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Drop in Cognitive Index Score (CSI) on the Terra Nova

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: I'm curious about the Terra Nova CSI scores. Do they usually remain fairly constant year to year? My daughter's score in 3rd grade was 132. This year (5th grade) it dropped down to 121.

A: The InView section in the Terra Nova is specifically formulated to measure skills and abilities directly related to academic success such as verbal reasoning, sequences, analogies, and quantitative reasoning. This helps in the planning of programmes for students, diagnose possible learning disabilities, and screen students for placement into special programs. The CSI (Cognitive Skills Index) is derived from this portion. This test claims that the “CSI scores from InView provide a highly reliable measure of overall academic aptitude which is valuable information for guidance, activities planning, and special program identification. Anticipated Achievement scores allow one to compare student performance with that of similar individuals and groups. These scores are a powerful tool. Use them to improve instruction, address specific student strengths and needs, and provide valuable information for parent-teacher conferences”.

Generally, scoring in the Terra Nova test requires some hard work and preparation. Scores enable students to know their weaker subjects areas and would then pay attention to those weak areas in order to fare better the next time. The Terra Nova aims to examine and identify the weakness and strength of a student and also helps parents to have a yearly report of their children's progress. It also helps teachers understand their students' learning curve better and eventually able to help them. The CSI portion is more of an ability scale. I am not very sure why there is a drop, which is quite big.

Some attention is needed here. Please speak to her teachers to determine the reason for the drop. They would probably be able to explain the rather large drop from Grade 3 to 5. Wishing you all the best.


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