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Low Verbal Scores on K-BIT 2

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My daughter's kbit-2 results are:
Verbal standard score 85
Non verbal standard score 113
Total iq composite 99

What does it means? Does my daughter have disability in anything?

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. This test is developed by leading cognitive ability experts, 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's overall score is on the borderline of true average (about 85-115 should be within the average range on a bell curve). This means an overall score of 99 places her in the top 15% of performances. There is no detailed breakdown of the result, hence a little hard to tell what exactly brought the scores down but it is obvious that the verbal scores are depressed.

In the first section of this test, a child is tested on receptive knowledge so a child who is exposed to a lot of verbal communication throughout their growth years would tend to score high. The next sections are riddles and yet another section would be matrices. For matrices, a child is required to look at patterns and pick matching patterns. Apparently this test itself is a good indicator of ability regardless of lingual ability. In brief, the KBIT-2 consists of an IQ composite score with two subtests that is Vocabulary (verbal, crystallised) and Matrices (nonverbal, fluid). Each of the item is scored 1 point for a right answer or 0 points for an incorrect answer. Do take note that the KBIT-2 samples only limited areas of cognitive functioning and does not measure processing speed or working memory constructs.

This is not a diagnostic test, rather a screener that more tests may need to be done if you find results with huge gaps. The gap here is not terribly huge but I would still suggest you get some further help in interpreting the detailed verbal scores. The tester may be able to advise you (make sure the tester is experienced and qualified). The may be a learning concern here so best to look into it further with suitable tests as advised by the school or an educational psychologist. All the best!


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