My child’s WISC IV report has lots of other scores besides an IQ. What do they mean?
In addition to a Full Scale IQ, the WISC IV also yields four “Composite” standard scores in the areas of verbal reasoning, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed.
The Verbal Comprehension Composite assesses the child’s use and understanding of language using subtests that assess abstract reasoning, vocabulary development, and common sense reasoning. A child with an average score in Verbal Comprehension can participate in conversation, understand directions, follow classroom discussion, and explain his ideas as well as other students his age.
The Perceptual Reasoning Composite assesses nonverbal reasoning and problem solving. It is composed of subtests that measure nonverbal abstract reasoning skills, perceptual reasoning, and perceptual organization. Ability to maintain consistent focus and attention impact these subtests. Students with average scores should be able to follow a sequence in solving problems, interpret visual or three-dimensional representations of concepts (illustrations or models), and show average artistic ability.
The Working Memory Composite reflects a child’s ability to recall, manipulate, and sequence auditory information. This test measures rote verbal leaning, working memory, and the ability to sequence auditory information. The student’s score can be affected by the use of strategies and her ability to concentrate on the task. A student with average Working Memory should be able, for example, to memorize math facts with some practice.
Processing Speed is the fourth Composite score on the WISC. This composite measures the speed and accuracy of visual motor integration. The subtests use a paper and pencil format and have time limits. The student’s score is affected by perceptual discrimination, persistence, concentration, and fine motor dexterity. A student with an average Processing Speed composite should finish written class work at a pace similar to his peers.
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