Transition Assessments

Formal Transition Assessment Methods

There are 9 assessments listed, the first 2 assessments (intelligence and achievement) have likely been done several times over the years at the time of your child's three year re-evaluation.  If your testing is not current (over a year old) they should be repeated as you prepare for transition (age 14-22).

Intelligence Tests

Intelligence tests involve a single test or test battery to assess a person's cognitive performance. Powers (2006) clarifies cognitive performance by describing it as solving novel problems, adapting to new situations, and demonstrating competence when faced with new learning demands. Fives (2008) also reminds us that cognitive performance becomes especially relevant for students expressing interest in an occupation that has ability requirements beyond their current or projected ability level. Examples of intelligence tests include:

• Comprehensive Test of Nonverbal Intelligence (CTONI, Hammail, Pearson, & Wiederhold, 1997)

• Kaufman Adolescent & Adult Intelligence Test (KAIT, Kaufman & Kaufman, 1993)

• Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition (PPVT-III, Dunn & Dunn, 1997)

• Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales – Fifth Edition (SB-5, Roid, 2003)

• Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV (WISC-IV, Wechsler, 2004)

• Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Adults – Third Edition (WAIS-III, Wechsler, 1997)

• Wonderlic Basic Personnel Test (Wonderlic, 1992)

Achievement Tests

Achievement tests measure learning of general or specific academic skills. Achievement tests provide results that can be linked to most occupational requirements while helping to identify potential areas needing remediation or accommodation (e.g., reading comprehension). They are usually general survey batteries covering several subject areas or single-subject tests. They can be criterion-referenced, norm-referenced, or both. Achievement tests are usually identified by grade level. It is important to establish the specific purpose for giving an achievement test to decide what type to use. Examples include:

• Adult Basic Learning Examination – Second Edition (ABLE – 2, Karlsen & Gardener, 1986)

• Basic Achievement Skills Inventory (BASI, Bardos, 2002)

• Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement - Second Edition (KTEA-2, Kaufman & Kaufman, 2004)

• Peabody Individual Achievement Test-Revised-Normative Update (PIAT-R/ NU, Markwardt, 1997)

• Stanford Achievement Test (SAT -10th Edition)

• Wide Range Achievement Test-Revision – Fourth Edition (WRAT 4, Wilkinson & Robertson, 2006)

• Woodcock Johnson III (WJ III, Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001)

Aptitude Tests

An aptitude test is a measure of a specific ability relative to a given norm group (e.g., age peers, employees in a given job). Ability involves what a person can do now or, given the proper opportunity, possibly in the future (Betz, Fitzgerald, & Hill, 1989). There are two types of aptitude tests: Multiaptitude or general test batteries and single tests measuring specific aptitudes. General aptitude test batteries contain measures of a wide range of aptitudes and combinations of aptitudes. A youth’s performance on these tests provides valuable information that can help gauge their potential for success in a given training or educational program or occupation. Single aptitude tests are used when a specific aptitude needs to be measured, such as manual dexterity, clerical ability, artistic ability, or mechanical ability. Examples include:

• Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB, U. S. Department of Defense, 1999)

• Bennett’s Mechanical Comprehension Test (Bennett, 2006)

• Occupational Aptitude Survey and Interest Schedule—3rd ed. (OASIS-3, Parker, 2002)

• O*NET Ability Profiler (U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, 2002)

• Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (Wiesen, 1999)


Adaptive Behavior and Independent Living

Adaptive behavior assessment helps determine whether a youth needs a postsecondary goal in the area of independent living, including the type and amount of special assistance they may need to be successful in a given environment (e.g., residential, self-care, transportation, social communication, and community participation). This assistance might be in the form of homebased support services, special education and vocational training, and supported work or special living arrangements such as personal care attendants, group homes, or nursing homes. These assessments rely on informed source (e.g., parent, care taker, teacher, student) to provide information. With some assessments respondents are interviewed, while others have respondents fill out a response booklet.

• AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scales – School (ABS-2, Lambert, Nihira, & Leland, 1993)

• Brigance Life Skills Inventory (Brigance, 1994)

• Independent Living Scales (ILS, Anderson-Loeb, 1996)

• Inventory for Client and Agency Planning (ICAP, Bruininks, Hill, Weatherman, & Woodcock, 1986).

