Interpretation of Kaufman Brief Intelligence (2nd Edition) Scores
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My autistic daughter age 16 she was given The Kaufman Brief Intelligence
test, second edition. Her scores were:
Nonverbal - 81
IQ Composite - 75
I don't understand her results. Would you please explain. What they mean
and where it places her?
The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, Second Edition (K-BIT 2) is used to
measure verbal and nonverbal cognitive ability. It is used to obtain a
quick estimate of intelligence, estimate an individual's verbal versus
nonverbal intelligence and/or to screen to identify students who may
benefit from enrichment or gifted programs and also identifying
high-risk children through large-scale screening who may require a more
comprehensive evaluation. It is also used for estimating cognitive
functioning of children referred for assessment of specific learning
disabilities. In short, it serves the purpose to provide a relatively
quick and accurate estimate of abilities; and to identify students who
may benefit from special programs.
This test (developed by leading cognitive ability experts Alan and
Nadeen Kaufman) is assumed to provide highly valid, reliable results and
is useful for a broad range of purposes. With the test package, a
scoring and administrative manual is provided, so it is quite easy to
use the materials. This is a brief assessment and not a full IQ test
like the WISC IV. It takes 15mins to half an hour. Basically, a few
questions are asked and following questions are tracked for correct
answers. After a series of incorrect responses, the testing stops.
Verbal component deals with vocabulary subtest and nonverbal tests
Matrices subtest intelligence. The Verbal portion of the test is made up
of two subtests, Verbal Knowledge and Riddles. These measure verbal,
school related skills by measuring an individual's word knowledge, verbal
concept formation, reasoning ability and range of general information.
The Non Verbal portion is made up of the Matrices subtest and measures
the ability to solve new problems by assessing ability to perceive
relationships and complete visual analogies.
The Composite IQ or Overall IQ score (also known as Full Scale IQ score
in some tests) is based on the verbal and nonverbal subtests of the
test. This is frequently the number most people refer to when discussing
someone's IQ. Experts who develop intelligence tests use mathematical
calculations to find the mean or average score. An IQ score from 90 to
110 is generally considered in the average range, corresponding to
roughly 50 per cent of the population. The higher the IQ score, the
lesser the percentage. For example, high scores of say 130 would only
see about 2-3 per cent of the population, just as would a score of 70 on
the other extreme.
Based on a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15, your daughter
overall IQ is in the Well below average range (75) for the K-BIT-2. Her
Verbal score is in the Well below average range (76); while her
Nonverbal score is in the Below average range (81).
The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT) by definition is a “brief”
intelligence test, also known as a test used for "screening" children.
This means, the K-BIT2 test is just a few subtests of their KTEA (full
version). Therefore, if those subtests are not the child's strongest
areas, then the score could be dramatically different from the same
child's score on the comparable “full” assessment. Having said that,
test designers do select suitable subtests to include in a brief scale.
This is not done randomly, rather using good research background.
It is always good to get a second opinion; perhaps another test that
would capture her strengths. Your daughter would need intervention and I
do believe that she is getting special needs help. Hope the above gives
some clarity to help you decide how best to help your child. Wishing you
all the best.