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WISC-V Score Classification

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: We recently got results from a evaluation of my son. We know it's good, but is it possible to explain what all those mean:


FSIQ: Superior
Verbal Comprehension Index: Superior
Fluid Reasoning Index: Superior
Block Design: Superior
Similarities: High Average
Matrix Reasoning: Very Superior
Digit Span: Superior
Coding: Superior
Vocabulary: Very Superior
Figure Weights: High Average

Is it possible to find out his IQ based on all of those? Person who evaluated him, said his IQ is very high. But how high? Thank you.

A: From the list, is appears to be WISC-V but there are only two composite scores (instead of five). Or perhaps, not all the scores are listed. In fact, from only two core subtests, it is not possible to determine the full scale IQ. However, from the classification of your son's FSIQ score alone, it is obvious that he scored between 120 -129.

See the table below for the WISC-IV and WISC-V:

Composite Score Range WISC-V Descriptive Classification Traditional Descriptive Classification (“Old”)
130 and above Extremely High Very Superior
120 - 129 Very High Superior
110 - 119 High Average High Average
90 - 109 Average Average
80 - 89 Low Average Low Average
70 - 79 Very Low Borderline
69 and below Extremely Low Extremely Low

However, the exact IQ is not known - it can be anywhere between 120 to 129. You would need to find out many things from the test administrator. Particularly which WISC test was used? In the WISC-V, there are five primary index scores, the Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI), Visual Spatial Index (VSI), Fluid Reasoning Index (FRI), Working Memory Index (WMI), and Processing Speed Index (PSI). Two subtests must be administered to obtain each of the primary index scores; thus, a total of 10 subtests are primary subtests. The Full Scale IQ is derived from 7 of the 10 primary subtests that includes both Verbal Comprehension subtests, one Visual Spatial subtest, two Fluid Reasoning subtests, one Working Memory subtest, and one Processing Speed subtest. Verbal Comprehension and Fluid Reasoning are weighted more heavily in the Full Scale IQ to reflect the importance of crystallized and fluid abilities in modern intelligence.

I am somewhat puzzled with the score list, as there appears to be some missing information (unless it was omitted). From the information given, this is not possible. To derive a Full Scale IQ, all five subtests are required. For GAI (General Ability Index), subtests scores from verbal comprehension, visual spatial, and fluid reasoning domains are required. In this case, the visual spatial index score is missing. However, all the 7 subtests required for a full IQ score is in your list.

You may need a lot of questions answered by the administrator of this test regardless of whether it is a private tester or the school psychologist. Something just does not seem to add up here. For more information on the WISC-V, please go to this link or the many other links on the Internet. All the best!


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