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IQ Testing: Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales

IQ Testing: Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - July 25th, 2017

When it comes to measuring a person’s intelligence, tests like Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales are used to determine an intellectual assessment or intelligence quotient (IQ) for young children, adolescents, and  even young adults.  But does this kind of test really measure up and give a fair assessment? Today, we’ll look at what makes up the test, some common misconceptions about it and why your child should take an IQ test.

Skills that are Tested

The Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale takes about 60 – 120 minutes to complete. As the test-taker gets older, more subtests are given. Here are the FIVE factors which the test will cover:

  • Fluid Reasoning
  • Knowledge
  • Visual – Spatial Processing
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Working Memory

The test consists of 15 subtests (given specifically to various ages), which include the following:

  • Object Series / Matrices (Non-verbal Fluid Reasoning)
  • Vocabulary / Verbal Knowledge
  • Early Reasoning
  • Verbal Absurdities
  • Picture Absurdities
  • Verbal Analogies
  • Procedural Knowledge
  • Pattern Analysis
  • Position and Direction
  • Delayed Response
  • Block Span
  • Memory for Sentences
  • Non-verbal Quantitative Reasoning
  • Knowledge and Application of Numerical Concepts (Verbal Quantitative Reasoning)
  • Last Word

The sum of all the subtest scores gives the composite score, which indicates a global estimate of a person’s intellectual functioning.

Common Misconceptions

  • IQ tests are the only test schools will consider for their gifted and talented programs.

This is untrue across the board.  While IQ testing will indicate intelligence, there are certainly other indicators of intelligence and performance. Because of this, most school districts use a multifaceted approach when determining student placement: classroom observation, grades, group test and achievement test scores, leadership skills, and even motivation and creativity.

  • IQ tests are an accurate representation of intelligence and mental capacities for all ages.

Not always, because different ages are receiving different subtests, which range in difficulty.  These adaptive tests are determined by the administrator, who uses certain subtests as routers to determine if the child should be tested further.  They may be not getting a true assessment of the child’s ability (for numerous reasons–unwillingness to cooperate, not enough sleep, misunderstanding of the questions or test styles, English is not the primary language spoken, etc), so the child is not given further subtests. This is especially not as accurate with very young children, so the test may not allow for a right discrimination of the child’s abilities.

So Why Should a Child Take an IQ Test, like Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales, then?

The Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales and other IQ tests can offer insight into where a child needs to improve and even be a good predictor of future performance.  They give insight into how the child’s brain functions, so his education can be custom tailored, encouraging him to grow through a curriculum that enhances and enriches his experience.  Also, these tests are required in many schools, as part of their consideration for acceptance to gifted and talented programs.  While they may not be used as a stand-alone measure, the single score gives the school direction for what that child may be capable of achieving.

Wondering what kinds of questions your child will be asked on the Stanford-Binet® V (Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales®, Fifth Edition) test?

Go here!

So really, how does IQ testing measure up?  Does it offer a fair assessment for each child or not?  Well, really, I believe it would be on a case by case basis.  In some instances, it is an ideal environment and timing for the child and gives the true representation of where she is right now in her mental ability.  But in some instances, it is not ideal and misses out on taking into consideration other good indicators of intellect, like a motivated, creative leader with a persistent nature or the beautiful mind of a child on the autism spectrum.  There is just so much more to show a person’s capability.  So while it is useful, it is not fully adequate in and of itself.

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