Testing WISC-III and WISC-IV Within a Year
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
Q: I understand that the WISC-III or WISC-IV
should not be administered twice within a 12 month period. My child was given the WISC-III at school and
now we are having him tested with a private psychologist who wants to
administer the WISC-IV. Is this acceptable and will the results be considered
valid? Since the school psychologist is the one who informed me that a test
cannot be give twice in the same year, I am concerned that they will not accept
the results of our outside testing and therefore may not provide services or
accommodations that are suggested by our private doctor.
The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition (WISC-IV),
released in August 2003 to replace the WISC-III (1991), is clearly an
update of the WISC III. In comparison to the WISC-III, the WISC-IV is a
substantial reformulation. The ceiling is still 160 (highest IQ score
possible), but the WISC-IV offers additional harder questions at the
upper ends of a number of subtests.
School districts usually have one year, according to American
Psychological Association (APA) standards, to begin using a newer
version of an IQ test. Therefore, most school districts that employ
Wechsler tests should have begun using the new edition by the following
year (around Fall 2004).
I am not able to understand why your son was given the WISC III now,
when the test is not used anymore. The norms become inaccurate over
time, which is why it needs to be updated – and this means the outdated
one should not be in use. In fact, I don't even think it would be
accepted for programmes. You really need to find out from the school as
to the reason the are still using a test that is over 2 decades old when
an updated version has been around for a while. I believe if it is a
special case, they may accept testing from a private doctor. But do find
out from the school first. Good luck!