Provides a versatile measure of neuropsychological functioning, assessing abstract thinking, cognitive flexibility, executive function, and impairment
6.5 to 89 years
20-30 minutes; 10-15 minutes for the WCST-64
Individually administered card sorting task in which the client must adjust to changing sorting criteria
Raw scores, percentiles, and T-scores and standard scores
Based on a sample of 899 normal children, adolescents, and adults (original WCST)
Manuals & Resources
(WCST) Wisconsin Card Sorting Test
BY DAVID A. GRANT, PHD AND ESTA A. BERG, PHD
This popular measure of neuropsychological impairment was originally developed to assess abstract reasoning and ability to shift cognitive strategies in response to environmental change. The WCST reflects not only overall ability, but also particular sources of difficulty—inefficient initial conceptualization, perseveration, failure to maintain set, and inefficient learning. It is also very helpful in discriminating frontal from nonfrontal brain lesions.
The client’s task is to sort stimulus cards according to different principles—by color, form, or number of shapes shown. Shifts in the sorting principle require the client to quickly alter his or her approach. Because the client must implement problem-solving strategies across changing conditions to achieve a goal, the WCST can be considered a measure of executive function as well as abstract reasoning and neuropsychological impairment.
Wisconsin Card Sorting Test–64 Card Version (WCST-64)
This shortened version of the WCST responds to concerns about patient comfort, managed care restrictions, and tighter budgets. It uses only the first 64 WCST cards, reducing administration time while retaining the task requirements of the original version.