Varied Scores on the WISC IV and WIAT II
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
Q: I had my son tested using WISC IV and scores were:
Is this a normal thing?
His WAIT scores were:
This was done at 8 years due to concerns with his school results.
We have been to paediatrician and he said my son was perfectly normal, I
mentioned ADHD and he said there were no signs at all. (read somewhere
could be possibility due to score scatter)
Is this considered gifted as the psychologist did not say he was but did
say that FSS was not accurate reflection of his overall functioning?
Can you please give me your thoughts on why scores are so varied and how
this might effect his learning. Also is WAIT ever used to determine
giftedness. Thanks so much.
The information you provided may not be sufficient to determine the
variation of the scores. However, I will try to interpret them based on
what is available. I assume that your son is 8 years of age. His WISC IV
scores are all in percentile; composite scores would give a more
detailed indication. It appears that he scored very high on VCI and high
While the WISC 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.
However, all the WISC-IV composites correlate highest with the WIAT-II
Total Achievement. It is also found that the VCI is highly correlated
with Reading and Oral. In your son’s case, a high correlation is seen
between VCI and Reading. The PRI should be highly correlated with the
Math composite but may not be the case here.
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.
On the WISC IV, an FSIQ of 85% indicates above average ability, in the
range of 115 composite score. His PS is very low, in the range of 85
composite score (one standard deviation away from the mean score) –
which may indicate ADHD. I would get a second opinion for ADHD as
children with this disorder tend to perform poorly on measures of
processing speed (PSI). Please do get this checked.
FSIQ is a good indicator of giftedness, however, in some cases –
especially when scores are extremely varied, other factors need to be
looked at. In your son’s case, it is hard to determine giftedness as the
broken down scores need to be reviewed individually.
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. Then check for strong scores.
When the weak and strong areas have been determined, you/the teacher
would have a better idea on what would best help him in his learning.
Hope that sheds some light. My very best to you.