Re: Evaluations and scatter scores


I was trying to locate something that might easily answer your question -- not sure I succeeded.

Test instrument such as WISCIII comprise severate categories of testing -- and those have "subtests." Sometimes the scores are scattered and can indicate specific weaknesses or disabilities.

Many psychologists use the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), third edition, to identify learning disabilities. The WISC is an intelligence test that can be administered only by a licensed psychologist or tester. The scores may be interpreted in several different ways by specialists and nonspecialists alike who understand the significance of the numbers. A WISC score is derived from the scaled combination of two sets of subtests, Verbal and Performance. Each of these two categories has its own total, which is derived from the scaled combination of 6 subtest scores. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children(r) - Fourth Edition, which added several new subtests and eliminated others, has recently become available. The WISC-IV comprises 10 core and five supplemental subtests, which are grouped into four indices -- verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory and processing speed. Scores from each index, based on the core subtests only, are combined to create a child's total score, or Full Scale IQ (FSIQ).

The following information relates to the The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) Third Edition.

Information - fund of general knowledge
Similarities - verbal abstract reasoning
Arithmetic - numerical reasoning, attention and short-term memory for meaningful information
Vocabulary - knowledge of word meanings
Comprehension - social comprehension and judgment
Digit Span - short-term auditory memory for non-meaningful information

Picture Completion - attention to visual detail
Coding - visual-motor skills, processing speed
Picture Arrangement - attention to visual detail, sequential reasoning
Block Design - visual abstract ability
Object Assembly - part-whole reasoning
Mazes - graphomotor planning, visual-motor coordination and speed

Each subtest delivers a scaled score, which may range from 1 (lowest) to 19 (highest).

The above was taken from and relates to gifted, however, the premise is the same.

You can learn more about understanding test scores on the home page and library page at

Be sure and ask for a copy of your child's wirtten report, inclusive of subtest scores.


New Member
The subtest scores and scatter are at least as important as the overall scores. For instance, all of my kids have composite IQ's in the same general range. However, the breakdown of the subtests and the scatter shows their strenghts, weaknesses and differences. For instance, my oldest son has a phenomenal memory for trivia and an excellent score in that area, while my daughter has a vocabulary and use of words that was on the teenaged level at age 4, but a low score in the subtest that indicates math ability. My difficult child scored way high on the math indicator and is light years ahead in math of where his sister was at the same age but scored relatively low on the test of social judgment ( he is my ODD). I use the subtests to advocate for my kids and to figure out how best they learn as well as which things will not work for them. My daughter, for instance, does not visualize #'s, hence she does poorly in history when it comes to WHEN things happened, but her reasoning ability is well-developed so she gets the WHYs of what happened; my oldest boy can recite every fact known to man, but ask him to discuss motivation and it's like talking to a blank wall.

Anyway, read the articles with the tests in front of you and make notes and then read through it all again. You should have a nice picture of your child.