Types of IQ tests

Types of IQ tests

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Short descriptions of five different IQ test models used on children. 

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Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children

  • The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) was developed in 1949 by David Wechsler and was modeled after the IQ tests given to soldiers in World War II. It was revised in the 70s, again in 1991 and most recently in 2003. It can be administered to children 6 1/2 to 16 1/2. The test is divided into two main categories, verbal and nonverbal, with a total of 15 sections. The test takes about an hour and a half to complete and is the most widely instrument used. The tests measures vocabulary, comprehension, mathematics and general knowledge in the verbal section. In the nonverbal component, the test covers abstract thinking, coding, patterns, analogies and problem solving. However, it is limited in that it does not measure extremes. The test spans an IQ range of 40 to 160, which more than covers the general population but falls short when assessing an incredibly gifted child who would score 175 on tests like the Stanford-Binet, but would simply receive an "out of level" on the WISC.

Stanford-Binet-V Intelligence Scales

  • Although the WISC is the most commonly used IQ test, the Stanford-Binet-V Intelligence Scales test was the original intelligence test. In 1905, French psychologist Alfred Binet developed the IQ test at the request of his government, which were seeking a tool to assess students with special needs. The original test was composed of a mere 30 items, ranging from identifying body parts to grasping abstract concepts. This test can be given to a child as young as 4. The test today is in its fifth revision and covers five domains: fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory. Critics of the test argue that it isn't designed to test for intelligence so much as to detect learning disabilities and deficiencies, and it is an aside that it also detects the gifted. However, this test is considered the best in detecting children with an IQ exceeding 175, perhaps because it was designed to detect differences.

Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales

  • The Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RAIS) is the shortest full-intelligence test, taking only about 35 minutes to administer. The RAIS is divided into four sections: verbal intelligence index (VIX), a nonverbal intelligence index (NIX), a composite intelligence index (CIX) and a composite memory index (CMX). It can be administered to children as young as 3. In this test, the subsets work together to create an overall score. The verbal and nonverbal sections test one's knowledge of vocabulary as well as understanding of language to problem solve. Concurrently, the CIX and CMX test one's ability to not only create scenarios but to remember facts, concepts and pieces of information that are subsequently used to solve problems.

The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT)

  • The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT) is a broadly applied intelligence test that is appropriate for people 4 to 100. The test provides a quick assessment and is used everywhere, including schools, mental hospitals and prisons. The test takes 15 to 30 minutes to administer and is divided into two sections, verbal and nonverbal. The verbal sections assesses the child's vocabulary and uses riddles to assess the depth of language comprehension. The nonverbal section uses pictures and abstract designs to assess how well the person can create analogies, construct scenarios that are logical, complex and appropriate, and solve problems.

The Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised

  • The Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised (WJ-R) is often used in schools to assess the functioning intelligence of a child. The test is divided into three sections: calculation, letter-word identification and passages. The calculation section is composed of 58 math problems of increasing difficulty. The letter-word identification opens with assessing the child's ability to translate symbols into concrete objects. This is done by showing the child a series of line drawings and seeing if the child can pair the drawing with a photograph of the object. The test then progresses to letter recognition and list words that are printed on a card, instructing the child to orally state what he believes the letter or word to be. In the the last section, passages, a key word is missing from a sentence or passage. The child must use his logic and understanding of the elements in the sentence to determine what the key missing word is.
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United Kingdom

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