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Descriptive Classification of the WISC V

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My child received the following scores on WISC V:

FSIQ: 118
Working Memory: 117
Verbal Comprehension: 116
Fluid Reasoning Index: 112
Processing Speed: 108
Visual Spatial: 97

All of these are high average/average which is great and I'm thankful.
However, the FSIQ shows "Very Superior" in 99th percentile. Shouldn't the FSIQ just be high average? Would he qualify for gifted program since FSIQ is less than 130?

A: There may have been a mistake - an FSIQ of 118 describes a classification in the “High Average” range as you have rightfully indicated. “Very Superior” would certainly be in the 99th percentile, which is not possible with the scores above. Furthermore, for the WISC V, we use the term “Extremely High” for scores in the 99th percentile and above.

See the table below for the latest classifications of WISC-V compared to the older ones.

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

For an FSIQ of 118, it may be hard to get into the gifted education programme simply due to the mismatch of ability and learning. He may fare well in the mainstream curriculum. If you feel the scores are not what he portrays, see the psychologist who administered the test for detailed interpretations.

Hope that helps. Good luck!


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