NIH Toolbox® for Use in Educational Settings

From preschool to college (and beyond), NIH Toolbox tests utilize an array of advanced approaches in item development, test construction, and scoring to allow for educational providers to quickly and reliably assess students with a wide range of abilities.

Reviewed in the Twenty-First Mental Measurements Yearbook by The Buros Center for Testing

Reviewed in the Twenty-First Mental Measurements Yearbook by The Buros Center for Testing

Toddler girl in child occupational therapy session doing playful exercises on a digital tablet with her therapist.

Test Selection

The NIH Toolbox tests allow for lifespan assessment. So, a school psychologist could track a child’s cognitive abilities from Preschool through High School, using the same assessment system. Scoring is performed automatically during the administration and examiners receive norm-referenced (e.g., age adjusted) scores for both individual tests and composites. Based on the Horn Cattell Model, composite scores are provided for crystalized abilities, fluid abilities and the total cognition score.

A speech therapist teaches a young boy how to sound out words.

Highlighted Use Case

In a series of studies (see Hessl et al, 2016), over 100 individuals with intellectual disability were assessed using the NIH Toolbox. Results showed that NIH Toolbox cognitive tests have the potential for assessing important areas of cognition in people with intellectual disability and can be useful in tracking response to intervention.

Explore our Assessments Solutions


Mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension, such as thinking, knowing, remembering, judging and problem solving.

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A set of complex physiological processes that require the integration of multiple systems, including neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, neural motor and sensory-perceptual systems.

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Biochemical and neurological process of detecting incoming nerve impulses as nervous system activity.

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Strong feelings, such as joy, sorrow, or fear. It is an affective state of consciousness in which one of these feelings is experienced.

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Testimonial of Aaron Kaat

Getting Started with the NIH Toolbox is easy!

View aspects of the system at no cost. Simply download the NIH Toolbox app onto your iPad today, apply for cognition access, and review any test on the app for free.  

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