Primary Test of Cognitive Skills Guide
|What: The Primary Test of Cognitive Skills|
|Who: Children ages five through seven and a half.|
|Where: Tests can be given to children in kindergarten, first and second grades.|
|When: Tests are administered in schools.|
|How: he test evaluates skill in memory, verbal reasoning, sequence and analogies.|
|Type: Paper and pencil|
|Why: The test can be used to identify gifted students as well as those with learning disabilities.|
|Time: The test is untimed, but each subtest takes about 30 minutes.|
|Preparation: No special preparation is needed.|
|Cost: Test packages cost $267.50 from McGraw-Hill.|
By: Erin Hasinger, Tests.com
The Primary Test of Cognitive Skills, or PTCS, is a series of four tests that is used to evaluate the cognitive skills of children in kindergarten, first and second grades (or ages five to seven and a half). The Primary Test of Cognitive Skills is a cognitive abilities test that helps teachers to define their students’ needs and determine the special needs of individual students. This test was originally developed by Janellen Huttenlocher and Susan Cohen Levine in 1990. The test can be used to help identify gifted students as well as students who have learning disabilities or developmental delays.
The four tests evaluate verbal, memory, concept and spatial skills:
-Test 1, Sequences, evaluates a child’s ability to comprehend implicit rules in series of letters, numbers and figures.
-Test 2, Analogies, evaluates a child’s ability to figure out both symbolic and literal relationships.
-Test 3, Memory, evaluates a child’s ability to remember nonsense words and pictures that have previously been presented.
-Test 4, Verbal Reasoning, evaluates a child’s ability to understand patterns and relationships, use deductive reasoning skills and analyze category attributes.
The paper-and-pencil test is untimed, though test administrators should plan about a half hour for each one of the four subtests. The PTCS is administered in a group setting and not on an individual basis.
The scores from the Primary Test of Cognitive Skills can be combined with the age of the test taker to produce a Cognitive Skills Index score. The scores can also be combined with scores from the TerraNova test to provide anticipated achievement scores for both individuals and groups. This allows teachers and administrators to compare students’ achievements with students of the same grade, age and ability. Further, using computerized scoring software enables teachers to analyze scores from the Primary Test of Cognitive Skills in conjunction with scores from other cognitive assessment tests to generate comprehensive reports on student ability, student achievement and likely future performance.
A test package of 35 booklets costs $267.50 and is available through the California Testing Bureau and McGraw-Hill. Other test administration materials start at about $25.00.
To learn more about the Primary Test of Cognitive Skills, please visit the Primary Test of Cognitive Skills Directory. To learn more about cognitive ability tests, please read the interview with cognitive test expert Tim Sitar.