Types of Academic Assessments

Click on each section to learn more about each academic assessment test.

 The Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement – Third Edition
KTEA-III is an individually administered assessment that provides academic information in Reading, Mathematics, Writing, Spelling and Oral Language. Comprehensive achievement scores are key in determining the current level of academic functioning a child possesses and provides a strategic role in finding gaps in their current abilities.

Not all academic assessments are created equal and the new KTEA indicates and pinpoints where a child is performing academically in relationship to the current demands of standards of learning. It pinpoints academic deficits and strengths with laser accuracy because subset skills show if they facilitate or impede a child’s ability to learn. For example, an inability to read may originate in one or two very small skill gaps and the KTEA-III gives that information.

The KTEA-III generates a practical list of suggestions for proven intervention strategies for the educator, whether in the classroom, tutorial situation, or home school, to use with the individual student. The KTEA-III is easy to understand. It is very discrete in the sense that the educator and parents get a clear picture of what’s at the core of the student’s academic skill achievement. The assessment is not complicated by information that is extraneous to those all-important academic skills. It gets to the heart of the academic achievement.

The KTEA-III is a critical element in crafting an academic plan of action. It provides the SailAway educational consultant the data with which to select the most advantageous educational approach and curriculum recommendations for the individual student. Therefore, missing skills and concepts can be addressed at the appropriate level while advancing or keeping non-affected skills on track. However, the KTEA-II cannot identify or quantify a student’s cognitive functioning even though the SailAway evaluator can make personal observations about the student during the test’s administration.

Brenda Murphy, President & CEO, SailAway Learning & Academy, believes the KTEA-II as the best academic assessment tool available. She states, “The best thing is that it’s not a “bubble” test. The evaluator sits with the child, reads instructions to make sure the child understands, and gives her a sense of security.

PPVT - 4
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – 4

The PPVT–4 measures understanding of spoken, standard American-English words and assesses vocabulary acquisition. In other words how well do we understand the words we hear. This test covers a broad range of receptive vocabulary levels, from preschool through adult. The sample words represent 20 content areas (e.g., actions, vegetables, tools) and parts of speech (nouns, verbs, or attributes) across all levels of difficulty. As a non-verbal evaluation, the PPVT-4 is invaluable in assessing the cognitive potential of students with limited or no oral language. A standard component of a speech-language evaluation, the PPVT also serves multiple purposes for the classroom or tutorial educator as well. The PPVT…

  • Measures response to vocabulary instruction
  • Aids in the diagnosis of reading difficulties and in designing instructional interventions
  • Contributes to assessment of preschool-age children
  • Screens for verbal development
  • Helps in the detection of language impairments across the age range
  • Aids in measuring language development among nonreaders and people with written-language difficulties
  • Measures linguistic potential
  • Affords individuals who perform poorly on group tests to demonstrate their ability when administered the test individually
  • Can be used with individuals who have moderate visual disabilities, including those with visual–perceptual problems or color blindness
  • Screens the receptive vocabulary knowledge.
Test of Variables of Attention

The T.O.V.A. is an objective, neuropsychological test that measures sustained and selective attention. The T.O.V.A. is the most widely used objective measure of attention in the world, and is considered the “Gold Standard” among measures of its type.

Meaning: If you or your child has been diagnosed with A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. or you suspect it might be a problem, the T.O.V.A. can assist a medical professional determine a more accurate diagnosis based on objective information derived from a non-subjective source. Many A.D.D./A.D.H.D. diagnoses are based on the subjective rating of observers’ opinions, not unbiased criteria.

Over 150 studies have been conducted utilizing the T.O.V.A. to detect attention in people with attention disorders and traumatic brain injuries. It is the most widely used commercially available Computerized Performance Test in the world. In addition, The T.O.V.A. Research and Education Foundation has provided researchers with the T.O.V.A. to be used in objective assessment of attention at no cost. Although the T.O.V.A. can accurately identify 87% of normal people, 84% of non-hyperactive ADHD, and 90% of the hyperactive that take the test, test developers never claim the test can diagnose medical conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorders or Traumatic Brain Injuries.

The test is a tool that the clinician uses along with history, interviews, behavior ratings and symptom checklists to accurately diagnose and treat attention disorders. Educators use the T.O.V.A to determine when during the instructional period a student is able to pay attention and thus tailor instruction to mesh with the times of greatest learning opportunities.

Test of Memory and Learning – 2

The TOMAL-2 the most comprehensive memory assessment currently available in a standardized battery. The test assesses 16 short-term and long-term memory tasks to provide educators with a clear picture of whether deficits in memory compromise a student’s ability to learn and retain what’s learned. The 8 core sub-tests, 6 supplementary sub-tests, and 2 delayed recall tasks evaluate general and specific memory and learning functions. The T.O.M.A.L. also delivers global data about Verbal Memory, Nonverbal Memory, and Overall Memory. Index scores allow the educator a predictive window into how memory will affect the student’s overall ability to learn and to pay attention and concentrate. It also reveals valuable information about a student’s ability in delayed verbal recall, sequential memory, free recall, and associated recall, all areas that impact the student’s ability to achieve academically.

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Fourth Edition

The WISC-IV is an individually administered assessment designed to determine varying abilities related to the child’s intelligence, cognitive abilities, memory and processing speed. Administration takes about 65 and 80 minutes and reports up to 15 individual core-skills sub-test that examine specific aspects of cognition. These core-skill sub-tests are compiled into four global indexes (Verbal Comprehension, the Perceptual Reasoning, Working Memory, and Processing Speed) and one Full Scale or overall score that rates IQ (FSIQ).

