The WISC Test: What Is This Test Used For?

A qualified professional can administer the WISC test in public or private schools or in private centers, both individually and collectively.
The WISC test: What is this test used for?

The WISC test can be administered to any child between the ages of 6 and 16, but it is particularly suitable for detecting high capacities, learning disabilities or intellectual disabilities.

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, or the WISC test, is a tool for assessing IQ in children under 16 years of age.

Since the first edition of the test was published in 1949, specialists have improved and updated it. The most updated version, WISC-V, was released in 2014.

In this article, we will talk about the most important features of the WISC test.

What is the WISC test exactly?

A child in a black academic suit

The WISC test aims to assess the learning process during a child’s school year.

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children is an intelligence test that applies to children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 16. Therefore, it primarily covers primary and secondary education levels.

When first published in 1949, the test was a version of the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scale. But after several versions, updates and upgrades, the test has become one of the best measuring tools for measuring children’s intelligence.

It is often used by psychologists and education specialists in schools and specialized centers around the world.

The latest version is WISC-V, released in 2014.

What does it rate?

In general, the WISC test assesses five aspects or levels of intelligence:

  • Verbal comprehension index. As the name suggests, it reflects the child’s ability to rationalize orally. In this case, this aspect is closely related to the child’s semantic knowledge.
  • Visual spatial index. It reflects the ability to understand visual details and relationships to solve puzzles and build geometric designs.
  • Liquid resonance index. It reflects the ability to detect relationships between visual objects.
  • Working memory index. It reflects the ability to preserve and manipulate heard or seen information.
  • Processing speed index. It reflects the child’s ability to make accurate decisions.

After measuring the different aspects, the child’s score is compared with the average for their age. Age is thus a decisive factor in the end result.

Precisely for this reason, the WISC test, although it can be used for any child, can usually be used for individuals whose IQs are to be determined. For example , the test is often used to diagnose high capacities, learning disabilities, or intellectual disabilities.

What kind of tests does WISC contain?

Children solve problems

The WISC test includes the following tests:

  • Similarities and vocabulary for assessing the verbal comprehension index.
  • Blocks and visual puzzles for assessing the visual spatial index.
  • Matrices, scales and arithmetic for assessing the liquid resonance index.
  • Figures and pictures for assessing the working memory index.
  • Coding, symbol search and cancellation to assess processing rate index.

In addition, the different tests are in different classifications according to the format of the elements, that is, depending on the type of response that they accept or stimuli present. Here are some examples:

  • Free answer elements. Test where the child has to explain similarities between two things, explain concepts or riddles, etc.
  • Symbol search. The child must indicate whether the given symbols match a given model.
  • Block design. Children must reproduce a certain model with blocks. In addition, other tests include filling in a matrix or specifying which setting fills in an incomplete figure.
  • Arithmetic problems. Children need to mentally read simple math problems.
  • Word-number sequencing. The child must organize a series of letters, numbers or disorganized digits from highest to lowest or alphabetically.
  • Image width. The child must relate pictures with numbers, keys, symbols, etc. For example, a characteristic test is to find a particular animal on a page full of pictures of other things or animals.

Some of them are verbal, others have to be made with pencil and paper and some are manual.

How do they administer the WISC test?

A qualified professional can administer the WISC test in public or private schools or in private centers, both individually and collectively.

In that sense, parents should know that this test is quite expensive. This is due to the price of the material and the special training that the professional must have undergone in order to use it.

In addition, the duration of the test depends on the child’s response rate. But it usually lasts from an hour to an hour and a half. However, the results are often immediate, except when there are many children taking the test at once.

The results

WISC test for children under 16 years

As we mentioned above, specialists compare the child’s score to the standard scoring average. A child can score:

  • Below average
  • Low average
  • Average
  • High average
  • Superior
  • Very superior

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