WISC Sample Test Questions for WISC-IV and WISC-V
Wondering what kinds of questions your child will be asked on the WISC-V (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition)? Here are five examples from five of the subtests given on the WISC-V.
IMPORTANT: While the WISC-V sample questions shown in red (answers are bottom of page) on this page are representative of what your child will see on the exam, they aren’t taken directly from the actual test that’s being administered this year. For more WISC Practice, check out our 100 Free Questions.
WISC-V Sample Question #1 — Fluid Reasoning, Figure Weights:
Fluid Reasoning is one of the five primary index scores measured by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC-V). It assesses the ability to detect the underlying conceptual relationship among visual objects and use reasoning to identify and apply rules. Identification and application of logical and conceptual rules are central to fluid reasoning.
The Fluid Reasoning Index comprises two subtests:
Matrix Reasoning: This subtest measures visual information processing and abstract reasoning skills. It requires children to look at an incomplete matrix and select the missing piece from five options.
Figure Weights: The test-taker is presented with a balance scale with geometric shapes on it. Some of the shapes are assigned specific weights. The child’s task is to select the shape that would maintain the balance of the scale.
These tasks require the child to identify patterns, make deductions, and apply these to new and different contexts. Fluid reasoning is key to problem-solving, understanding and learning new information or skills, and adapting to new situations.
Figure Weights Subtest: The Figure Weights subtest is part of the Fluid Reasoning Index and evaluates quantitative and analogical reasoning. It provides a measure of the ability to maintain the balance of a scale by determining the missing weight.
In this subtest, the child is presented with a virtual balance scale that is missing a weight on one side. The child must select the correct option from multiple choices that would maintain the balance of the scale. The items increase in difficulty, progressing from simple matching to more complex analogical reasoning problems. This task requires the child to understand the concept of equality and inequality, identify patterns and relationships between shapes, and apply problem-solving skills to select the correct weight. Together, these subtests provide a comprehensive assessment of a child’s fluid reasoning skills, which are crucial for learning, problem-solving, and adapting to new situations. They also help identify potential learning difficulties or cognitive impairments that might require further investigation or intervention.
Parent, say to your child: “Which one of these (point to the answer choices) weighs the same as this (point to the star on the left side of the question mark)?”
WISC-V Sample Question #2 — Verbal Comprehension, Vocabulary:
The Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI) is one of the five primary index scores measured by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC-V). It assesses a child’s verbal concept formation, verbal reasoning, and knowledge acquired from the environment.
The VCI is composed of several subtests:
Vocabulary: In this subtest, children are asked to define a given word. This measures word knowledge and verbal concept formation. It’s an important indicator of overall intelligence, as vocabulary development reflects the degree of language acquisition and usage.
Comprehension (optional): This subtest measures a child’s ability to understand and answer questions about social situations or common concepts. Like the Information subtest, it’s not required to calculate the VCI but can provide additional insights.
The Vocabulary subtest is an integral part of the VCI and is designed to measure a child’s vocabulary knowledge and verbal concept formation. It provides a measure of word knowledge, verbal productivity, and concept formation.
In this subtest, the child is asked to define a series of words that increase in difficulty. The words range from common items (like “bed” or “run”) to more difficult and abstract terms (like “persistence” or “commerce”). It’s a task that requires not just rote memory, but also the ability to formulate a clear definition, which requires understanding the meaning, usage, and context of words.
Together, these subtests provide a comprehensive assessment of a child’s verbal comprehension abilities. They offer insight into a child’s verbal cognitive abilities, verbal reasoning skills, breadth of knowledge, and comprehension of the environment, which are all crucial for successful communication and learning.
Parent, say to your child: “I’m going to show you some pictures. First I’ll tell you a word, and then I want you to point to the picture of that word. Let’s begin! Now, point to the weather vane.”
WISC-V Sample Question #3 — Verbal Comprehension, Similarities:
Similarities: This subtest measures verbal concept formation and reasoning. Children are asked to describe how two words are alike or similar. This requires abstract verbal reasoning, auditory comprehension, and expressive language skills.
