The Stanford-Binet® – 5 test, like the WISC® test and WPPSI™ test, is an IQ test. The Stanford-Binet® – 5 test is the Fifth Edition of the test and the one your child is likely to be given. The purpose of this test is to assess your child’s IQ or intellectual quotient. The IQ refers to the composite intelligence test score that comes from combining all the subtest scores on the Stanford-Binet test (or any other IQ test).
Most people have heard about IQ scores — 146 to 159 is “highly gifted,” 131 to 145 is considered “moderately gifted,” 116 to 130 is “high average,” and 85 – 115 is considered “average.” For many children, the difference between being labeled highly gifted or gifted can come down to a single point, and that one point may impact their ability to get into fantastic Gifted and Talented programs that will provide tremendous educational benefits. For example, last year, children needed to score at least 148 to be invited to the second round of testing for admission to Hunter College Elementary, one of the top gifted programs in the country that is located in New York City. At TestingMom.com, we had a number of families whose children scored just one or two points below that threshold. While it was wonderful that their children did so well on the test, it was also frustrating that they just missed the opportunity to be considered for such a fine program.
Because an IQ test is so different from a skills or achievement test, it is harder to study for. Additionally, since it is given to children so young, there is a chance that a child might get scared or nervous, and make mistakes that could cost him many points. Most children taking the Stanford-Binet test at age-4 have never taken a test before in their lives. They may not know how to sit still for a long period of time, listen carefully to what is being asked of them, how to think through a question and look at all the answer choices before jumping in and responding. This is a brand new skill set for little (and even many older!) children. Developing these test-taking abilities is as challenging to young children as knowing the answers to the questions they are being asked.
The Stanford-Binet® test is a particularly hard test because it includes so many different subtests. While many tests group the same types of questions together, which allows children to become more comfortable with the material, a psychologist administering the Stanford-Binet test will skip around and mix different types of questions together. This can be confusing for some children. For these reasons, we believe it is critical that (at the minimum) you give your child exposure to the types of questions that he or she will encounter on the test.