Lower Processing Speed Score on the WPPSI-III
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
Q: I just received WPPSI-III IQ test
results for my 4.8 years old son and
I am not sure if I should be concerned regarding him processing speed.
His overall FSIQ was 141 with a ranking performance at the 99.7th percentile
with the following breakdown:
Verbal - 137
Performance - 144
Processing Speed - 110
The processing speed is substantially lower than the other subset score
and I was wondering if this is something that we need to address in any
fashion? Will his processing speed improve over time or will it remain at the
current rate? Thank you.
His overall FSIQ does indicate superior intelligence and places him in
the highly gifted range. A good number of gifted children tend to score
somewhat lower in processing speed in comparison to the other
The Verbal score indicates how well he did on tasks that required him to
listen to questions and give spoken answers to them. These tasks
evaluate him skills in understanding verbal information, thinking with
words, and expressing thoughts as words. The Performance score indicates
how well he did on tasks that required him to examine and think about
things such as designs, pictures, and puzzles, and to solve problems
without using words. These tasks evaluate him skills in solving
nonverbal problems, sometimes using eye-hand coordination, and working
quickly and efficiently with visual information. Both him verbal and
performance score indicates superior scores.
It appears that an additional set of tasks was administered in order to
evaluate him ability to quickly scan symbols and make judgments about
them. he obtained a score of 110 on the Processing Speed Composite,
which is in the average range of him ability.
The huge gap between the Index scores (verbal comprehension and
processing speed) indicates that your daughter is able to communicate
ideas verbally, but that him visual-motor processing skills are somewhat
more average. Therefore, he needs extra time on visual-motor tasks to
allow him to get him ideas down on paper. An occupational therapist may
be able to help with the necessary tools.
Instruction geared to increase processing speed specifically related to
reading, and to math, should be provided. Such skills include being able
to rapidly and automatically recognise common letter sequences, learning
basic arithmetic facts (i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication,
division) to the point of automaticity. Activities designed to improve
him rate of production should be provided. These can include brief speed
tasks (e.g., ‘mad math minute’ for developing arithmetic fluency;
reading from a list of high-frequency words), and charting daily or
weekly results, etc.
With practice and training, him processing speed will surely improve.
Hope that helps. All the best.