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Interpretation of RIAS Test Score

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: My child was 5 yrs and 8 months when he took the RIAS test. His scores were as follows:

SUBTEST T-SCORE
Guess What 60
Odd-Item out 77
Verbal Reason 84
What's Missing 91
Verbal Memory 62
Nonverbal Memory 83

INDEX SCORES SS
VIX 140
NIX 160
CIX 160
CMX 147

Please help me interpret my child's results from RIAS test. Here are my questions:

  • Is it possible that he could have scored higher on the CIX?

  • How do they go from the T-Scores to Index Scores?

  • Would my child be challenged enough in a part time gifted program (Science and Math only,) or do you think he will need a more complex program to succeed?

  • Is there another test that he can take that can measure higher IQ scores that is convenient for a 6 year old?

  • His mother tongue is Spanish, do you think he could have gotten higher scores with an unbiased test? If so, which one.

Thank you in advance for your answers.

A: The Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scale (RIAS is an individually administered intelligence test, applicable to all ages from 3 to 94. It comprises two subtests that assess verbal intelligence (VIX) and two subtests that assess non-verbal intelligence (NIX). A verbal and nonverbal supplementary memory test can also be administered (yields Composite Memory Index score - CMX). It appears that all the tests were administered for your child. The scores are in the Very Superior range.

The subtests that compose the VIX assess verbal reasoning ability along with the ability to access and apply prior learning in solving language related tasks. Although labelled the Verbal Intelligence Index, the VIX is also a reasonable approximation of crystallized intelligence. The NIX comprises subtests that assess nonverbal reasoning and spatial ability. Although labeled the Nonverbal Intelligence Index, the NIX also provides a reasonable approximation of fluid intelligence and spatial ability. These two indexes of intellectual functioning are then combined to form an overall Composite Intelligence Index (CIX). By combining the VIX and the NIX into the CIX, a strong, reliable assessment of general intelligence (g) is obtained. The CIX measures the two most important aspects of general intelligence according to recent theories and research findings: reasoning or fluid abilities and verbal or crystallized abilities. Each of these indexes is expressed as an age-corrected standard score that is scaled to a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. And as a rule of thumb, a score that is about two standard deviation away from the mean is within the gifted range for most test and for most placement in gifted programmes (in this case, 130).

Your child obtained a Composite Intelligence Index (CIX) of 160. This level of performance falls in the Very Superior range of scores. The RIAS is a full-scale IQ test with a ceiling of 160 for ages 3 to 14, so at his age, he has hit the ceiling. His Verbal Intelligence Index (VIX) of 140, Nonverbal Intelligence Index (NIX) of 160, also falls in the Very Superior range.

There is no direct method to do the calculations – the raw scores are converted to age-adjusted T-scores and the scorer would need to use a manual for this. Each of these indexes is expressed as an age-corrected standard score that is scaled to a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. These scores are normally distributed and can be converted to a variety of other metrics if desired. Briefly, when correct responses are added up across these verbal and nonverbal items, a good estimate of an overall intelligence is obtained.

Gifted Education Programs differs in different schools. The school usually place these kids in part time of full time programs on the basis of their provisions and of course the scoring criteria. Looking at his test scores alone, I would think that he would be challenged in a full program. However, the school would know best so it is best to speak to the school's GEP coordinator ro express your concerns.

Other available tests are the WISC-V and the Standford-Binet V. They may be more comprehensive and you could perhaps discover areas that need focus or strengthening. As for test bias on RIAS, the items were reviewed by experts for cultural bias and appropriateness, with questionable items being eliminated or modified. Best is to speak to the school counsellor and see what more can be done to enrich his educational experiences based on his superior scores.

Hope this clarifies some doubts. Best of luck!


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