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# Help understanding WISC-IV scores

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Hi all! I'm new to the board and trying to find someone to help me fully understand my DD's IQ test scores. She is 7 (almost 8) and was given the WISC-IV Short Form to see if she qualifies for the Highly Gifted & Talented program at her school. She does qualify but I'd like some guidance to help me in terms of what I should to be asking for at her school beyond just plopping her into the "gifted" room. (We have a "school within a school" model where one classroom at each grade level is designated as a Highly GT room where all HGT* kids are placed and then GT** kids are also placed if there is still room. By 4th grade the classes are 100% HGT kids, so we're fortunate she identified this year and we don't have to worry about 3rd - 5th grade in terms of placement.)

*HGT = 98th percentile and above

**GT = 90th percentile and above

In searching for help in understanding what some of this means I'm finding that our report isn't written the way the samples online are written and it's confusing me.

Here is what the report says.

Verbal Comprehension:

Similarities - 13

Vocabulary - 14

Comprehension - 12

Perceptual Reasoning:

Block Design - 12

Picture Concepts - 13

Matrix Reasoning - 16

Factor Scores

Verbal Comprehension:

Composite Score = 138

Percentile = 99

Confidence Interval 95% = 129-142

Perceptual Reasoning:

Composite Score = 123

Percentile = 94

Confidence Interval 95% = 114-129

General Ability Index:

Composite Score = 136

Percentile = 99

Confidence Interval 95% = 129-140

Interpreted Intellectual Ability: Very Superior Range

Interpretation: "Monkey" scored within the Very Superior range of cognitive functioning on the WISC-IV Short Form, with verbal skills within the Very Superior range and nonverbal skills within the Superior range. She demonstrated strengths in concrete verbal reasoning and vocabulary development. A relative weakness was noted in practical social judgment (although still within the Average range for her age). In nonverbal subtests, she demonstrated a significant strength in abstract reasoning, a strength in conceptual reasoning, and a relative weakness in visual-motor coordination (although still within the Average range for her age).

Questions:

1. I understand why we weren't given her FSIQ (they didn't test her on all the criteria they use to determine that score... right?) but I'm wondering how close the GAI score of 136 is to what her actual IQ might be? I just understand that scale better. I mean if her IQ is 136, I'm actually a little scared of her! :tongue_smilie:

2. Can anyone tell me what %iles her individual scores fall in? %iles make more sense to me. For example; is 16 a really, really high score for Matrix Reasoning? What %ile would that be?

3. In the interpretation they said, "A relative weakness was noted in practical social judgment (although still within the Average range for her age)." Which test measured "practical social judgement?" Is this something she needs help with?

4. Same question regarding "a relative weakness in visual-motor coordination (although still within the Average range for her age)."

So, I've figured out that she's smarter than me :tongue_smilie:! I just feel that I need to understand this so that I can advocate for her. If I don't know what to ask for I can't be an active participant in her education.

What needs to be in her Advanced Learning Plan? (because her ALP for this year is a joke. Seriously.)

Any help, insight etc would be greatly appreciated! :001_smile:

ETA:

Just for reference if you're going to advise me about what she needs academically, I also have these scores. I understand these because the written reports were very clear.

CogAT (verbal): 97

CogAT (quantitative): 85

Ravens (visual/spatial reasoning): 95

(These are her scores from the testing done while she was in 1st grade last year. Her scores this year were invalid because the examiner had a very heavy accent and Monkey couldn't understand him, and had a full blown panic attack, her scores were a huge anomaly, that's why they gave her the WISC-IV this year.)

The following were given during a study we participated in and her school would not accept them, which I totally understand but I think they give insight into her areas of giftedness.

WIAT-II

Age Based

Standard Score %tile Classification

Written Expression: 123 94th Well above average

Spelling: 113 81st Above average

TEWL –II

Standard

Score %tile Classification

BWQ 117 87 Above Average

CWQ 121 91 Above Average

GWQ 123 94 Above Average

CELF-4

Standard

Score %tile Classification

ELI 136 99 Upper extreme range

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I can't help interpret much, but 136 is the official IQ, and don't worry, 136 isn't scary. It's more like useful-smart rather than eeek!-smart.

