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WISC® Test (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children)

The WISC® – IV test, or the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children®, is an IQ test given to children between the ages of 6 and 16:11.  It takes 65 to 80 minutes and is administered by a psychologist. On the WISC®-IV test, each subtest starts at an easy level for the child.  The psychologist will continue to ask the child questions until he misses 4 or 5 in a row.  If you have a younger child who took the WPPSI™-III test or WPPSI™-IV test (the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence™), the WISC®-IV test is the “upward” continuation of that test. There is a bit of overlap where a 6 to 7.3 or 7.7-year-old child could take either the WPPSI™-III or IV test or the WISC®-IV test.  A psychologist would determine which test would be appropriate for a child in that age range.

NOTE: The WISC®-V has just been released.  Many psychologists are still working with WISC-IV, while some are using WISC-V.  If you know that your child will be taking the WISC-V, please write to us at help@testingmom.com and let us know.  We will give you some modifications to make on your preparations.  Additional practice questions for WISC-V will be on the site shortly.

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 WISC®-IV test at age-7 are just beginning to learn how to take a test.  They may not be good at sitting still for a long period of time, listening carefully to what is being asked of them, thinking through questions and looking at all the answer choices before jumping in and responding.  Test-taking is an emerging skill set for younger (and many older) children.  Developing these test-taking abilities is as challenging to young students as knowing the answers to the questions they are being asked.

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.  By giving your child some familiarity with the kinds of questions she will see and tasks she have to will do, you will dramatically decrease her chances of making simple mistakes or getting confused.

A child taking the WISC®-IV test receives a Full Scale IQ score, a Verbal Comprehension Index (a score based on verbal Items), a Perceptual Reasoning Index (a score based on performance or visual-spatial reasoning items), a Working Memory Index (a score based on working memory items), and a Processing Speed Index (a score based on how the child performs on timed portions of the test).  Verbal items on a test are expressive and receptive language based questions.  Perceptual Reasoning items relate to items that tax a child’s non-verbal or visual-spatial reasoning skills.  These are items that don’t require language to solve them – items like recreating block patterns or solving matrix puzzles.  Working Memory items are tasks where the student must remember something she just heard and then do something with that information.


Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children® — Fourth and Fifth Editions (WISC®-IV and WISC®-V) are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Pearson Education, Inc or its affiliate(s), or their licensors. TestingMom.com is not affiliated with nor related to Pearson Education, Inc or its affiliates (“Pearson”). Pearson does not sponsor or endorse any TestingMom.com product, nor have TestingMom.com products or services been reviewed, certified, or approved by Pearson. Trademarks referring to specific test providers are used by TestingMom.com for nominative purposes only and such trademarks are solely the property of their respective owners.

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