Retesting for WISC-IV
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My daughter (2nd grade) just completed the WISC IV. Her FSIQ was 123 and
GAI 124. The examiner did not include the working memory (129) and
processing speed (97). Our state goes by percentiles for gifted, and she
scored at 95 GAI. The state cuts off at 97%. Should she at some time be
retested, and when? Should we push for services now or just wait?
Her oral reading is in the very superior range and spelling and math
problem solving are in the superior range. Her processing speed was average, but I
understand that is often the case with kids with higher reasoning
skills. Any advice would be welcome. I know many of the questions on the
WISC IV were ones she simply has not yet been taught (multiplication,
fractions) and at least one that I know she knew the answer and the
phrasing was awkward. Thanks!
Your daughter's score is in the superior range. There difference between
her FSIQ and GAI is just one point. Briefly, the GAI is an optional
index score for the WISC-IV and is derived from the core Verbal
Comprehension and Perceptual Reasoning subtests. It provides an estimate
of general intellectual ability, with reduced emphasis on working memory
and processing speed relative to the FSIQ.
Technically, the GAI represents an individual's overall cognitive
ability, if working memory and processing speed abilities were similar
to verbal and non-verbal abilities. As cognitive abilities are
interrelated, the GAI in fact taps on working memory and processing
speed, but to a lesser degree than the FSIQ. The GAI scores were based
on her VCI and PRI (this includes Similarities, Vocabulary,
Comprehension; and Block Design, Matrix Reasoning, Picture Concepts).
I am not sure why the GAI is used given - her WM appears to be rather
high. Perhaps her VCI and PRI are very high - not given here. Her
processing speed is average and it is true that a number of gifted
children score average on PSI with extreme scores on the other subtests.
I believe she need so differentiation programme to cater for her strong
areas. It would be a good idea to check with the school - perhaps assess
her using a different form of assessment to see if she qualifies for
services. If she needs enrichment, you should not wait.
Retesting is usually advised between 18 - 24 months; but there are
special cases and exception to this. Schools may allow a year if they
are convinced of an obvious need for retest. You would need to speak to
the educational psychologist to determine if there is a need to be
retested especially if you feel that the scores are not justified.
On the WISC-IV questions, there is really no formal training required to
be able to perform as it measures innate intelligence. There is no
direct multiplication or fraction question here and bias is minimal.
Answering a question awkwardly again may not cause in loss of points as
long as the intention is recognized, and that the tester knows that the
child is able to answer. So, rest assured that there is minimal practice
effect here. Though it is possible for a child to get so anxious that
s/he may not be able to voice out the answer or answer something else
In any case, do get some help as she scored very high is should be
eligible for some educational programme to help her develop her strength
further. Good luck!.