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IQ Test For Early Entrance to Kindergarten

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My daughter was recently screened for early entrance to Kindergarten using the KBIT-2 and Beery VMI-6. We were given very limited feedback on what the scores were and what they indicate and therefore little wiggle room with which to appeal the decision.

For the KBIT-2 the district cut-off is greater than or equal to 120. Our daughter (4 years 6 months) scored 116. (No indication of verbal/non-verbal distinction, only that one score).

For the Beery VMI-6 the district cut-off is 14, and our daughter scored 13.

She met the minimum criteria for Fine/Gross Motor skills and Fluharty-2 for Articulation (11) and Language (44). She also met the minimum requirement for social/emotional readiness based on a SSIS parent rating.

Can you provide any insight on the KBIT-2 and Beery VMI-6 and if this seems on track for entrance to kindergarten? Washington state has an entrance cut-off for birthdays after August 31. Our daughter will be 5 in October. Thank you!

A: The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, Second Edition (K-BIT 2) is used to measure verbal and nonverbal cognitive ability. It is used to obtain a quick estimate of intelligence, estimate an individual's verbal versus nonverbal intelligence and/or to screen to identify students who may benefit from enrichment or gifted programs. Additionally, this test is also able to identify high-risk children through large-scale screening who may require a more comprehensive evaluation. So, briefly, it serves the purpose to provide a relatively quick and accurate estimate of abilities; and to identify students who may benefit from gifted or enrichment programs.

This test is developed by leading cognitive ability experts Alan and Nadeen Kaufman, therefore, it is assumed that this test provides highly valid, reliable results and is useful for a broad range of purposes. With the test package, a scoring and administrative manual is provided, so it is quite easy to use the materials. Hence, scores given by the school is accurate based on the correct use of the scoring manual. Having said that, the teacher in charge of the test should at least have good knowledge on the principles of measurement and in the administration and interpretation of tests.

Based on a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15, your daughter scores are almost borderline to above average scores (about 85-115 should be within the average range on a bell curve) for the K-BIT-2. Her scores are on the border for above average scores, which indicate higher abilities. The KBIT-2 yields three scores: Verbal, Nonverbal, and the IQ Composite. The Verbal score comprises two subtests (Verbal Knowledge and Riddles) and measures verbal, school-related skills by assessing a person's word knowledge, range of general information, verbal concept formation, and reasoning ability. The Nonverbal score (the Matrices subtest) measures the ability to perceive relationships and complete visual analogies. All Matrices items involve pictures or abstract designs rather than words. There should have been verbal and non verbal scores - you may want to find out. However, the IQ composite is the score used for placement and decisions for acceleration or special programmes.

I am not very familiar with the Beery VMI-6 (Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration). From what I know this test identifies individuals who may be encountering difficulties in visual-motor integration, and makes appropriate referrals for needed services. It also assesses the effectiveness of educational and other interventions. In short it helps assess the extent to which individuals can integrate their visual and motor abilities. The test is researched to be reliable. However, given that it tests young children in this case, child's behaviour during the test can affect results.

It appears that both the scores are borderline so perhaps it would be good for you to consult the school should you strongly feel that your daughter would benefit early schooling. Results as such can be treated on a case to case basis and perhaps she may be tested further to validate their decision. Best of luck!


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