The Similarities subtest is a crucial component of the VCI. It assesses a child’s ability to engage in abstract thinking and reasoning. In this subtest, children are given two words that represent common objects or concepts, and they are asked to describe how the two are alike. For example, a child might be asked, “In what way are a cat and a dog alike?” A child must then generate a response that captures the commonalities between these two items, such as “They are both pets” or “They are both mammals.” Responses are scored based on the quality of the conceptual relationship expressed by the child, with higher points awarded for responses that demonstrate a deeper understanding of the shared characteristics or abstract similarities between the two words.
The Similarities subtest, along with the other subtests in the VCI, provides valuable information about a child’s verbal comprehension abilities, including their vocabulary, their understanding of the world around them, and their ability to think and reason using language.
Parent, ask your child this question out loud: “How are morning and afternoon alike?” (Answer: They’re both times in a day.)
WISC-V Sample Question #4 — Fluid Reasoning, Matrix Reasoning/ Serial Order Matrices:
The Fluid Reasoning Index (FRI) is one of the five primary index scores assessed by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC-V). The FRI measures a child’s ability to recognize patterns, solve novel problems, and use logic in new situations without relying on explicit verbal instruction or knowledge.
The Fluid Reasoning Index comprises several subtests:
Matrix Reasoning: This subtest is designed to measure fluid intelligence, the ability to think logically and solve problems in novel situations, independent of acquired knowledge. In this subtest, children are presented with an incomplete matrix and must select the missing piece from five options. This task requires visual information processing, abstract reasoning skills, and the ability to perceive the relationships among the various elements and identify the underlying rules.
Figure Weights (optional): This subtest requires the child to select the shape that would maintain the balance of a scale. This task involves quantitative reasoning, the ability to problem-solve, and an understanding of part-to-whole relationships.
Serial Order Matrices (optional): This new optional subtest asks the child to identify the pattern or sequence in a series of matrices and choose the correct matrix to complete the series. It measures the ability to understand sequences, detect patterns, and make predictions.
Parent, say this to your child: “Do you see the figures inside these boxes? They form a pattern. Choose the figure in the answer row below that continues the pattern.”
WISC-V Sample Question #5 — Working Memory, Digit Span:
The Working Memory Index (WMI) is one of the five primary index scores measured by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC-V). Working memory involves holding information in mind and mentally working with it. It’s a cognitive function that plays a key role in concentration, learning, and problem-solving.
The WMI comprises the following subtests:
Digit Span: This subtest assesses working memory, attention, and concentration. It is divided into three sections: Digit Span Forward, Digit Span Backward, and Digit Span Sequencing. In Digit Span Forward, the child must repeat numbers in the same order as presented by the examiner. In Digit Span Backward, the child must repeat the numbers in the reverse order. Digit Span Sequencing requires the child to reorder numbers given to them into ascending order.
Picture Span: In this subtest, the child is shown a series of pictures and must remember and sequence them. This task requires visual memory and sequential processing.
Letter-Number Sequencing (optional): This subtest requires the child to listen to a mixed series of numbers and letters and then recall the numbers in ascending order and the letters in alphabetical order.
Digit Span Subtest: The Digit Span Subtest is an important component of the WMI. It is designed to measure the child’s attention, concentration, and working memory capabilities. In the Digit Span Forward task, the child must repeat a series of numbers in the same order as presented by the examiner. In the Digit Span Backward task, the numbers must be repeated in the reverse order. Lastly, in the Digit Span Sequencing task, the child is asked to repeat the numbers in ascending order. The difficulty level increases as the series of numbers gets longer.
These tasks involve not only the storage component of working memory (holding the numbers in mind) but also the processing component (manipulating the numbers by reordering them). It’s an essential measure of working memory capacity, which is important for various cognitive tasks, including problem-solving, mental arithmetic, and following instructions.
Parent, say to your child: “Let’s play a game. I’m going to say some numbers. When I am finished, I want you to repeat them exactly as I said them.” Then, recite the numbers below very clearly with exactly one number per second:
9 – 4 – 2 – 7 – 8 – 0 – 3
Be sure to change your voice register at the end of the series so your child knows it is over and time to repeat the number sequence back to you.
Answers: 2, 4th from left, They are both times in a day, 2, 9-4-2-7-8-0-3
Looking for more WISC Practice? Check out our 100 Free Questions!