The WPPSI - III
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
What is known about the WIPPSI-III? Is it a reliable measure
of intelligence in preschoolers? What does each component
measure? What does it mean for a child's future development?
How does it compare with the WISC-IV and why would one test
be used over another in 6-year olds? Since the WIPPSI
doesn't require reading, how does it measure this capacity?
What if a 4 - 5 year old child is already reading at a grade
A: I assume that you meant the
WPPSI III (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of
Intelligence - Third Edition). This is a test for
preschooler which is from the Wechsler's group of tests that
can be tested for children from 2.6 to 7.3 years of age. It
is said to accurately measure intellectual abilities in
young children. This newer version features shorter, more
game-like activities that hold the attention of children as
young as 2.6 years.
The WPPSI-III contains the 14 subtests which are:
Block Design, Information, Matrix Reasoning, Vocabulary,
Picture Concepts, Symbol Search, Word Reasoning, Coding,
Comprehension, Picture Completion, Similarities, Receptive
Vocabulary, Object Assembly, and Picture Naming.
The subtests can also be combined to measure verbal IQ,
performance (fluid) IQ, processing speed quotient, general
language composite and a full scale IQ. The verbal IQ,
performance IQ and full scale IQ are taken from the core
subtests. The other scores involve optional or supplemental
subtests and are not required.
The strengths of the test for preschoolers are that of being
colorful, current (being the latest), and interesting for
children. Subtests rules offer a variety samples and often
second chances to assure the child performs at the best of
his or her abilities. The layered scoring allows partial
credit, for intermediate knowledge and rewards detailed or
extensive knowledge on subject matter which makes up for
However, it is not without drawbacks. One weakness of this
test is when testing the very young, the test scales expect
IQ to increase in very sudden increments every two to three
months. Therefore, is advisable for test users to schedule
testing to make it either most likely, or least likely that
a child would qualify for supplemental services. For retest,
that it may take up to two years. Due to this, a child who
has taken the WPPSI-III and needs to be re-evaluated in a
short period of time should be given another test.
As for the comparison with the WISC-IV, the WPPSI-III is
found to be rather similar to the WISC-IV on several
subtests. Therefore, it is important to select the
suitability of the test between these two who qualify in the
age ranges of both tests. This is because the similarities
could create ˇ°practice effectsˇ± and may influence the
scores. I would recommend that for giftedness, the WISC-IV
should be given. For general academic concerns, the WPPSI-III
would serve as a better indicator.
For reading, another test that complements the WPPSI-III
would be the WIAT-II which you may want to consider if the
child is reading very early.
The test results for very young children should be viewed
with caution as the may not be as stable as for an older
child. Unless there is a need to test very early, it is
suggested that testing close to the end of the kindergarten
year would be better. This would ensure that the child's
academic skills will be more strongly founded and the
testing results will have more validity due to her age. Hope
that answers your concerns and best of luck!