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Improving KBIT-2 Test Scores

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: I have a daughter in the first grade. She is seven years old, and she said that "its boring in the classroom". I noticed to the school after I got a advice from after care personnel. She took a KBIT (which she did not know it was a test), and this is a test result:

Verbal knowledge Riddles Verbal
         27                      20                = 47 >>>>>>>111

Matrices Nonverbal
  33                                                = 33 >>>>>>>125

IQ composite   236 >119

The CST call me for conference, and finally they said that my daughter is scored 119 on the KBIT-2, and the CST is not recommending gifted evaluation at this time.

How to improve the KBIT-2 test? Thanks in advance.

A: Firstly, a brief overview of what the KBIT-2 is. 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. 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 daughter scores are a little above average (about 85-115 should be within the average range on a bell curve). This means an overall score of 119 places him in the top 15% of performances (may not be enough for a gifted program admission). You may need to get the school to discuss the scores with you to find out areas that needs enrichment to make a more informed decision on catering for his learning needs. If the school decided that the scores do not meet the criteria for a gifted program, they may have their reasons for doing so which they should explain to you. Most schools have multiple criteria for admission into the gifted program and IQ scores are usually well above average for students to benefit most from such programs.

There is no specific way to increase the test score for K-BIT-2, but in general there are some methods that can be used. Practice makes perfect, so test practice may help the child be more comfortable with tests due to familiarity. Psychological factors also influence test taking to a certain extent so a child should be least anxious and nervous about taking any test. Sometimes parent expectations make children very anxious and affect the results. Physiological factors such as not getting enough sleep and fatigue can influence a child’s ability when answering test questions, especially intelligence tests that requires brain work. In short, anything that stimulates the brains - (reading activities, exploring, discovering, music, stimulating games, creative art, etc) would sure give one’s brain a boost.

Here is a website is quite interesting and offers a ways to boost your IQ.

Having said that, the increase may not be very significant for everyone. These tests are meant to screen some children who are assumed to require special programs to cater for their intellectual needs. A child, who is “forced” into such programs without having the right pre-requisites, may suffer educationally. For example, a child with border-line results is rejected entry but forceful parents practically plead to the school for an opportunity for their child - the child may not benefit fully from the program and may drop out, much to the frustration of both the child and parents. This is the same as other special children with learning disability who need a special program to cater for their learning needs but a normal child would surely not benefit form these special programs.

Therefore, by all means help your daughter with the test preparation but bear in mind that the school has set criteria for selecting students in such programs and selection is made quite carefully by a team of teachers and/or professionals. Best of luck!


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