• Scales of Independent Behavior - Revised (SIB-R, Bruininks, Woodcock, Weatherman, & Hill, 1996)

• Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales – Second Edition (Vineland II, Sparrow, Cicchetti, & Balla, 2005)


Interest Inventories

Strong (1943) was one of the original vocational theorists to stress the importance of gathering data concerning individuals’ likes and dislikes for a variety of activities, objects, and types of persons commonly encountered. Interest inventories provide the opportunity for individuals to compare their interest with those of individuals in specific occupational groups or selected peer groups. Fouad (1999) notes that regardless of specific measure interest inventories appear to generalize across time. Examples of interest inventories include:

• Becker Reading Free Interest Inventory – Revised (Becker, 2000)

• OASIS – 3 Interest Schedule (Parker, 2002)

• O*NET Career Interest Inventory (U.S. Department of Labor, 2002)

• Picture Interest Career Survey (Brady, 2007)

• Self-Directed Search Forms R (Holland, 1996), E (Holland, 1994, and CE (Holland & Powell, 1994)

• Career Decision-Making System Revised (Harrington & O’Shea, 2000)

• Wide Range Interest-Opinion Test – Revised (WRIOT-2, Glutting & Wilkinson, 2006)


Personality or Preference Tests

Personality inventories measure individual differences in social traits, motivational drives and needs, attitudes, and adjustment. Personality measures offer a means of evaluating support for, or opposition to, a career under consideration. The score alone should not be viewed as a predictor of success or failure but rather should be compared with other data, including abilities and interests. Examples include:

• Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) Instrument – Form M (Meyers & Briggs, 1988)

• 16 Personality Factors – Fifth Edition (16 PF, Cattell, Cattell, & Cattell, 2000)


Career Development Measures

Career development inventories measure developmental stages or tasks on a continuum. The degree of an individual’s career maturity is determined by the individual’s location on the developmental continuum. Examples include:

• Career Beliefs Inventory (CBI, Krumbolz, 1991)

• Career Decision Scale (CDS, Osipow, Carney, Winer, Yanico, & Koschier, 1987)

• Career Thoughts Inventory (Sampson, Peterson, Lenz, Reardon, & Saunders, 1996)

• Job Search Attitude Survey – 3rd Edition (Liptak, 2006)


On the Job or Training Evaluations

Perhaps one of the most effective ways to determine whether a student is ready to work at a given position is some form of on-site assessment. As noted earlier, most employers will have some form of evaluation tool that can be modified to meet your needs. In addition, the following assessments provide information on a student’s general (i.e., behaviors and skills that apply to almost any job) employability relative to a training or job site.

• Becker Work Adjustment Profile - 2nd Ed. (Becker, 2005)

• Job Observation and Behavior Scale (JOBS, Stoelting Publishing, 2000)

• Work Adjustment Inventory: Measures of job-related termperament (Gilliam, 1994)

• Work Personality Profile (Neath & Bolton, 2008)


Self-determination Assessments

Self-determination has been defined by Wehmeyer, Sands, Doll, and Palmer (1997) as actions that are identified by autonomous, self-regulated behavior of an individual, who is empowered and acts in a self-realizing manner. Fields, Martin, and Miller (1998) added to this definition, indicating that in order to have self-determination skills one must possess a belief in one’s self and capabilities. Self-determination assessments help determine a student’s aptitude and opportunity for specific components of self-determination such as goal-setting, problem solving, self-advocacy, self-evaluation, persistence, and self-confidence. Self-determination skills have been associated with independence and self-actuality which in turn have a positive effect on postschool outcomes (Agran et al., 2005). Examples of self-determination assessments include:

• American Institutes for Research (AIR) Self-Determination Scale (Wolman, Campeau, DuBois, Mithaug, & Stolarski, 1994)

• The ARC’s Self-Determination Scale (Wehmeyer & Kelchner, 1995)


This list of 9 catalogues assessments and associated tests are the from National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC), University of North Carolina Charlotte, College of Education, Special Education & Child Development, website, they are located at 9201 University City Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28223 


Our Concord SPED PAC webpages, created January 8, 2014, by Melody Orfei
Webpage last modified on November 10, 2014 - V9, by Melody Orfei
















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