Percentile Score on Tests
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My 9 year-old son was recently tested for his school's GT
program. We were given the results of his tests, but do not
understand the results, (as school will not be in session
for 8 weeks, we are hoping to clarify sooner rather than
1. Torrance Figural B Adaptation: 75% (75% needed)
2. Frank Williams Divergent Thinking Test: 84/84 (80 needed)
3. LISD (school district) Web Divergent Thinking Test: 55%
4. Matrix Analogies Test: 63% (90% needed)
5. General Intellectual Scale: 91/108
6. High Creative Thinking: "preponderance"
7. Kaufmann Brief Intelligence Test: 94%ile
8. Slosson Intelligence Test: 94%ile
9. Raven Progressive Matrices: 75%ile
10. Peabody: 98%ile
Do any of these tests show his "IQ" score? If so, how did he
score? He was accepted into the GT program on a monitored
status for the first year. If he does well and is not
frustrated, the monitored status will be dropped.
We very much want our son to receive enrichment of all
types. He has been bored in school until recently, when we
moved to a "better" school district. Already, after 3 weeks
of the above testing, we are seeing a marked improvement in
not only his school work, but his attitude about school.
(yea!) Our questions: 1. What do the above tests reflect/
mean? 2. What is his "IQ"? 3. What can we work on to help
him? Thank you for any help/ input!
A: I am familiar with all the
tests but may be able to give you an idea based on the
percentile. Firstly, not all tests are intelligence tests.
The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test is more a screening test
which gauges a child's performance and is suitable for
schools since it is a group aptitude test. If the subtests
in the test do not screen the child's strongest areas, then
there is a possibility for the score to be different from
the child's score on a comprehensive assessment (non-brief
versions). Such tests measure verbal reasoning more
accurately than non-verbal reasoning.
The Slosson and Peabody tests are intelligence test that can
be administered by teachers in the classroom. They test
reasoning ability for school-type learning but are less
comprehensive that an independent intelligence test with
lower ceilings. The Ravens is a non-verbal assessment, and
highly visual/spatial - which means it penalizes a highly
verbal child who may not have comparable strengths in the
visual/spatial domain (e.g., non-English speaking or
minority students). However, it was found that the figural
reasoning tests have been proven to be culturally biased not
sufficient to identify high ability students; hence missing
many students, and identifying students that may not fit in.
I am not familiar with the General Intellectual Scale and
most of the other tests apart from the Torrance. However,
most of the other test appears to measure divergent thinking
which creativity is. From the mix scores on creativity, it
appears that your son may be in the range of average to high
average in creativity.
For the percentile scores, you may need to understand that
this is not the same as percentage that is regularly used.
It is not unusual for intelligence scores to be expressed in
percentile - and this is often confused with percentage
score; therefore the mix-up in understand the scores.
Percentage is the total of correct responses on a test in
comparison to the total number of items tested. However,
percentile is the estimated percentage of individuals who
would have achieved a score equal to or below the score that
one achieved. That means the number of other test taker's
score that one equals to or exceeds. For example, if the
child answers about 85% of the test item correctly, but
others answered more than he did (correctly); he would have
a rather low percentile (although his percentage appears
high). As a rule of thumb, most standardized IQ scores of
100 have a percentile of 50. So a percentile at 90 may
indicate an IQ score of 120, a percentile of 75 probably
indicates an IQ of around 110 and so on.
To help him, it is best to get someone experienced to
interpret his scores in detail based on each subset score. I
believe some of his scores are skewed and he may need help
in some areas, however, it is hard to tell from the
Hope the above helps. Best of luck.