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Conversion of Scaled Scores to Composite Scores on WISC-IV

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I'm having difficulty understanding my child's results from WISC-IV test. At the time of testing my daughter was 6 years 1 month and 29 days old. She received the following Scaled score sums:

  • Verbal Comprehension: 52

  • Perceptual Reasoning: 50

  • Working Memory: 34

  • Processing Speed: 24

  • Full Scale: 160

The boxes for the composite scores are not completed. The school psychologist retired in June and there is no one in the school to ask at this time. What is the composite score and how do I calculate the composite score?

Any direction you are able to provide would be very helpful. Thank you for your time and expertise.

A: To convert the scores, one would need to refer to the WISC-IV Administration and Scoring Manual, which comes with the WISC-IV kit. Based on the scores given, the composite score for each is as follows:

  • Verbal Comprehension Index: 144 (99%)

  • Perceptual Reasoning Index: 141 (99%)

  • Working Memory Index: 141 (99%)

  • Processing Speed Index: 112 (79%)

  • Full Scale IQ: 145 (99%)

Apart from the PSI, which is High Average, the rest of the scores are in the Very Superior range. The percentile indicates how well a child scores in comparison to others in the same age group. Percentile ranges are correlated with a individual's performance level based on the norms created from the standardized sample. Your child's score will be a comparison of how he or she performed compared to the standardized sample. About 68 % of the population will perform in the Average range. For instance, your daughter scored higher than 99% of the standardized sample, which is in the Very Superior range.

There is a large gap between PSI and other scores (a General Ability Scale would be more appropriate). There is no other information therefore it is hard to interpret the scores in more detail. However, your daughter has very high scores and would do well in a gifted education programme.

Good luck!


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