test results


Active Member
I'm not sure if this should be in the sp ed forum or this one.

I got the results of Davids school testing. He didn't qualify and I'm not fussed about that. He is doing great in school right now. (Home is a different story. Time out this morning for kicking difficult child 2 in the head.)

I would like some help undestanding what the results mean on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- Fourth edition. They also administered the WJ 3 and the Achenbach but I think I understand those.

Anyway, his full scale IQ is 104
Verbal comprehension is 93
Perceptual Reasoning is 127
Working Memory is 102
Processing speed is 85

My questions are 1. what is perceptual reasoning? What does it look like on a day by day basis?

2. Should I be worried that he has a 127 in perceptual reasoning and a 85 in processing speed? Is that normal to have that big a differance?

3. What are normal ranges for differences in the subtests?



Active Member
The average range is 90-110. A 42 point spread between two subscores is VERY significant. If you wouldn't mind posting his WJ3 scores, it might paint a clearer picture.

(Oh, and I would move this to the Special Education forum. Martie & Sheila give excellent advice on interpreting test scores.)


Active Member
OK how do I get it moved to Sp Ed forum?

Here are the WJ 3 scores (I'm just going to give the standard scores.)
Total Achievement: 108
Broad Reading: 114
Broad math: 103
Broad written lang: 106

Basic Reading Skills: 122
Reading Comprehension: 105
Math Calculation Skills: 95
Math Reasoning: 118
Written Expression: 110

Academic skills: 109
Academic Fluency: 109
Academic Application: 114

Letter-word Identification: 116
reading fluency:112
calculation: 94
Math Fluency: 100
Spelling: 100
Writing Fluency: 102
Passage Comprehension: 109
Applied Problems: 114
Writing Samples: 115
Word attack: 123
Reading Vocabulary: 100
Quantitative concepts: 123

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
The significant point spread between difficult child's between reasoning and processing is what helped pave the ground to have her picked up for Special Education. It is definitely significant. It's been so long since I've read the results of an evaluation, I'm sorry I can't help you with much else. I just remember that being a the point that really stuck out for us at the PPT/EIP.


Here is a link to Wikipedia on the WISC-IV. I read through it and it is accurate and much easier to understand that the professional testing sites.

To interpret any standard score test (SS) you need to know what the standard deviation (SD) is. David is exactly one SD below the mean on Processing Speed, and is almost 2 SD above the mean on Perceptual Reasoning. This is likely a stat sig difference but whether or not it is meaningful depends on the circumstances.

I just "upped" a thread in which I responded at length about the meaning of test score spread. The thread was started by mistmouse but I give an example of my two kids as young children that shows that the interpretation of score scatter can be very tricky.

I think that your son is slow in motor skills because he is 1 SD below the mean on Processing Speed. However, there are many ways to get this score, some of them problematic and others, not. For example, if he tends to be a perfectionist who want to be "right" no matter what, he will lose all time bonuses and lower his score. See particularly my comments about my offer to "lower" ex-difficult child's (non-meaningful) split because he was getting every time bonus available. HOWEVER, he also had (and has) some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) traits that if I tapped into, i.e., made him concerned about "correctness", he would have slowed down.

It is for reasons such as the above that experienced clinicians want the "observational information" regarding how a child approaches tasks as much as they want the scores. Unfortunately, if your SD is trying to use testing vs your child, that sort of information will never be discussed.

One the other hand, no one ever scores, "too high." It's always real (unless it is curricular-based and the child has been coached.) So David's Perceptual Reasoning is an individual strength as well as above the 95%ile in relation to the general population.

PR includes
• Block Design - children put together red-and-white blocks in a pattern according to a displayed model. This is timed, and some of the more difficult puzzles award bonuses for speed.
• Picture Concepts - children are shown rows of pictures, and are asked to find a common bond with one picture in each row.
• Matrix Reasoning - children are shown an array of pictures with one missing square, and select the picture that fits the array from five options.
• Picture Completion (supplemental) - children are shown artwork of common objects with a missing part, and asked to identify the missing part by pointing and/or naming.

These are closely related to what used to be called non-verbal IQ on all WISC series prior to the IV.

The only thing that jumps out at me in terms of his achievement scores is math calculation is relatively low in comparison to other scores. So is vocabulary. This suggests to me that either he is not being exposed to an enriched curriculum OR if he is, he is not making use of it. That is possible--been there done that with ex-difficult child. He and his sister went through the same system through 8th grade--often having the same teachers, and she came out a whole lot better educated than he. You can lead a horse to water....

Of course, David's scores are only individually low--they are dead-on average in comparison to the norming population, so the SD is not going to think much about them.

IF the low processing speed is valid, you might see problems in completing class work as quickly as other children--That said, there can be many other reasons for not finishing class work on time, including low motivation, ADHD, fine motor problems, etc.

My gut feeling is you have not reported any major school problems that appear to be related to the test scores. However, remember that the test scores are a one (or two) time snap shot and that problems can appear as children age and school demands increase.

I hate to keep repeating the same thing--but SOMETIMES splits are hugely important, and unaddressed, would lead to major problems (as for my easy child) and other times they are artifactual and without real meaning (my ex-difficult child).

So the unsatisfactory answer is, IT DEPENDS....



Active Member
Thank you for the information and for upping that other thread. I learned from your examples.

David is a perfectionist. The tester for the WJ 3 commented that he would get upset if he didn't know the answer or felt he didn't do it right. He also has ADHD and was all over the place on the way to testing, but the tester said he settled down during the testing. I'm thinking from what your saying that these two things would affect his low processing speed. Therefore, it isn't really that low and I won't worry about that. He does have problems completely classwork, but that could also be because of perfectionism and ADHD. His teacher has comented about he wants everything just right and has a hard time staying seated. Interesting combo.

About the math and vocabulary achievment scores. His mind races and he is distractable. Its amazing to me that he is doing as good as he is. He is being exposed to it, but its not all getting in.

One more question. Is the 34 point difference between his verbal and perceptual reasoning enough that I should start worrying about non-verbal learning disability?

I'm going to look at the site you gave me know.

Thanks very much


I can't really respond wihtout the subtest scores. How did he get the 93.

You should not worry about a NON verbal learning disability. Non-verbal reasoning is a major strenth that shows on both the WISC-IV and his achievement testing. I suspect he does not have an verbal Learning Disability (LD) either but, as I said, as task demands increase, bright kids can experience problems in secondary school that their intelligence covered in the early grades.

HOWEVER, (don't you hate that word--I should have a MACRO on WORD for it) the same factors that lowered the timed tests COULD lower the verbal scores, but it is less likely because most, if not all, subtests, are untimed.



Active Member
Thanks for all your help and information. You've put my mind at ease. I feel like I have to understand everything very well with difficult child 1 or something might be missed that we'll regret latter. Again, thanks. Emily