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By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My son has just been given a psychological test at school. He is eleven years of age and just started Year Six in primary school. The test put his IQ at 147.5 (Standard score) and 99.9 (Percentile Rank). Is this significant? What does it mean in layman's terms? How best should I support my son in his education? I look forward to your response.

A: Depending on whether the IQ test is a standardized one, the results are significant. Chances are that the school would use a standardized test which would give significant results. In this case, since the IQ score is in the highest percentile rank, you son is definitely on the high end of the continuum, which show above average achievement. Therefore, in layman's terms, he is possibly gifted and may be placed in a gifted program to further develop his abilities.

At 11, he is probably at an age where he would rather do things that he enjoys and may not want to be forced to take up anything that he is not interested in. At this stage, parents should be the guides rather than instructors. Access to educational materials that he enjoys would make learning more enjoyable for him. You should observe and find out what his needs are. If he is placed in a gifted program, he would need your support especially to fit in and socialize with similar ability students. In fact, he may not even want to be placed in such a program in fear of losing his peers. This is where he would need a lot of support and encouragement to help him develop his abilities.

You may also want to have a good relationship with his teachers to make sure that he is coping well at school whether he is placed in a gifted program or not. You may also want to speak to the school psychologist/counselor or any teacher familiar with the test report to find out the areas of strengths (or weaknesses) and focus on what is needed at this stage. They may be able to advise you better based on the test report. Good luck.


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