Testing SEND and EAL students

SEND accommodations

Assessing students with coordination difficulties

In general, slowness or difficulty in using a mouse/touchscreen device should not make a significant impact on a student’s performance. Accuracy in answering questions is what is most important in deriving results from CoPS and these would still be valid even if a student was very slow or inexperienced in using a mouse/touchscreen device.

However, it may be that students are slow in using a mouse/touchscreen device because they have more serious motor-coordination difficulties, or ‘Developmental Co-ordination Disorder’. The related term ‘dyspraxia’ (or Developmental Dyspraxia) might also be used.

Please see the User Manual in the Downloads section for further information. 

Assessing students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Students with ADHD are liable to experience difficulty with many types of assessment (not just those that are computerised) due to inattention and impulsiveness in responding. Teachers should therefore be prepared to take such factors into consideration when interpreting the results of CoPS.

CoPS is typically found to be more stimulating than conventional tests which means that students with ADHD generally remain engaged and attentive for longer than might be expected. It is recommended however that only one subtest per session be administered to students with ADHD, in order to maintain engagement and interest.

Particular care should be taken when administering the Rabbits subtest as the student needs to watch the screen carefully to notice where the rabbits appear. You should expect lapses in concentration and attention to affect the results of this test.

Please see the ‘User Manual’ in the Downloads section for further information.

Assessing students with colour blindness or colour discrimination problems

Two of the CoPS subtests – Crayons and Toybox – specifically rely on colour perception. If students perform poorly on either of these subtests, it is recommended that they be given the supplementary subtest Clown in order to check for colour discrimination problems. The remaining subtests do not employ colour as central to the task; therefore, colour blindness or colour discrimination problems should not affect performance.

Please see the ‘User Manual’ in the Downloads section for further information.

Identifying hearing difficulties

The CoPS subtest Wock relies on auditory discrimination ability. A low score could indicate a temporary or non-temporary hearing problem, and a referral for hearing assessment may be recommended. 

Testing EAL students

CoPS is less problematic than many conventional methods of assessment when it comes to assessing students with limited proficiency in spoken English, due to its strongly visual format and minimal reliance on spoken instructions. The demonstration and practice items enable most students to understand the tasks, and where there is uncertainty a teacher or assistant who speaks the student’s first language can help with instructions.

It should also be noted that in order to tackle the subtest of auditory sequential memory (Races), the student will need to know the spoken form of English animal names. Teachers can familiarise students with students with animals prior to CoPS testing.

Animal names required:

  • Elephant
  • Hippopotamus
  • Fox
  • Bear
  • Cat
  • Goat
  • Sheep
  • Donkey
  • Rabbit
  • Squirrel
  • Mouse
  • Panda
  • Tiger
  • Monkey
  • Spider
  • Ant
  • Crab
  • Frog

For more information, please see the following sections in the User Manual, available in the Downloads section:

  • ‘Assessing students who have English as an additional language’ section within the ‘Administering CoPS’ chapter
  • ‘Interpreting profiles of students who have English as an additional language’ chapter