Making sense of all of the numbers from your I.Q. and Achievement Testing: The Basics:

An Average IQ ranges from 85 to 115. Using this model; a standard deviation is 15 points. That would make 100 at the very center of this bell curve , 100 is exactly average. The 85 score is still considered to be normal but would represent the low side of normal. Concurrently the 115 on the bell curve represents the top end of what is considered to be within an “average I.Q. Score

Connecticut most frequently uses a tool called the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children, commonly referred to as the WISC-1V. It is a Clinical instrument for assessing the cognitive ability of a child. The ability of of a child is a measure of what your child is capable of, a predictor of success, or the measure of a persons potential.

The Wisc-1V has 4 composite scores. The are the Verbal Comprehension Index, (VCI) The Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI), The Working Memory Index,(WMI), and the Processing Speed Index. We need to further break down the Indexes with subtest.

A. Verbal Comprehension Index: (VCI) requires verbal conceptualization, stored knowledge Access, (a reflection of the long-term memory (LTM), and oral expression. Orally presented questions that assess common-sense reasoning, reasoning out or retrieving word associations (LTM), the ability to describe the meaning of words (Expressive Language Skills), It is one of the best predictors of overall intelligence. Subtest are measured as follows: They are numbered 0-10. Lets say that a child has a full scale I.Q. of 96. You already know this is very close to exactly average. So when we look at the subtests we would like to see 9’s which would be equivalent to 90 and 10’s equivalent to 100.

The verbal Comprehension Index, (VCI) is composed of the following subtests:
  1. Similarities: An example question would ask children “How are a wheel and a ball alike?
  2. Vocabulary: measures a child’s ability to demonstrate understanding of spoken language and the ability to express word meanings. A sample question would be” What does articulate mean”?
  3. Comprehension: measures how well a child understands language spoken to him, and his social conventions, and common sense. A sample question would be “What would you do if you found someone injured on the sidewalk?
  4. Information: a child must verbally access language stored from both long and short-term memory. It is really of measurement of what your child knows in a worldly way. It is similar to Trivial Pursuit. A sample question could be “What is the Capitol of France?”
  5. Word Reasoning: requires a child to make common sense out of words by using content clues and insights. It also involves Expressive and Receptive Language skills.
B. The Perceptual Reasoning Index: (PRI) is also composed of 5 subtests. These test require visual-perception, organization and reasoning with visually presented non-verbal materials to solve the kinds of problems that are not taught in school. The subtests are:
  1. Block Design: consists of colored blocks that are placed in a particular way and the child is then asked to reproduce the design. This test involves memorizing a pattern, storing into the Short -term memory bank, and the reproduce the design requiring both reasoning and nonverbal intelligence.
  2. Picture Concepts: requires matching pictures which belong together based on common characteristics. Measures non-verbal reasoning, visual perception, long -term Visual memory, and concept formation. It is the non-verbal counterpart to the Similarities Subtest.
  3. Matrix Reasoning: measure abstract non-verbal reasoning. Efficient manner. The individual is required to fill in a missing design from a number of choices.
  4. Picture Completion: matching pictures that belong together by common characteristics. Individual is required to fill in a missing design from a number of choice.
C. Working Memory Index (WMI): Requires working memory processes applied to the manipulation of orally presented verbal sequences. The ability to temporarily retain information from both short and long term memory, by performing some operation or manipulation with it, and produce a result. Cognitive and higher ordered thinking, Involves attention, concentration, mental control, and reasoning, The WMI is composed of 3 subtests
  1. Digit Span requires a child to listen to a series of numbers a child to listen to an orally presented series of numbers in forward and reverse, which increase in complexity. Measures attention, concentration, and is a reflection of a child’s auditory short-term memory,
  2. Matrix Reasoning: is an untamed test that measures abstract non-verbal reasoning. It consists of a sequence or group of designs, and the child is required to fill in a missing design.
  3. Letter number Sequencing: requires a child to listen to an orally presentation of numbers and letters. Again, the child is asked to repeat information both ijn reverse, and forwards. Another: measure of Auditory Short term Memory, attention and concentration.
  4. Arithmetic mathematical word problems which are preformed mentally. Involves memory , concentration, and numerical reasoning. A sample question would be “John bout 3 books for five dollars each and paid ten percent sales tax. How much did he pay altogether?”
D. The Processing Speed Index: (PSI) requires visual perception and organization, visual scanning and the efficient production of multiple motor responses. There are 2 subtests within the PSI:
  1. Coding: Require a child to match symbols with numbers or shapes. This measures visual-motor speed (writing, copying), and short-term Visual Memory.
  2. Symbol Search: Requires a child to visually scan information that is retained in memory. It also involves kinesthetic motor skills. This subtest also measures short-term Visual-Memory and motor skills.

A made up special needs kid named Joe

Now that you know what each sub-test measures I’d like you to look at a fictitious sample of a WISC-1V: Joe has a full scale I.Q. of 96.His composite scores are as follows:
VCI = 81
PSI = 101
WMI = 79
PRI = 98

From this example we would know that Joe has weakness in VCI, and WMI. What does this tell us? Joe has some difficulty comprehending vocabulary, expressing his thoughts, long and short-term memory weaknesses.

Every number is compared to his full Scale I.Q. of 96.
Look for Scatter in the numbers: remember his subtest and composite score should be 9’s, equaling 90’s and 10’s equaling 100.
We already know that the VCI and The WMI are orally presented. Children learn two ways: visually and auditor ally. Joe has a 15-point difference from his full scale I.Q. of 96 and his VCI score of 81.

We now know that Joe has weakness in understanding spoken language/expressing language skills.His strengths are in Visual Processing and Visual Motor. We also know that Joe has weaknesses in the areas of Auditory short-term memory, and long-term memory. His strengths are in Visual-Processing.

When a teacher is explaining something Orally Joe will have trouble. Given this information I would request additional Language Testing. There is an old saying: “If it doesn’t go is right (hearing spoken language and processing) then it’s not going to come out right! He will also have trouble remembering what he has heard due to deficits in short-term Auditory Processing, and long-term memory. These scores would indicate that Joe I would want your school to look more carefully at his language skills and request additional language testing to be done. The sub-tests provide us with additional information on processing and memory skills.

More specific information.

* Always look for scatter among the numbers!
* Ask the school psychologist what this means, as your school will probably just emphasize his full-scale score of 96 and not address the specifics!
* Ask how these lower number affect Joe’s ability to take in new information, and how well he will remember it!
*The most important things are to remember that subtests, composite scores, and achievement testing should have standard score of 9’s and 10’s. Joe should also have visual accompaniments with information that is presented orally!
*Ask questions about every sub-test lower than a 9, as it indicates a discrepancy!