Vast Difference in Intelligence Test Scores
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My daughters' CCAT Results (grade 4) were verbal 92
Percentile ; Quantitative 98 percentile ; and non verbal 91
WISC-IV results were:
Verbal Comprehension 79th percentile
Perceptual Reasoning 68th percentile
and GAI 75th percentile.
Concerns: The day she was administered the WISC-IV she was
under a double ear infection (taking antibiotics) and had a
low grade fever. She had been absent from school the first
two days of the week, went back one day (at my
insistence) assessed and then was absent the remainder of the
week as she was not well.
I called the psychological assessor the next day to express
my concerns about my daughters illness during the testing.
She returned my call that evening and at that time gave me
the results. She felt that the results were fair and not
impacted significantly by the illness and concluded that my
daughter did not meet the intellectual criteria for Gifted
established by the TCDSB and should remain within the
parameters of her present school program.
What further testing can be done to confirm / validate the
WISC-IV results? I'm left wondering how much of an impact
her illness may have had on her results.
I simply cannot reconcile the vastly different results from
CCAT to WISC-IV results taken within 5 months of each other
without taking the condition of my daughter at the time into
consideration. What are other reasons for such differing
Ultimately I just want to ensure that she is placed in the
best learning environment for her abilities. What should I
do? Thank You.
A: It does sound quite strange
that the difference gap is rather large for both the test
within such a short time frame.
Briefly, The CCAT (Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test) is
designed to determine a child's aptitude for learning. In
short term, the result may be seen as predicting the
student's general achievement in school. The CCAT tests the
student's ability to learn and indicates his or her IQ;
however, it should not be seen as a test of achieved
learning or "schooling knowledge." Since the CCAT does not
provide guidance on how to handle scores near the 97
percentile criteria, a suggestion is that scores above the
90 percentile (but below 97) might be seen an indication
that further testing is required. This is when a full
psycho-educational assessment such as the WISC IV or the
Stanford Binet 5 can be used.
A number of gifted programs (for ages 5 through 8 – you did
not indicate your daughter's age) require at least 95%
average score for CCAT. However, for the WISC, the score
must be over 98%. Any illness can surely have an impact on
scores, especially for perceptual reasoning as in your
daughter's case. However, the impact should not be too
large. Having said that, the fact that she was able to
attend school may indicate that she was able to take the
test. The degree of her fever and the medication she was
taking (depending on how strong and what the side effects
may be) would have an effect on her ability, concentration
and focus. In your daughter's case, since you allowed her to
take the test despite her illness may indicate to the school
that she was indeed well enough to take the test. It is hard
to argue on her condition after the test is taken.
Unfortunately, once the WISC is taken; it takes another two
years for a retake. The other option is to take the
Stanford-Binet 5. (You need to check with the school if this
will be considered). If the results are similar to what you
may expect, she may be places in a program that meets her
needs. For now, if you feel that she should be enriched
further but is not in the gifted program, you may want to
speak with her teachers to check her progress and involve
her in enrichment activities to stimulate her learning.
There are many resources on the internet that you could use
for this. Do also refer previous responses in my
IQ Test and Creativity section.
Here's wishing you all the best in your parenting journey!