In order to receive a definitive diagnosis, testing should be performed by a licensed psychologist who is trained and experienced in ADD evaluations.

I prefer to use the Woodcock Johnson Test. It is actually two tests, one for cognitive ability and one for achievement. These tests provide a single source of data that is highly researched and normed against a wide range of children and adults throughout the United States.

The tests have excellent reliability and validity. I especially like that fact that most of the tests are tightly timed, with specific or subtle time limits for most tasks. In this sense, I believe the test have the ability to generalize and predict performance in the real world which moves swiftly.

A complete battery of tests provides a wealth of information that can be highly useful in diagnosing and planning.

Cognitive Abilities

The Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities includes measures of:

  • Broad attention
  • Working memory
  • Short term auditory and visual memory
  • Long term memory
  • Speed of retrieving stored information
  • Processing speed
  • Visual planning
  • Higher level cognitive reasoning and planning


The Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement include measures of:

  • Broad reading
  • Reading speed
  • Reading comprehension
  • Word identification and phonetic reading skills
  • Broad writing
  • Spelling and ability to correct written text
  • Writing speed
  • Quality of written expression
  • Broad math skills
  • Speed of basic calculation
  • Application of math to everyday problems
  • Oral language and expression
  • Listening comprehension