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Composite Score and Percentile Rank on K-BIT-2 and KTEA

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: My son took KBIT-2 & KTEA test at age 7. The results are interpreted in percentile rank. Can you help me understand it please.

KTEA: reading:99.9%, math 75%
KBIT-2: verbal 99.5%, non verbal 63%, iq composite if 96%.

When I trued to look up all the scores are in composite numbers but we were provided with percentile rank scale. Thanks.

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. [Note: This test is researched to have a rather high correlation with the Wechsler tests (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence - WASI, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - WISC and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - WAIS).]

The Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Second Edition (KTEA-II) is an individually administered battery that gives you a flexible, thorough assessment of the key academic skills in reading, math, written language, and oral language.

Based on a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15, a composite score of about 85-115 should be within the average range on a bell curve for the K-BIT-2. IQ scores may be expressed in a percentile, which is not the same as percentage scores, and a common reason for the misunderstanding of IQ test scores. Percentile is most commonly found on intelligence and achievement test scores. It refers to other test takers' scores that an individual equals or exceeds. This means if the child scored 99 percentile, he did better or at par with 99 percent of other test takers in the same group (age). Percentile indicates what percent of the subjects scored below this child. Gifted students often score in the 98th or 99th percentile.

In your son's case, he scored very high on reading (KTEA) and verbal (KBIT). His IQ score is also high - he scored higher or at par with 96 percent of the test takers in his age group. The conversion from composite scores to percentiles is done by referring to a table of pre-calculated percentiles (usually using the z-score).

Hope that helps and here's wishing you the very best!


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