Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Fourth UK Edition


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Note: This test review was published by BPS on 19th October 2012

Description of the Test:

The first Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) was published in the US in 1949. This review is of the anglicised, fourth edition WISC-IVUK which was published in the UK in 2004 a year after the WISC-IV became available in the US. Use of the WISC-IVUK is supported by a UK standardisation study. WISC-IVUK is an individually-administered instrument for assessing the intellectual functioning of children from age 6 years 0 months through to 16 years 11 months. WISC-IVUK provides a Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ) indexing general ability or cognitive functioning, as well as four composite Indices: Verbal Comprehension (VCI), Perceptual Reasoning (PRI), Working Memory (WMI) and Processing Speed (PSI). Each of the Indices is comprised of a number of core subtests, with supplemental tests available for use as alternatives if necessary or to complement the information available from the core measures: VCI –Similarities, Vocabulary, Comprehension (all core), Information and Word Reasoning (supplemental); PRI – Block Design, Picture Concepts, Matrix Reasoning (core) and Picture Completion (supplemental); WMI – Digit Span and Letter-Number Sequencing (core) and Arithmetic (supplemental); and PSI – Coding and Symbol Search (core) and Cancellation (supplemental). The FSIQ is based on all the core subtests, or if necessary, the replacement of a core subtest by one of the supplemental subtests. If required, seven process measures can be calculated to aid score interpretation by providing more qualitative information on the errors made by a child when completing one of three subtests: Block Design, Digit Span and Cancellation. The WISC-IVUK measures are intended to aid and complement the clinical, educational and neuropsychological assessment of children and young people. This is accomplished by examining the scores themselves in terms of level of indicated ability as well as interrelationships between the scores. The separate WISC-IV-WIAT-IIUK Writer (2005) converts raw test scores to standard scores and completes the necessary profile analyses very rapidly and accurately. These analyses are incorporated in several optional forms of written report, and can include clinical background reviews, charts / graphs and tables. The Writer can also incorporate data from the separately purchased, Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-IIUK), a battery that provides measures of reading, language and number proficiency. The Writer enables analyses between levels of actual attainment and those estimated on the basis of WISC-IVUK indices, facilitating judgements about individual under (or over) achievement, useful in educational and clinical assessment. Data tables also enable these analyses to be done manually. It is also possible to calculate the General Ability Index (GAI) from the scores. This is a measure of general ability, not confounded by working memory or processing speed, that can be used to interpret performance.

Authors: David Wechsler

Test Publisher: Pearson Assessment

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