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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The efficacy of the Test of cognitive skills in screening for special education services Higgins, Edith


The purpose of this study was to assess the validity of the Test of Cognitive Skills (TCS), and the validity of Test of Cognitive Skills/Canadian Achievement Test (CAT) discrepancy scores, as screening measures for identifying students for special education services. The relationship between the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised (WISC-R) Full Scale 10 and the TCS Cognitive Skills Index was determined, as well as the pattern of relationships between WISC-R and TCS subtest scores. Subtest scatter on the TCS was analyzed to determine if it revealed any consistent patterns among students. TCS/CAT discrepancy scores were examined to determine if students identified as having "significant" discrepancy scores were identified through other approaches (e.g. referral to Learning Assistance) as having learning difficulties. Results indicated that the TCS and TCS/CAT discrepancy scores are not valid screening measures for special education services. A moderately low correlation (r = .63) was found between the WISC-R and TCS, indicating that the two tests should not be considered to be measuring the same aspects of cognitive ability. TCS/CAT discrepancy scores did not identify students referred for Learning Assistance. TCS subtest patterns identified were not diagnostically useful. Limitations of the study which may have affected the results are discussed in the last chapter, along with recommendations for practice and further research.

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