Test of Cognitive Skills - Poor Working Memory
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
Hello I just received results from a test I took when I was a child,
through the public school system in 2000, and would like some help
understanding what the scores mean. It is Test of Cognitive Skills,
Second Edition (TCS/2). I received a CSI of 111 and was 9 years old
while taking the test. There is a chart of what I am assuming are subset
score. Scores (NPA) SEQ(92) ANA(62) NVRB(82) MEM(25) VRB(82). Is the low
memory score a sign of a learning disability?
I have always struggled to recall lessons and memorize thing like math
fact and spelling words but it was constantly wrote of as me being lazy
due to the fact that I excelled greatly and easily in most other
subjects. I am also interested in how the subset scores affect the CSI
score? Thank you for you time.
I am not very familiar with Test of Cognitive Skills (TCS) but found some information on it
on the following site. Do look it up :
It is somehow said to be the only major academic ability test that
measures memory - which could be the reason you were given the test. As
a rule of thumb, based on the bell curve, a score of 100 is the average.
That means your overall score of 111 places you in the above average
range. Your low NPA on the memory test probably brought down your
overall IQ score as the scores are usually scaled and averaged.
Based on the huge gap with other scores, it is very possible and
indicative of a learning disability. I am sorry that it was written off
then and I hope it did not affect you too much. But the fact remains
that without proper intervention, it is definitely a struggle.
Possibility is ADHD as there is probably lack of attention being paid to
what is happening to create a well-formed memory of the happenings.
Rather, one is constantly processing ideas, which may be tangentially
related to what is required and visible. With ADHD, one is quickly
leaping from one idea to another, and analysing the connections between
them, which could be in your case. It is true that children with ADHD
have very low working memory capacity. Having said that, they are also
impulsive and hyperactive. If you do not have those symptoms, it is
still possible to have poor memory skills. It could also be dyslexia.
Studies have indicated that about 70% of kids with learning difficulties
in reading have poor working memory skills.
Whatever the difficulty is, children with poor working memory are not
less smart and it is surely not indicative of a low IQ (although it does
affect the scores). In fact, there are also different types of working
memory. Children with poor auditory memory often struggle with spoken
verbal instructions. On the other hand, those with poor visual-spatial
memory find Math a struggle.
You must be in your mid 20's by now and I hope the struggles are less
pronounced. However, there are ways to improve your memory at this
point. Read the following interesting articles on working memory and how
Hope it helps you understand your struggles and all the best for the