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Interpretation of K-BIT 2 Scores

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My son who has ADHD and is currently on medication was recently tested by his school -Using the KBIT 2. His scores were:

Verbal- 129 -percentile-99
non verb-124- percentile-95
composite-131- percentile-98

Not sure what it all means? The letter does state a score of 130 0r above warrants further testing from a school Psychologist) any help is much appreciated.

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.

Based on a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15, your son's scored above average (about 85-115 should be within the average range on a bell curve) for the K-BIT-2. His scores are in the upper extreme of scores, which indicates very high abilities especially for verbal abilities. 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, and as seen in the composite (overall) scores of your son, he may be considered for a gifted programme.

I would think further testing is for all students who meet the cut-off point in the test to determine a programme that is better suited for them. A composite score of 130, which is 2 standard deviation away from the mean, is usually used as a baseline score for such programmes (different schools may use different base point). I would look at it positively since he scored well and may be catered for better in a gifted programme. You may want to find out a little more about his very slightly lower score on non verbal (compared to his verbal score).

Hope that helps. All the best!


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