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Product QuickFacts

Primary Test of Cognitive Skills™ (PTCS) is a group-administered series of four tests designed to measure the cognitive skills of early learners. PTCS helps identify students who may be gifted, who may have learning disabilities, or who may have unique developmental delays.

Subject Areas and Grades

  • Cognitive Ability (Grades K–1)

Assessment Type

  • Aptitude

Delivery Format

  • Paper and pencil

Scoring Options

  • Hand scoring
  • Machine scoring
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This group-administered series of four tests is designed to measure the cognitive skills of early learners. Based on careful research PTCS help you identify students who may be gifted, who have learning disabilities, or who may have unique developmental delays.

Untimed sub-tests assess verbal, spatial, memory, and concepts skills. When administered with TerraNova, PTCS provides anticipated-achievement scores for individual students and groups, allowing you to compare your students' achievement with that of other students of the same age, grade, and ability—and determine whether your students are achieving to their full potential.


  • Simple, engaging material independent of reading or number knowledge
  • Easy-to-use Examiner’s Manual
  • Reliable, valid, norm-referenced indication of cognitive abilities

Four untimed sub-tests assess:

  • Verbal
  • Spatial
  • Memory
  • Concepts skills

Each of the four tests yields a scale score that is combined with a child's age to produce a single Cognitive Skills Index (CSI). A CSI score is an age-based standard score that indicates the student's overall cognitive ability, in relation to students of a similar age, without regard to grade.

Administration Scheduling
PTCS can be used during the Fall of Kindergarten through the Spring of Grade 1.

Age Norms
5.1 to 7.6 years

Administration Times
PTCS is not timed. When planning administration, allow 30 minutes for each of the four subtests.

Why use a Cognitive Assessment?
A cognitive abilities assessment helps you define and focus on individual student needs more effectively. PTCS and InView (our cognitive abilities achievement test for students in Grades 2–12) provide you with insightful information over and beyond achievement test scores. These assessments convey fundamental cognitive skills like verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.

Gain Clear Information to Target Instruction
Meaningful assessment does more than measure—it provides direction to guide instruction. InView and PTCS are cognitive skills tests that can map student strengths, reveal hidden abilities, and point the way to new learning opportunities. When you know what your students know and can do, you can teach to your students' needs.

With InView and PTCS You Can:

  • Assess critical cognitive abilities, Grades K–12
  • Detect potential learning problems
  • Highlight Gifted and Talented placement information
  • Offer inclusiveness, equity, and fairness for all students
  • Position students for success by supporting more targeted instructional decisions
  • Meet Title I and IDEA reporting requirements