Interpretation of WISC-IV Scores
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
We just received our son's results of the WISC -IV 4th edition.
Please could you assist by interpreting the results.
He is 9 years and 9 months old in grade 3 in South Africa.
Similarities = 13
Vocabulary = 10
Comprehension = 9
Information = 10
Word Reasoning = 10
Block Design = 9
Picture Concepts = 13
Matrix Reasoning = 9
Picture Completion = 14
Digit Span = 7
Letter-Number Sequencing = 9
Arithmetic = 7
Coding = 6
Symbol-Search = 9
What does these results mean?
Are they reason enough to retain him i.e. to repeat grade 3?
If not what additional training would be recommended to improve his
working memory scores and processing scores.
Thanking you in advance.
There are other details that need to be provided to interpret the
results accurately. The tester may be the best person to interpret the
results as this is an individual test (and other factors that are not
formally reported may have been detected). The scores given appear to be
scaled scores and need to be converted to composite scores using a table
(again, the tester would be able to do this). An FSIQ (Full Score) would
also be required which should be in your report.
Based on the results, I would assume that his verbal comprehension and
perceptual reasoning is very high, however an average working memory and
a very low processing speed. A low working memory indicates lowered
ability to memorise new information, hold it in short-term memory,
concentrate, and manipulate that information to produce some result or
reasoning processes. This is an important component of learning and
achievement, and ability to self-monitor. A low processing speed index
indicates lowered abilities to focus attention and quickly scan,
discriminate between, and sequentially order visual information. It is
also related to reading performance and development too. It is not
surprising that both his working memory and processing speed is low as
they are both related. An increased processing speed can decrease the
load placed on working memory, while a decreased processing speed can
impair the effectiveness of working memory.
Different schools have varying criteria to retain students in a
particular grade and it is best to speak to the school administrator on
this matter. There may be a possibility of a learning disorder that may
have affected the results causing large discrepancies. Do get some help
To improve his working memory, he would need to indulge in activities
that help his with memorisation and concentration. It is essential in
higher-order thinking, learning, and achievement. As for processing
speed, concentrate on activities that require persistence and planning
ability. There are many ways to increase working memory and processing
speed depending on how much the child is able to do. Look up articles on
any search engine on the internet and you will find various tips. Choose
whichever activities that may be suitable for your son. It is also best
to discuss this with his teachers to have a better idea of what their
thoughts are and how you may be able to help him with additional
activities at home. Best wishes.