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RIAS Score Interpretation

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: My daughter was assessed for the gifted program at our school and met criteria in every way, except IQ. I find her RAIS scores very curious. On the short IQ assessment (can't remember the test name) she was in the 97%.

The following are her scores:
T. %. Range
Guess what 64.
Verb reas. 76
VI Index. 99. Very superior

Odd item. 43
What's missing 46
Nonverbal index. 30. Average
Composite. 82. High average

My daughter was 7 & in 2nd grade in her last week of 2nd grade (may). I find it odd that there is such a discrepancy in verbal/non-verbal. Also, such a difference in the composite score and the short test score, though I recognize there is a higher margin of error in the short scores.

I'd like to have my daughter retested by z private tester. There were no notes referencing any problems administering the test, but something seems off!

Any feedback would be appreciated. This test is from 2014. My daughter continues to excel with absolutely no effort & Is growing more frustrated with her classes.

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).

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 labelled 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 tests and for most placements in gifted programmes.

Your daughter obtained a Composite Intelligence Index (CIX) percentile of 82. This level of performance falls within the high average range of scores. Her Verbal Intelligence Index (VIX) percentile is much lower at 99, which falls within the very superior range of verbal intelligence skills. Her Nonverbal Intelligence Index (NIX) percentile at 30 falls within the average range of nonverbal intelligence.

It appears quite strange that the scatter is so large given that she has been performing well at school. Try talking to the test administer to clarify your doubts first. Such scores may indicate a learning difficulty – see if she struggles in non-verbal skill areas. If you are not satisfied with the clarification from the school, it would be good to test your daughter privately and get a much better idea of her strengths and weaknesses. If she has been frustrated in her learning, there is a high chance that there is no ability-educational match in her class leading to possible frustrations. Do seek help as soon as possible.
Best of luck!.


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