace a complex, overlapping path without lifting the pencil, retracing any part of the path, or skipping any part. Gf and Gv are involved in this test.
20. Pair Cancellation. The student tries scans rows of pictures and tries, as quickly as possible for 3 minutes to circle each instance in which a certain picture is followed by a certain other picture (e.g., each cat followed by a tree). This test also measures Gs. 

Tests of Achievement


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 : ____ ).

( To cover all areas of reading, as outline by NCLB, Reading First, suggests that Phonemic Awareness is also included:

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

All five areas of reading, that are outline in NCLD, “Reading First” Initiative, should be assessed :
  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

7. Spelling - writing letters and words from dictation.

8. Writing Fluency - writing simple sentences, using three given words for each item and describing a picture, as quickly as possible for seven minutes.

11. Writing Samples - writing sentences according to directions; many items include pictures; spelling does not count on most items.

16. Editing - orally correcting deliberate errors in typed sentences.

18. Spelling of Sounds - written spelling of dictated nonsense words.

22. Punctuation and Capitalization - formal writing test of these skills.

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 and mouse is to ___ )

19. Academic Knowledge - oral questions about factual knowledge of science, social studies, and humanities.

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 Knowlegde:
1. Letter-Word Identification
5. Calculation
7. Spelling
2. Reading Fluency
6. Math Fluency
8. Writing Fluency
9. Passage Comprehension
10. Applied Problems
11. Writing Samples
13. Word Attack
20. Spelling of Sounds

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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One of our orginal Concord SPED PAC webpages, created December 13, 2002, by Melody Orfei
Webpage last modified on November 8, 2007 - V3, by Melody Orfei