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Interpretation of the Standard-Binet V and the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test III Scores

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My son is in kindergarten and was tested for gifted. I'm hoping you will be able to help me decipher his scores. They are as follows:

Stanford - Binet - Fifth edition

Nonverbal IQ 109 73%
Verbal IQ. 126. 96%
Full scale IQ. 118. 88%
Fluent Reasoning 97. 42%
Knowledge 117. 87%
Quantitive Reasoning. 119. 90%
Visual Spatial. 120. 91%
Working Memory. 126. 96%

Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT) - Third Edition

Early Reading Skills. 119
Reading Comprehension. 123
Math Problem Solving. 120
Word Reading. 156
Pseudo word Decoding. 143
Numerical Operations. 138

Thank you.

A: The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition (SB5) is a standardised measurement of intelligence that provides a comprehensive coverage of five factors of cognitive ability that is; Fluid Reasoning, Knowledge, Quantitative Reasoning, Visual-Spatial Processing, and Working Memory.

Briefly, Fluid Reasoning is the ability to solve verbal and nonverbal problems using inductive (specific to general) or deductive reasoning. Knowledge is an individual's accumulated fund of general information acquired at home, school, or work. Quantitative Reasoning is an individual's facility with numbers and numerical problem solving. Visual-Spatial Processing is an individual's ability to see patterns, relationships, spatial orientations, or the gestalt whole among diverse pieces of a visual display. Finally, Working Memory is a class of memory processes in which diverse information stored in short-term memory is inspected, sorted, or transformed.

There are 10 subtest scores and these scores combine to form four types of composite scores which are; factor index, domain, abbreviated, and full scale. Two subtests (one verbal, the other its nonverbal complement) combine to form each factor index. There are two domain scales; the Nonverbal IQ (NVIQ) (combines the five nonverbal subtests) and the Verbal IQ (VIQ) (combines the five verbal subtests). Two routing subtests combine to form the Abbreviated Battery IQ (ABIQ). And finally, the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) combines all 10 subtests.

The scores that you indicated place him in the high average range. With an FSIQ of 118, it may not place him in a gifted education programme as the cut-off for SBV gifted placement is 124. As a very rough guide for levels of giftedness based on standardized IQ scores, one can assume the following:

IQ Range Level of Giftedness
115 - 130 High achiever
130 - 145 Moderately gifted
145 - 160 Highly gifted
160 - 180 Exceptionally gifted
Above 180 Profoundly gifted

However, it is not necessary to calculate an FSIQ on the SB5; a good psychologist should be able to use either the Verbal IQ or the Nonverbal IQ independently to identify gifted children with different strengths. In your son's case, he has rather high verbal IQ, which shows superior strength and need for learning that matches his strength. Additionally, do bear in mind that this is a rough estimate and all IQ scores are set within an error band, which can mean that an IQ of 130 could, in reality, be lower at 128 or perhaps higher at 133.

While the SB5 is an intelligence test, the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT) is a test of achievement for children and adolescents. Therefore, different skills are captured. The Composite Score on the WIAT is simply an average of four areas (Reading, Mathematics, Oral Language, and Written Language) and gives a general idea of the child's school readiness. Each subtest is further broken down into the individual test, such as Word Reading or Spelling. The WIAT III consists of 16 subtest used to evaluate listening, speaking, reading, writing, and math skills.

The WIAT III is used to identify the academic strengths and weaknesses of a student; inform decisions regarding eligibility for educational services, educational placement, or a diagnosis of a specific learning disability, and to design instructional objectives and plan interventions.

On the WIAT, the average score for each test is 100, therefore, anything from 90 to 109 is considered Average, although 100 is exactly in the middle. Scores from 110 to 119 are considered High Average, from 120 to 129 is Superior, and from 130 above indicates Very Superior. On the other end of the spectrum, from 80 to 89 the score is considered Low Average, 70 to 79 is Borderline, and 69 and below are Extremely Low. Your son's scores appear to be in the superior and above range, which indicates high achievement abilities. Word reading is in the very superior range, as is pseudo word decoding and numerical operations.

The WIAT is an achievement test and usually not used to test for giftedness although some schools may use it for subject acceleration in the gifted program. If there are any scores lower than an IQ of 100, you may want to take note of it as these may be his weak areas in comparison to his peers. Also, look out for scores that are lower than the other scores which may indicate a personal weakness, even if the score is still in the Average range as a whole (the lowest in tis case is his early reading skills which is still almost in the superior range. You may want to refer to the following site for a step-by-step interpretation of the WIAT III scores:

Do speak to the school to discuss his scores further. Hope that helps. Best of luck!

Replied from reader: I would like to personally thank you for your valuable time and thoughtfulness. I am so appreciative. I will be discussing his test during at upcoming meeting. I am a little confused about his early reading skills score but will do further research. Again thank you!!


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