1. Education

An Explanation of Wechsler Tests


Admissions Testing

Admissions Testing

David Fischer/Getty Images
Definition: The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children(WISC) is an intelligence test which produces an IQ or intelligence quota. Developed by Dr. David Wechsler (1896-1981) who was the chief psychologist of New York City's Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, the test normally administered is the 2003 revision of the test devised in 1949. It is known as WISC-IV.

Dr. Wechsler developed two other commonly used intelligence tests: the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale(WAIS) and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence(WPPSI). WPPSI is designed to assess children aged 3 to 7 years and 3 months.

Where the Test is Used

Private schools serving children in 4th through 9th grades often use WISC-IV as part of their admissions testing procedures. They use it to determine both a child's intelligence and his performance in school relative to that intelligence.

What the Test Determines

WISC-IV determines a child's intellectual capabilities. It is frequently used to diagnose ADD or ADHD. The test helps to assess gifted children. The WISC-IV test indices are verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory and processing speed. The subtests allow precise modeling of a child's intellectual abilities and readiness for learning.

Interpreting the Test Data

Pearson Education which sells the Wechsler testing products also scores the tests. The clinical data which the tests provide helps the admissions staff develop a complete understanding of your child's intellectual strengths and weaknesses.

Preparing for the Test

Your child cannot prepare for WISC-IV or other IQ tests by studying or reading. Just make sure that she gets plenty of rest and relaxation before the test. The school is accustomed to administering these tests and will instruct your child what to do at the appropriate time.

Find more terms in the Private School Glossary.

Also Known As: WISC and WISC-IV
"The WISC–IV is designed to meet several goals:
  • Expand and strengthen clinical utility to support your decision making
  • Develop the four Index Scores as the primary interpretive structure
  • Improve the assessment of fluid reasoning, working memory, and processing speed
  • Improve subtest reliabilities, floors and ceilings from WISC–III
  • Link to the WIAT–II and to measures of memory (Children’s Memory Scale, CMS), adaptive behavior (Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, ABAS), emotional intelligence (Bar-On EQ), and giftedness (Gifted Rating Scale, GRS)"
From Features and Benefits of WISC-IV

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.