Buyer Beware

All educational assessments are NOT created equal

If your child has been referred for an educational assessment by a school psychologist or psychologist in private practice it’s important to ask exactly what sort of testing will be conducted. Here’s why.

It’s not surprising that cognitive abilities are important for success at school. But did you know that researchers have identified 7 cognitive abilities that are particularly important for learning? Researchers have also identified that the most commonly used test, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), does not assess all the cognitive abilities necessary for academic achievement. In short, your child’s particular set of difficulties may be missed if they are not assessed by a clinician who can administer a Cross Battery Assessment (XBA).

An XBA clinician will begin with a WISC but then supplement that with other assessments in order to provide what is currently the most comprehensive measure of cognitive abilities available.  Identifying exactly where your child’s pattern of strengths and challenges lie over the 7 cognitive abilities will allow the psychologist to provide detailed insights into how your child learns. This enables therapists, teachers and parents to know what they need to do to help. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

Full disclosure here (and proudly so!) – Gameplan now offers XBA assessments, conducted by Dr Kate Jacobs and her team from If you would like more information, please email me at or check out this handy table to understand more.

Dr Cheree Murrihy also administers XBA at If you know of anyone else conducting XBA, please contact me so that I can add them to my reference list.