WISC-V Test (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children)
What is the WISC-V?
The WISC-V Test (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) is an IQ test administered to children between ages 6 and 16 by school districts and psychologists. The objective of the exam is to understand whether or not a child is gifted, as well as to determine the student’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses.
Subtests included on the WISC Test may be given online or one-on-one using manipulatives, depending on the reason your child is being assessed. Typically, the full exam takes 65-80 minutes depending on the number of primary and secondary subtests given. The most recent version of the WISC, the WISC-V, was released in 2014. If your child is taking the WISC-V in order to qualify for admission into a gifted program or private school, your district or Independent School Organization will indicate which subtests all applicants must take. In most cases, either the 10 Primary Scale subtests or 7 Primary – Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) subtests are given for determining eligibility for admission into these programs.
The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) is an IQ test and assesses cognitive abilities in children between the ages of 6 and 16 years old. It is widely used in educational institutions to identify strengths and weaknesses in cognitive functioning, and to inform educational and intervention planning.
Here are some key features of the WISC:
- The test measures several cognitive abilities: measures a range of cognitive abilities, including verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, processing speed and fluid reasoning. This allows for a comprehensive assessment of a child’s cognitive abilities and helps to identify areas of strength and weakness.
- The test is standardized: means that it has been administered to a large representative sample of children and the results have been analyzed to create norms. This allows for the results of a child’s test to be compared to those of their peers and to provide a clear picture of their cognitive abilities.
- The test is individually administered: it’s administered one-on-one by a trained psychologist, which allows for a personalized assessment of a child’s abilities.
- The test is reliable and valid: The WISC has been extensively researched and has demonstrated high levels of reliability and validity. This means that the test consistently measures what it is intended to measure and produces consistent results over time.
Overall, the WISC is a valuable tool for assessing cognitive abilities in children and can provide valuable information for educational and intervention planning. It is important to note that the WISC is just one tool in a larger assessment process and should be used in conjunction with other assessment measures and sources of information. Additionally, it is important that the test be administered by a trained professional in a standardized and appropriate manner.
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Is it true that you cannot prepare for these types of tests?
This is false. Many psychologist 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.
The WISC-V Test includes 10 Primary Scale/Full Scale IQ subtest types:
- Verbal Comprehension – Similarities (Primary/FSIQ) – This subtest measures verbal concept formation and reasoning. The child is asked to explain how two things are alike or similar.
- Verbal Comprehension – Vocabulary (Primary/FSIQ) – This subtest measures verbal concept formation, knowledge, and expression. The child is asked to define a series of words.
- Visual Spatial – Block Design (Primary/FSIQ) – This subtest measures visual spatial processing and motor skills. The child is shown a model or picture and asked to use colored blocks to replicate the design within a certain time limit.
- Fluid Reasoning – Matrix Reasoning (Primary/FSIQ) – This subtest measures fluid intelligence, which includes problem-solving abilities and perceptual organization. The child is shown an array of pictures with one missing and is asked to select the picture that best fits the missing spot.
- Fluid Reasoning – Figure Weights (Primary/FSIQ) – This subtest measures quantitative reasoning, which is the ability to use numerical information or data to solve problems.
- Working Memory – Digit Span (Primary/FSIQ) – This subtest measures working memory. The child is asked to repeat a series of numbers in the same order they were presented, or in reverse order.
- Processing Speed – Coding (Primary/FSIQ) – This subtest measures processing speed. The child is given a key in which digits are paired with simple shapes. The task is to draw each shape under its corresponding digit within a certain time limit.
- Visual Spatial – Visual Puzzles (Primary) – This subtest measures nonverbal reasoning, spatial processing, and attention to detail. The child is presented with a completed puzzle and asked to select three pieces that, when combined, recreate the complete puzzle.
- Working Memory – Picture Span (Primary) – This subtest measures working memory. The child is shown a series of pictures and then asked to remember the pictures and the order in which they were presented.
- Processing Speed – Symbol Search (Primary)
Together, these subtests provide a comprehensive profile of a child’s cognitive abilities, which can be useful in identifying strengths and weaknesses, and may inform educational planning and interventions. Since it’s an intelligence test, the WISC Test is either given one-on-one or online and doesn’t require any reading or writing skills.
WISC-V Age Bands
The test is intended for use with children between the ages of 6 and 16 years old. The age bands for the WISC-V are as follows:
- 6-7 years: This age band is often used for children in the early stages of elementary education. The WISC-V can provide valuable information about a child’s cognitive development, strengths, and weaknesses at this stage.
- 8-12 years: This age band typically covers late elementary to early middle school years. During this period, the WISC-V can be particularly useful in identifying specific learning difficulties or areas of strength that might impact academic achievement.
- 13-16 years: This age band generally covers late middle school to early high school years. At this stage, the WISC-V can help identify cognitive factors that might contribute to academic or behavioral difficulties, or it can help in identifying gifted and talented students.
It’s important to note that although the WISC-V is designed for children aged 6-16, the choice of whether to use the WISC-V or another test (like the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, or WAIS, for older adolescents) may depend on the specific context and the professional judgment of the psychologist or test administrator.
A child’s WISC results are compared to other children in the same 3-month age group. The table below shows the age bands for the WISC-V.
|WISC-V Age Groups (Yrs:Mos)|
|6:0 – 6:3||10:0 – 10:3||14:0 – 14:3|
|6:4 – 6:7||10:4 – 10:7||14:4 – 14:7|
|6:8 – 6:11||10:8 – 10:11||14:8 – 14:11|
|7:0 – 7:3||11:0 – 11:3||15:0 – 15:3|
|7:4 – 7:7||11:4 – 11:7||15:4 – 15:7|
|7:8 – 7:11||11:8 – 11:11||15:8 – 15:11|
|8:0 – 8:3||12:0 – 12:3||16:0 – 16:3|
|8:4 – 8:7||12:4 – 12:7||16:4 – 16:7|
|8:8 – 8:11||12:8 – 12:11||16:8 – 16:11|
|9:0 – 9:3||13:0 – 13:3|
|9:4 – 9:7||13:4 – 13:7|
|9:8 – 9:11||13:8 – 13:11|
Older Versions of the WISC Test: WISC-IV and WISC-III
The WISC-V is the most recent version of the WISC test, but older versions (the WISC-IV and the WISC-III) may still be given. On the WISC-IV, each subtest is designed to begin 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.
Because an IQ test is 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 to respond. 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 and tasks, you will dramatically decrease his or her chances of making simple mistakes or becoming confused.
A child taking the WISC-V 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 target a child’s non-verbal or visual-spatial reasoning skills. These are items that don’t require language to solve them. Examples include items like recreating block patterns or solving matrix puzzles. Working Memory items are tasks where the student must remember something he or she just heard and then do something with that information.
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