:)

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136 will be round about close enough to her true "IQ" - so not scary gifted, but gifted enough, lol!

12 is around 75th percentile, 13 is 84th, 14 is 91st, 16 is around 98th to give you her spread (there's a little variance in there, but those are close enough for general figures).

Practical Social judgement is from the Comprehension subtest - nah, don't worry about it ;), just keep talking ot her and involving her in real life.

Vis-motor = block design - again nah, not a concern at those levels, perhaps she just wasn't that into it.

Hope that helps - overall she's a clever wee cookie, but not in the realm of 'scary, what do we do with her now' kind of thing... I imagine she'll fit right into the GT class.

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Congratulations! 136 is a strong score. As Anabel says it's not scary gifted. No 2 gifted kiddos are the same, but I've heard that the majority of kids in the 130-140 range are easier to accommodate in a gifted program compared to kids scoring above that range. My understanding is that the GAI can be used in place of the FSIQ in many circumstances but I'm not familiar with exactly which circumstances because we were given an FSIQ for our son and have only used that, not the GAI. And yes, I believe 16 is a strong subtest score, with 17-19 usually being ceiling scores. Hopefully, someone else more knowledgeable will chime in.

Again from anecdotal info, the GAI is usually a few points below or above the FSIQ.

In the meanwhile, I suggest you visit hoagiesgifted.org for useful, practical advice and information. You might also find writing to the Davidson Gifted Issues forum helpful.

So sorry I can't be more useful to you. All the very best!

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The best book to buy is through wrightslaw.com, they will take about scores and the whole process, of testing and IEPs etc...

Worth the money.

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Hi. 98%ile is a point where a great many programs identify children as gifted. The fact that your program identifies those children as highly gifted, and children at the 90th percentile as gifted, means that you are in a very gifted-friendly area. Congratulations!

1. I understand why we weren't given her FSIQ (they didn't test her on all the criteria they use to determine that score... right?) but I'm wondering how close the GAI score of 136 is to what her actual IQ might be? I just understand that scale better. I mean if her IQ is 136, I'm actually a little scared of her! :tongue_smilie:

Many gifted children have higher GAIs than FSIQs, because for whatever reason working memory and processing speed are often lower than for the core GAI areas, and working memory and processing speed factor into the full scale IQ. That said, you really have no way of knowing without a test, and the GAI is often used for GT identification and placement.

Why be scared, anyway? Giftedness is wonderful, and you've surely met a great many people who could score similarly on an IQ test. She'll be more likely to make it in a professional career than an average person if she wants to, etc., but she is normal-- just normal plus. :)

I'd like some guidance to help me in terms of what I should to be asking for at her school beyond just plopping her into the "gifted" room.

I'd just plop her and see if further measures are needed. Your daughter is very likely gifted based on the scores you've given, but also stands a good chance of being well-served by what the program offers.

3. In the interpretation they said, "A relative weakness was noted in practical social judgment (although still within the Average range for her age)." Which test measured "practical social judgement?" Is this something she needs help with?

Most children who take IQ and achievement tests are not perfectly well-rounded. A relative weakness is not a weakness in this case. Practical social judgment doesn't need any intervention IMO.

So, I've figured out that she's smarter than me :tongue_smilie:!

I wouldn't say so, unless you have fairly recent IQ testing and unless you put full faith in a modern IQ test, administered once, to fully describe a person's intellectual abilities. She's still your same old daughter, and you are her same old mom; you just have more useful information to use when making decisions.

What needs to be in her Advanced Learning Plan? (because her ALP for this year is a joke. Seriously.)

In what way is it a joke? What needs are not going to be met? You've got to start from there. Nobody can tell from the test scores that you've given alone what sort of material your daughter is ready to learn, or what method would work best.

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Out of curiosity, is the scoring different in the short form version? The subtest scores do not add up to the GAI given.

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Verbal Comprehension:

Similarities - 13

Vocabulary - 14

Comprehension - 12

Perceptual Reasoning:

Block Design - 12

Picture Concepts - 13

Matrix Reasoning - 16

Factor Scores

Verbal Comprehension:

Composite Score = 138

Percentile = 99

Confidence Interval 95% = 129-142

Perceptual Reasoning:

Composite Score = 123

Percentile = 94

Confidence Interval 95% = 114-129

General Ability Index:

Composite Score = 136

Percentile = 99

Confidence Interval 95% = 129-140

I'm curious too. I wonder if there's an error in the Verbal subtest scores? a scaled score total of 39 in Verbal would likely yield a VCI maybe about 116 (?), at least in the case of WISC in the States.

