FAQ’s about IQ Tests For Young Children

1) Which subtests of the IQ test will my child take?

When we talk about IQ Tests, we are talking about tests such as the WPPSI®-III or IV or the Stanford-Binet V, tests that are administered by psychologists working one-on-one with your child. These tests often have many subtests, but your child is not always given every possible subtest from the instrument.

The subtests that are administered depend on the reason why your child is being assessed. If your child is being assessed to qualify for a private school program, for example, the private schools usually direct the psychologist as to which subtests should be administered. In cities like Manhattan, Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta, there are test administration groups that administer the test one time to a child, and that score can be used for applications to schools across the city. In those locations, every child will be given the same subtests that the association of independent schools has decided they want all children to be given.

If your child is being assessed to determine if she has a learning issue, the psychologist will use her judgment as to whether a full scale IQ test should be given, or whether a more limited assessment is called for. IQ tests generally have Core Subtests, Supplemental Subtests, and Optional Subtests. The psychologist may substitute some subtests for others if your child has limitations in language or motor skills, or if for any reason she feels a different subtest is more appropriate to helping her understand your child’s learning delays.

2) How long does the test take?

Depending on whether or not the psychologist is giving the full test, administration times may vary. On many of the subtests on IQ tests, children start with a question that is easy for them and they are allowed to keep going until they miss 4 or 5 in a row (or until they get to the end of the questions in a subtest). So children who answer more questions may take longer to be tested. Generally, the test lasts 30 – 45 minutes for younger children (i.e. ages 2:6 – 3:11) and 45 – 60 minutes for older children (i.e. ages 4:0 to 7:7).

3) If my child is 4, will he be compared to all 4-year-olds or to 4-year-olds that are born in the same month in which he was born?

On the WPPSI® tests for young children, kids are compared to other children born within 3 months of themselves. So a child born January 1 who takes the test the day after her birthday would be compared to children who are 4:0 (as she is) through 4:2 – a 3-month age band. Many parents try to schedule the test when their child is at the oldest part of the age band so she will be compared to younger children (with this child, that would be at the end of March). If this is easy for you to do, it is probably a good idea, but you don’t always have control over when your child will be tested. If you can’t control when the test will be given, you shouldn’t get too stressed about it. There are often good reasons to wait and have a child tested as late as possible, and that might preclude the child from being tested at the “best” part of the age band.

On the Stanford-Binet V, young children are compared to other children born within 2 months of their birthday.

4) If my child doesn’t give a complete answer on a verbal item, can the psychologist encourage him to say more?

Yes, when a child’s answer is incomplete or vague, the psychologist can say, “Tell me more” or “What else” or “Can you explain that to me?”

5) If my child isn’t following instructions, can they be repeated?

Yes, on tasks that are not timed, instructions can be repeated if the child isn’t following the instructions or if the child requests that the instructions be repeated. When the instructions are allowed to be repeated, they can usually be repeated as often as is requested by the child. On timed subtests, instructions may be repeated, but the time to repeat the instructions will be included in your child’s completion time.

If your child does ask for the instructions to be repeated a lot, or if she fails to follow instructions, this will probably result in a notation in the comments section of your child’s test. Private schools that are considering children for admission do pay attention to how well your child listens and pays attention to instructions. For this reason, it is important for you to work with your child on her listening, focusing and following directions skills.

6) Will the psychologist show my child how to do each type of subtest before the actual test starts?

Yes, there are always sample questions where the child is shown what to do and how to answer each type of question. After they have completed one or two sample items successfully, they will go ahead and begin working on the subtest. The psychologist is instructed not to proceed to the actual test until she is sure the child understands what to do.

7) How do I explain to my child why he is being tested?

You might say something along these lines. “Today you’ll be working with a special teacher who wants to know everything that 4 year olds know. The teacher is very nice, just like your teacher, Mrs. Smith. You’ll be working with blocks, playing with puzzles, and answering questions like the questions you answer in school. Just do the very best you can and show her how much 4-year-olds like you know! You may not know the answer to all the questions you’re asked, and that’s just fine. Just give your best guess to whatever she asks, and do your best on each puzzle or activity.”

8) If I don’t understand my child’s test scores or report, will the psychologist sit down with me and explain it?

