About the Wechsler Intelligence Test
The Wechsler Intelligence Test, developed by psychologist David Wechsler in the 1950's, is a popular tool that is used by my schools, psychologists and other professionals to assist in the interpretation of intelligence. There are several versions of the test, as it has been updated since the initial implementation. The two most common formats include the testing for adults and children, with additional formats for children that is based on age.
How to Prepare
As with many things in life, practice makes perfect, and the Wechsler test is no exception. Although no amount of practice will guarantee you a perfect score, proper preparation will undoubtedly help you score well on the test, and keep you calm and free of test-day jitters. Some of the best ways to thoroughly prepare for the Wechsler test are the following:
- Make sure to spend at least 4-6 weeks preparing for the test. Cramming the night before isn't going to help you, and can possibly cause you to do worse on the test because you didn't get enough rest the night before.
- Make sure you are aware of the type of questions that will appear on the test so that you can spend more time answering the questions and less time thinking about their format.
- Make sure your preparation is thorough, but spaced out. As stated before, trying to study everything all at once isn't going to be of much help. Make sure that you're studying at least 3-4 times a week, but for no longer than a couple of hours a day. Anything more than that, and you'll start to fatigue and you're unlikely to retain any new information. We highly recommend books such as Ultimate IQ Tests: 1000 Practice Test Questions to Boost Your Brainpower or The Essentials of WISC-IV Assessment as great ways to help yourself thoroughly prepare.
What the Test Measures
The tests for both children and adults measure abilities in four main categories. These include reasoning, retention of information, processing and organization of information and verbal comprehension. Factors such as creativity, individuality or judgment are not incorporated into the test. Each category is scored individually and the composite score is used to obtain the intelligence quotient, simply referred to as (IQ).
Interpretation of Scores
The majority of scores fall between 85-115, with 100 considered the average. The scores are actually determined by comparison of those of scores from those within the same age frame. There are times when scores may be inaccurate or misleading. This is usually the case if there is a considerable discrepancy in the score ranges within the four main categories. For example, if the individual were to score a 115 on verbal comprehension but an 80 on processing and organizing of information.
Limitations of Testing
As with any other type of standardized testing, there are some limitations with the Wechsler Intelligence Test. Children or adults undergoing significant stressors may not score as well as others. Additional factors that may play a role in this include learning disabilities, mental illness or any problems that may profoundly affect any of these four categories, such as a speech barrier. In these cases, other tools may be more useful for assessing IQ. The person administering the test should be trained and qualified to do so as well.