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Interpretation of K-BIT 2 Test Score

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My daughter recently took the KBIT 2 test and her results are the following:

  • Verbal - 91

  • Nonverbal - 87

  • Overall Composite of 87

Can you tell me what this means and where she ranks. I know she has difficulties and this is one step I am taking to get her the help she needs.
She is 10 and in the 5th grade and so far she has just been pushed through each grade. I appreciate any help you can give. 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. In short, 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).]

Based on a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15, your daughter scored in the average range (about 85-115 should be within the average range on a bell curve) for the K-BIT-2. You may need to see the tester to get the test interpreted in detail to be able to determine her weaker areas and get some help there.

The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT) by definition is a “brief” intelligence test, also known as a test used for "screening" children. This means, the K-BIT2 test is just a few subtests of their KTEA (full version). Therefore, if those subtests are not the child's strongest areas, then the score could be dramatically different from the same child's score on the comparable “full” assessment. Having said that, test designers do select suitable subtests to include in a brief scale. This is not done randomly, rather using good research background.

It may be a good idea to do a full version test to enable a better interpretation of her scores with all the subtests included. Best of luck!.


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