Before your child is tested, talk to the psychologist. Ask her if a follow up consultation either in person or by phone is included in the cost of the assessment. If not, you may have to pay extra for the private consultation. But if you have any question about your child’s performance, it will be important for you to talk to the psychologist and get a more detailed understanding of what your child’s scores mean.

For Practice questions for IQ Tests, visit www.TestingMom.com or take a look at IQ Fun Park, the test prep kit disguised as a game.

50 Essential Links for the Parents of Gifted Children

Every parent of a gifted child knows just how difficult it can be to keep their child interested, engaged and stimulated. This article, which appeared on the Online Education Database, lists 50 Essential Links for Parents of Gifted Children. If you have a child who is gifted, please check out the links listed in the article. They offer tremendous support, information and advice to parents who are raising intellectually exceptional children.


For 100 free practice questions, visit www.TestingMom.com.

What Mom In Her Right Mind Wants Her Child To Be Less Than Above Average?

Hi all, welcome to my new blog.  I’m so happy that you found your way here!

I’ve just put the finishing touches on the front page of the website, having agonized over the right tag line to use.

Originally, the tag was going to be “Give Your Child Every Advantage in School and Life.”  Who among us doesn’t want to give their child every advantage they possibly can, right?  But then I decided that sounded too corporate – something MasterCard might have come up with if they had an Early Childhood Division.  Oh look, apparently they do!

Then I considered “Your Guide to Raising a Smart Enough Child.”  I thought that was good, a tag that might speak to parents who wanted the best for their kids but who drew the line at prenatal tutoring and flash card drills.  My neighbor’s daughter who was visiting from L.A. thought the tag meant I’d be writing about raising average children and (I quote), “What mom in her right mind wants her child to be less than above-average!”  I explained to her that I only meant that this would not be a blog about how to raise your child to be a genius when nature intended him to be, well, average – normal – a regular Jack or Jill.

It turned out that this woman had been using of those expensive Teach Your Baby To Read programs with her son. She was determined to turn her (most likely) smart enough child into a genius.  “Well, you really can’t,” I told her.  “You can help Herman become smarter, even raise his IQ.  But geniuses are born, not made.  And by the way, he can’t read.  He’s just memorized those flash cards!”  I probably should have left the last part off (even though it’s true).  We parted on a rather sour note, which is too bad for her because Herman is adorable and I had been about to offer to baby sit him for free.

It was back to the drawing board for my tag line.  I finally settled on “Your Guide to Raising a Plenty Smart Child.”  With the exception of my neighbor and other Pushy Peggys like her, I believe that’s what most of us want – happy, normal children who are plenty smart.  Plenty smart kids turn into plenty smart adults who can accomplish whatever they go after in life.  Plenty smart kids excel in school and life and friendships.  They are goofy, curious, observant and talkative.  They are naturally good at some things and struggle at other things.  But that’s okay because struggle teaches them to persevere.

They love to read, color, work on the computer, play and giggle.  Or maybe they don’t.  Maybe they are obsessed with dinosaurs or fascinated by boogers.  They are leaders at the playground or shy kids who prefer to observe what’s happening around them.They say the funniest things!  Seriously, where do they come up with that stuff?  Every day, they display sparks of genius, brilliant wit and superb artistry.  At the same time, you’re a little worried this or that possible delay, but you know kids develop differently.  It’s probably nothing.  You have the highest aspirations for them, but you are also open to whomever they might become.  Your plenty smart child is perfectly imperfect and you have never loved anyone so dearly.

Does this resonate with you?  If so, I hope you’ll stick with me and become a regular reader.

In this blog and on this site, I want to give you all the information and support you need to get your child into the school program you most want for her.  I’ll show you what she must know and be able to do to excel at kindergarten testing and succeed in school.  I plan to introduce you to some of the top experts in early childhood education and development so you can get their advice as well.  I’d also like to explore other aspects of raising children that go beyond school because, let’s face it, there is more to life than having a high IQ.  If you’re thinking, “Right on, Sistah!  There’s way more to life than having a high IQ,” then this blog will speak your language.

For now, welcome and happy Parenting!

Karen, The Testing Mom

P.S. I hope you’ll sign up for my tips and daily test questions (for kids between the ages of 2.5 – 5.5).  Be sure to use an email address that accepts HTML for the test questions so you can see the visuals.