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Best Methods for Stanford-Binet Test Prep

Because the Stanford-Binet V (Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition) is a traditional intelligence test for very young children, psychologists and school administrators don’t like it when kids learn in advance that they’re taking an IQ test. So as much as you possibly can, avoid using the words “test prep” or “IQ” or “exam practice” in front of your child! Instead, call your practice sessions something like “Smart Kids Say…” or “Brain Teasers” or “Pet Puzzles” — whatever your child already shows an interest in, try to incorporate that theme into your overall routine.

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Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Should I tell my child the names of the tests?

We recommend you say let’s play some brain games or something like that and avoid saying the names of specific subtests around your child. Psychologists and school administrators want to ensure that no students have been exposed to the materials that on the Stanford-Binet V.

Is it true that you cannot prepare for these types of tests?  

This is false. Many psychologists do not like when children practice because they think children will be exposed to testing materials and that this may skew the results. Our test prep does not expose your child to testing materials but instead helps them understand the types of questions they will be asked.

What is the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition (SB5)?

The SB5 is the fifth edition of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, a widely used test designed to measure cognitive abilities in individuals from two years to 85 years and older. The test evaluates five factors of cognitive ability: Fluid Reasoning, Knowledge, Quantitative Reasoning, Visual-Spatial Processing, and Working Memory.

What is the purpose of the SB5?

The main purpose of the SB5 is to identify intellectual strengths and weaknesses in individuals. The results can be used for educational planning, diagnosis of intellectual disabilities and giftedness, and research purposes.

How is the SB5 scored?

The SB5 provides a Full Scale IQ score, which is a composite of all the subtest scores. Additionally, it provides Factor Index Scores for each of the five factors of cognitive ability. The scores are converted into percentile ranks based on age norms, allowing for comparison with others in the same age group.

What does my child’s SB5 score mean?

The Full Scale IQ score gives an overall estimate of your child’s cognitive abilities. If your child scores above the average range (IQ scores of 90-110), this might indicate a higher level of cognitive abilities. Conversely, scores below the average range could suggest potential learning difficulties. The Factor Index Scores indicate relative strengths and weaknesses in different cognitive areas.

How long does the SB5 take?

The length of the SB5 depends on the individual taking the test, but it typically takes between 45 minutes to 90 minutes to administer.

How often can the SB5 be administered?

While there are no strict rules about how often the SB5 can be administered, it’s generally recommended that retesting should not occur within a one-year period to avoid practice effects. However, certain circumstances might require earlier retesting.

Who is qualified to administer the SB5?

The SB5 should be administered by a trained professional, such as a psychologist or psychometrist, who has thorough knowledge of its administration and interpretation.

Can the SB5 diagnose learning disabilities or ADHD?

While the SB5 can identify areas of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, it’s not a diagnostic tool for specific learning disabilities or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, the results can provide valuable information and contribute to the overall assessment process for these conditions.

What happens after my child takes the SB5?

After your child completes the SB5, the administrator will score the test and interpret the results. You should receive a report detailing your child’s performance, including their Full Scale IQ and Factor Index Scores. It’s beneficial to discuss these results with the professional who administered the test to understand their implications and potential next steps.

What are the Stanford-Binet age bands?

When your child takes the Stanford-Binet, his or her score is compared to other children in the norm group that fall into the same age band as your child. Norms are found by studying large groups of children (norm groups) and analyzing their scores. The scoring matrix is created by comparing the scores of children that fall within the same age band. These age bands “widths” vary by age groups.

Here’s how to read an age band:

The first number represents the year, and the second number represents the month. For example, if your child is three years, eight months old (3:8), he would fall into the 3:8 – 3:8 age band. This means his score is compared to children in the norm group who were also three years, eight months old when they took the test.

For children aged two years and zero months (2:0) up to four years and eleven months (4:11), the age bands are only one-month increments. So, if a child were born on June 25th and is three-years-old, the 3:0 – 3:0 age band starts the day the child turns three-years-old (June 25th) and goes through the last day of that one-month period (July 24th). Once the date is July 25th, your child would be “bumped up” to the next age band (3:1 – 3:1).

Once a child reaches his 5th birthday, the age bands increase to 4 months. The 4-month age bands continue until the child is 16 years and 11 months old.

Below is a chart with the age bands for children up to the age of four years and eleven months.

Kids love to play video games on laptops or iPads, so you can feel confident letting your child practice as much as he or she likes using the interactive questions we offer in Digital Tutor and playing our exclusive Planet Pattern Tiles game (these online learning games are included with any paid membership).

Sample Practice Questions

The tips on this page are designed to make test prep fun. To see how they help your child answer practice questions, you can ask her to answer material from our 100 free practice questions.

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3 Tips to Make SB5 Test Prep Fun

  • Encourage your child to play with pattern tiles and blocks. Many of the SB5’s questions will ask about identifying patterns, involve basic addition, subtraction and quantitative reasoning using blocks and/or shapes (like the one shown in Sample Question #5) or remembering where one item appeared in a sequence, so playing with blocks, tiles and putting together puzzles are great, fun ways to practice without ever uttering the words “test prep” around your child!
  • Choose non-fiction books for bedtime stories until after your child takes the test. Fairy tales are great and the traditional go-to picks for younger kids, but now’s the time to sneak in extra ways to build up your child’s informational knowledge. Not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions that fit with the Common Core standards currently taught in schools:
    • Caterpillar to Butterfly by Laura F. Marsh (Preschool-2nd grade)
    • Castle: How It Works by David Macaulay (1st-3rd grade)
    • Seeing Symmetry by Loreen Leedy (2nd-4th grade)
    • Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! by Kathleen V. Kudlinski (2nd-4th grade)
  • Ask and answer a variety of “why” questions each day. Since the SB5 asks progressively harder information and comprehension questions until a student misses five in a row, it’s important to instill the idea that guessing’s better than saying “I don’t know” — and the best way to do that without explicitly talking about test prep is asking and answering lots of “why” questions. If guessing’s part of your daily conversation, your child’s more likely to do it on test day than skip a question or admit to not knowing the answer. Some good examples are: “Why do we go see the dentist?” (answer: to prevent cavities and keep teeth and gums healthy) or “Why do you wear shoes to play outside?” (answer: to avoid stepping on something that could hurt your feet; to keep them dry and warm).

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