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Discrepancy in Scores of the Terra Nova and InView

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: Our 14 year old daughter was classified as gifted based upon Terra Nova and In View scores (all 95-99th percentile for Terra Nova and 141 for In View). So, when our 8 year old son took these tests we thought he might receive something similar. He did well on the Terra Nova tests (again all 4 subject areas were between the 95th-99th percentiles). However, his In view only came back at a 113. This was considerably lower than his sister and what we anticipated. Is it common for kids to do well on one type of standardized text (e.g., Terra Nova) and then not as well comparatively on another (like the In View)? I understand that they test different things...But, I'm wondering if we should request a "re-take" on the In View portion? Thanks.

A: The Terra Nova tests compare students with others in their grades around the nation. Hence, the scores are listed in percentiles. It also includes a component that acts like an IQ test (the InView portion). Therefore, this is a part of the Terra Nova test rather than a separate indicator. This component measures the students' ability to use information and apply it to new and different situations. It also gauges how a student analyses and employs higher-level thinking skills (includes verbal reasoning, sequences, analogies and quantitative reasoning). In short, it measures cognitive abilities that relate to a student's ability to learn and succeed in school. The tests are designed to work together to measure student achievement.

There is a CSI (Cognitive Skills Index), which is derived from the InView 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 powerful tools. It can be used to improve instruction, address specific student strengths and needs, and provide valuable information for parent-teacher conferences. In short, the InView is Cognitive abilities test paired with TerraNova.

Bear in mind that the InView does not measure all aspects of cognitive abilities. Since it is intended for use in schools, emphasis is placed on reasoning abilities that are important for success in an educational program rather than other cognitive abilities; in other words abilities directly related to academic success. With a ceiling of 141, the cut-off for gifted is 127 and above.

InView is a test of cognitive ability, or the student's natural ability to work with words and with visual concepts. It gives a general “IQ” range. Both tests together yield an anticipated score that help educators and parent assess a particular child's progress according to his/her ability. A mere score may not indicate true intelligence but gives a general indication of the child's cognitive abilities based on the tested items. I would not compare scores of an achievement and cognitive ability test as each test emphasizes on different aspects of aptitude.

The Terra Nova (achievement) scores indicate how well the child is doing in relation to students across the country. The InView (ability) scores indicate the potential the student has for learning certain concepts. If his scores are lower on one, perhaps there is an area than needs some attention. Do speak to someone at the school to find out if there is some area of concern that is lacking attention. Good luck!


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