Appropriate Age for IQ Testing
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
I have a 4 years old son who sometimes seems very
intelligence yet sometimes seems very slow. He has very
specific interest in construction equipment. He reads,
observes and studies them. He can name almost all the
construction machines and explain the differences between
one to the other. He can play 100 pieces of puzzle and able
to swim 5 meters when just turn 3. Now he is playing LEGO
that was designed for age of 7. He has excellent memory,
senses of directions and imaginations. For example, one
moment a rope could be his fire hoses and the next moment he
is using it as construction yellow tape marking his
He doesn't like cartoons or any fairytale stories like most
of his age of kids do, he doesn't like drawing or coloring,
either. His speech and language is a mess - he didn't start
talking till he is 28 months old. We speak mandarin at home.
He speaks English and takes French lessons in school. So
when he talks it is all mixed up. (His teacher doesn't agree
with me, so I guess he does better in a pure English
environment). I wish to have my son tested and would like to
find out from you the best age of doing an IQ test.
Especially on immigrate kids like my son. Your feedbacks and
advises are highly appreciated.
A: Your little boy certainly
does sound quite bright. At 4 years of age, it may be quite
early for any formal evaluation on IQ. Perhaps, you may want
to wait another year or so. It is generally recommended that
IQ testing for gifted children be done between age 5 and 12.
Beyond 12, even the moderately gifted child is likely to
encounter test ceiling effects. For the highly or profoundly
gifted child, ceiling effects are in place on many measures
which may begin as young as 8 (including the supplemental
Stanford-Binet L-M). Research shows that for the average
child, IQ test scores are reliable around age 8.
It's perfectly fine to talk all mixed up, he will learn
slowly but surely as he has proven at school. Children pick
up languages very easily so he is just demonstrating what he
has learnt. He will surely speak better English in a pure
English environment and perhaps that is provided at school.
At home, he shifts languages and interference from a
second/third language is bound to happen; but this will soon
get better as he matures.
To keep him stimulated, you must try to make sure he has
lots of books, opportunity for word play with games, and
building toys for his mechanical skills. It looks like you
are on the right track so keep up the good work. Best wishes
to both of you.