Intelligence Test

The WISC-IV

So what is an intelligence test? And why might you or your child want to take one?

If you Google the word intelligence test, you'll find all sorts of free online testing sites. These informal tests may be entertaining and fun, but if you are concerned about the possibility of learning disabilities, then professional testing is definitely recommended.

One of the most widely used and trusted professional learning disability tests is the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children, or the WISC-IV. (IV stands for the most recent edition)

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WISC-IV Description

The WISC-IV Intelligence Test can be administered by a licensed psychologist (preferably an educational psychologist).

It can be given to a child between the ages of 6 - 16 years, 11 months of age.

Once a child exceeds 16, he or she can be given the WAIS-IV, or the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale.

The WISC-IV has 10 core subtests with 5 additional, or supplemental subtests. It is normed and is considered to be a reliable estimate of intelligence.

This test provides a total of 4 indexes - each of which measure different parts of intellectual functioning:

  • Verbal Comprehension Index
  • Perceptual Reasoning Index
  • Working Memory
  • Processing Speed

In addition to the above, it also provides an FSIQ measure - or Full Scale Intelligence Quotient. This is generally viewed as a benchmark for overall intellectual ability.

Intelligence Testing:
Why Not Just Use Academic Test Scores?

Sometimes there is hesitancy on the part of parents in getting an assessment with the WISC-IV and other testing measures. Perhaps this stems in part from the worry that if your child is "labeled", then he will be forced to live with these exposed deficits for the rest of his life.

What I tell parents is what I wish I knew when my own son was struggling in school. Academic tests may be a good starting point, but the WISC-IV measures different types of intelligence - types that can not be measured by merely academic testing.

This is so important! I have worked with students who perform pretty well on academic testing, but who struggle to pass in the classroom. Here is a child who will likely be labeled as "lazy", "disinterested", or "a goof-off", because his classwork doesn't come near his test scores measuring his skill levels.

We now know that the brain is elastic - that is, IQ can be increased with proper brain stimulation! This alone is encouraging enough for me to recommend that students be tested if there is concern about learning problems. This testing can turn up both strengths and weaknesses, and provide you with fresh insight as to the way your child learns.

Once you have the results form various formal and informal testing results, and a professional interpretation of those results, then a plan can be formulated to help your child succeed in the classroom - whether at home or in a traditional school setting.

Feel free to contact me if you have a concern about your child or would like further information.