Brenda Murphy, President and CEO, SailAway Learning & Academy, describes the WISC-IV. “The WISC-IV is like a photograph of the mind, of the peaks and valleys with cracks in the solid places. When skilled evaluators examine the WISC scores, they can actually envision the child. The WISC reveals where the problems are academically and behaviorally and documents those elements very clearly. The WISC gives the educator a crystal-clear picture of the student. In the instructional situation, the educator has a head start on what the child needs to be successful. The WISC-IV measures a child’s ability to acquire knowledge. Does the child learn best by hearing and are they able to express verbally what they know? The WISC-IV reveals it. Or, does the child have strengths or difficulties with learning visually or with movement and touch? If a child has difficulty getting things down on pencil and paper, the WISC-IV alerts the educator who can avoid potential educational resistance with this fact. Another consideration for administering the WISC-IV to the K-12 child is that it documents a student’s educational ability or dis-ability. College entrance exams, like the ACT, can be taken untimed if a student verifies learning disabilities, and the WISC can do just that. One of the most well-accepted forms of documentation, the WISC is used to legally document giftedness, ADD, ADHD, ID and other conditions known to compromise a student’s academic performance.

“The value of the WISC-IV is exponential. The WISC-IV also points out whether memory is a culprit in learning problems. Many otherwise bright children have memory issues that are at the heart of academic difficulties. The WISC also indicates whether a child might need the additional help of vision specialists, audiologists, speech language specialists, occupational therapists, or other medical professionals. The WISC-IV has a wealth of information from which to glean understanding about the child’s ability to learn. It’s a great tool for identifying learning problems. Coupled with other diagnostic and academic achievement tests, the WISC is a key component in the creation of an educational and behavioral action plan for individual students.”

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test – Revised – Normative Update

WRMT-R/NU is an individually administered assessment that examines the reading skills of children and adults. Based on scientific research and tested with years of actual classroom use, the WRMT-R/NU identifies children’s specific strengths and weaknesses in reading skills. An advantage of the WRMT-R/NU is that it assists educators ascertain students’ difficulties. Additionally it pinpoints the root causes of reading issues so educational action plans can target the specific reading problems. Another benefit of the WRMT-R/NU is that it helps determine which reading strategies are most appropriate so that students, especially those with special needs, can get the most appropriate help learning to read.

Non-Diagnostic Standardized Academic Achievement Tests

SailAway offers the following achievement test services to help home school families meet their yearly testing needs.

  • Individual-Administered Academic Assessments (See descriptions above)
    Developed for one-on-one test administration. No bubble sheets, no directions to read, no time limits. Individually-administered and scored, these assessments offer the most accurate picture of a student’s academic achievement plus the added benefit of personal observations from skilled test evaluator. Individually-administered academic achievement and diagnostic assessments meet yearly home school testing requirements.
  • Stanford Achievement Test
    The SAT a nationally recognized academic assessment, designed for group administration using “bubble sheets.” It is a basic academic achievement test and provides a snapshot of a student’s academic progress. The results of the SAT can be used to assess yearly academic progress and assist in determining a proper course of study. SailAway proctors small group as well as private, individual administration for students who need a less distractible environment. The results of the SAT are machine-scored by SAT and a printout provided to the parent. SAT identifies whether a student’s achievement is average, above average or below average. The information can be used to measure yearly academic progress and assist in determining a proper course of study.
  • Stanford 10 On-line Coming Soon!
    The next generation of academic assessment. The SAT is now available on-line, and SailAway plans to offer this convenient option for the 2011-2012 school year. Twenty-first century students often relate to the computer better than the intimidating paper booklets and bubble sheets. Advantages include rapid turn-around for test results and happier test takers.
KTEA - II Brief

*Use the KTEA-II Brief Form for a quick measure of achievement

Recommended for yearly testing

It features an expanded age range of 4-6 to 90 and yields norm-referenced subtest scores and a battery composite. And because there is no content overlap with KTEA-III Comprehensive Form, it can be used for retesting.

The KTEA-II Brief Form includes three subtests:

  • Reading—word recognition and reading comprehension
  • Math—computation and application problems
  • Written Expression—written language and spelling
Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test

Professionals depend on the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT) to measure both verbal and nonverbal intellectual ability. Developed by leading cognitive ability experts Alan and Nadeen Kaufman.

  • Measures verbal and nonverbal intelligence quickly
  • Identify high-risk children who require a more comprehensive evaluation
  • Screen to identify students who may benefit from enrichment or gifted programs
  • Re-evaluate the intellectual status of a child or adult who previously received thorough cognitive assessment
  • Provides valid and reliable results

KBIT-2 provides:

  • Improved Crystallized (Verbal) Scale—includes receptive and expressive vocabulary items that do not require reading or spelling
  • Attractive test items—offers new, full-color items that are specially designed to appeal to children and those reluctant to examination
  • Conformed with the brief achievement test, KTEA-II Brief Form


An example of new full-color art from the Verbal Knowledge sub-test.

Balanced assessment

KBIT-2 measures two distinct cognitive abilities through two scales—Crystallized and Fluid.

  • Crystallized (Verbal) Scale contains two item types: Verbal Knowledge and Riddles
  • Fluid (Nonverbal) Scale is a Matrices subtest

Consistent quality

  • High reliability and validity
  • Cultural fairness reflected in norming procedures and item selection
  • Attractive, easy to use materials
  • Scores provided on a familiar scale where mean = 100 and standard deviation = 15
  • Independently established norms based on a national standardization sample selected to match U.S. census data