The Batería III provides a measurement of general intellectual ability, specific cognitive abilities, oral language, and academic achievement for ages 2 to 90+ years and grades K.0 to 16.9+.
Administration time varies, taking approximately 5–10 minutes per subtest.
A test's validity depends on two factors: how closely its norming sample represents the population to which the test results will be compared, and how carefully the data was gathered from that sample.
The WJ III sample was selected to represent, within practical limits, the U.S. population from ages 2 to 90+ years. Normative data for the test were gathered from 8,818 subjects in over 100 geographically diverse communities in the United States. Individuals were randomly selected within the stratified sampling design that controlled for 10 specific community and individual variables and 13 socioeconomic status variables. The sample consisted of 1,143 preschool subjects, 4,784 kindergarten to 12th grade subjects, 1,165 college and university subjects, and 1,843 adult subjects.
The WJ III uses continuous year norms to yield normative data at 10 points in each grade. It provides age-based norms by month from ages 2 to 19 years and by year from ages 2 to 90+ years. It also provides grade-based norms for kindergarten through 12th grade, 2-year college, and 4-year college, including graduate school.
The WJ III is a highly accurate and valid diagnostic system because the two batteries were co-normed, which means that the normative data are based on a single sample. When tests are co-normed, examiners get actual discrepancies and avoid errors typically associated with estimated discrepancies.
Most of the WJ III tests show strong reliabilities of .80 or higher; several are .90 or higher. The WJ III interpretive plan is based on cluster interpretation. The WJ III clusters show strong reliabilities, most at .90 or higher. The reliability characteristics of the WJ III meet or exceed basic standards for both individual placement and programming decisions.
The WJ III is especially useful for identifying and documenting two major types of discrepancies: ability/achievement discrepancies and intra-achievement discrepancies. The ability/achievement discrepancy is the most commonly used method of evaluating an individual's eligibility for special programs. Professionals can obtain ability/achievement discrepancies by administering both the WJ III Tests of Cognitive Abilities and the WJ III Tests of Achievement. The WJ III has an advantage over other tests because it provides three types of ability/achievement discrepancies—general intellectual ability to achievement, predicted achievement-to-achievement, and oral language to achievement.
The oral language to achievement discrepancy is a new measure offered only in the WJ III. For the first time, professionals can calculate an ability/achievement discrepancy using just the achievement battery. Because limited oral language can have a negative impact on test performance, it is important to consider a subject's oral language skills when interpreting test results. The WJ III moved the oral language tests from the cognitive battery to the achievement battery, so the Oral Language–Extended cluster can now be used as the "ability" score and compared to a subject's achievement score. This measure is particularly useful for reading and other oral language professionals.
The WJ III also provides intra-ability discrepancies, which include intra-achievement discrepancies, intra-cognitive discrepancies, and intra-individual discrepancies. Information gathered from intra-ability discrepancies helps professionals to determine an individual's strengths and weaknesses, diagnose and document language and learning disabilities, and make intervention plans.
The intra-individual discrepancy procedure has several advantages over traditional aptitude/achievement discrepancy procedures. It provides a more comprehensive evaluation because examiners can analyze a variety of scores across cognitive and achievement clusters. The intra-achievement discrepancy procedure examines the difference between an individual's achievement score in a particular area with a prediction estimated based on an average of all other achievement areas to help professionals to identify learning disabilities, pinpoint specific problems, and choose the most appropriate intervention for an individual. The procedure is also particularly useful for identifying learning disabilities early, before a child fails in school.
Phonological awareness is one of the best predictors of early reading acquisition—better than IQ, vocabulary, or listening comprehension; that makes it an important predictor of educational achievement. Deficits in this area are a major cause of severe reading problems.
Phonological awareness is the ability to focus on the sound structure of language apart from its meaning. To learn to read and spell, we must attend to the relationship between the sounds (phonemes) and the letters (graphemes) of language. This knowledge of phoneme/grapheme, or sound-symbol, relationships is a key to decoding and encoding written language.
There are several types of phonological awareness, including word awareness, syllable awareness, rhyme awareness, and phonemic awareness. The WJ III contains five (5) tests that measure different aspects of phonological awareness. In fact, the WJ III Tests of Cognitive Abilities is the only major intelligence test that measures auditory processing and phonemic awareness. The cognitive battery contains Sound Blending, which requires a subject to synthesize speech sounds to form a word, and Incomplete Words, which requires a subject to analyze a word with missing phonemes and identify the complete word. In the WJ III Tests of Achievement, three tests measure aspects of phonological awareness: examiners can use Word Attack and Spelling of Sounds to assess a subject's phoneme/grapheme knowledge and determine if the subject can apply both phonological and orthographical knowledge to identify and spell words. And if further analysis is needed, examiners can use Sound Awareness to measure a subject's ability to rhyme words and manipulate phonemes.