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I'm curious too. I wonder if there's an error in the Verbal subtest scores? a scaled score total of 39 in Verbal would likely yield a VCI maybe about 116 (?), at least in the case of WISC in the States.

The GAI I get is 123 (94th percentile). She would need 10 more points on the verbal to have a GAI of 136.

It wouldn't be the first time a psychologist has messed up on scoring the WISC-IV. One of the times my older son took it, the psychologist reported a GAI that was twenty points higher than it should have been. I was the one who caught the error.

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The GAI I get is 123 (94th percentile). She would need 10 more points on the verbal to have a GAI of 136.

That's right. If the subscores are correct, GAI should be 123. A total scaled score of 49(not 39) in verbal would give a 138 in VCI.

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The GAI I get is 123 (94th percentile). She would need 10 more points on the verbal to have a GAI of 136.

It wouldn't be the first time a psychologist has messed up on scoring the WISC-IV. One of the times my older son took it, the psychologist reported a GAI that was twenty points higher than it should have been. I was the one who caught the error.

Yikes! I don't think I'll be saying anything. She really does need the advanced curriculum. I home schooled her for Kinder and part of 1st but our financial situation changed and I had to go back to work. Plus, I was struggling to challenge her and she needed more social interaction. She really has blossomed and thrived in school, but only when she was placed in the HGT classroom, when she first entered school she was placed into a grade level class and it was not a good fit for her at all, so she was moved to the HGT room.

Thank you all sooooo much for your responses. This does help!

In what way is it (the ALP) a joke? What needs are not going to be met? You've got to start from there. Nobody can tell from the test scores that you've given alone what sort of material your daughter is ready to learn, or what method would work best.

It's all very, very generic and basically just says "put her in the HGT classroom with the other gifted kids" (I am paraphrasing)

Here are the goals:

Student goal(s) for depth, complexity, higher order thinking skills and achievement.

1. Verbal: During the 2011-12 school year, the gifted learner will demonstrate commensurate academic and personal growth by transferring abstract thinking into a variety of forms of expression, including demonstrations, presentations and other activities designed to meet the verbal strength area. _____ Attained ____ Did Not Attain

2. Non-verbal: During the 2011-12 school year, the gifted learner will demonstrate commensurate academic and personal growth by transferring abstract thinking into a variety of forms of expression, including demonstrations, models, maps, Mind-Maps, graphic organizers, etc. _____ Attained ____ Did Not Attain

Goal for Affective Guidance and Counseling

Student goal(s) for support, self-esteem, planning for advanced coursework, self-advocacy, and/or college/career planning.

1. Decision making/Goal Setting: During the 2011-12 school year, the gifted learner will demonstrate commensurate academic and personal growth by working cooperatively. ____ Attained ____ Did Not Attain

Is it just me or does that sound like they copied and pasted that from somewhere? I've never seen an ALP before... maybe they are all very generic and boilerplate. :confused:

My main concern is knowing what to ask for.

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Hi. 98%ile is a point where a great many programs identify children as gifted. The fact that your program identifies those children as highly gifted, and children at the 90th percentile as gifted, means that you are in a very gifted-friendly area. Congratulations!

I found this a bit odd as well. 136 around here is moderately gifted. And that certainly is a good thing. ;)

There can be many challenges with highly and profoundly gifted kids. I recently attended a talk given by an author, whose recent book discusses the emotional challenges of a gifted child. I had tears in my eyes many times, thinking how difficult it must be to be my kids - they have so many worries. So many sleepless nights. So much they want to do that cannot fit into a day. They don't feel like they fit in.

My advice to the OP is to follow her dd's lead. Most gifted kids find a passion (aka obsession). Some find many. Give her the space and time and support to work on these passions. Your dd will probably be fine with school work for a while. Any issues can be fixed as they arise. No need to push; she'll show you the way. :001_smile:

Enjoy!