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Testing and Assessment
"If something exists, it exists in some amount. If it exists in some
amount, then it is capable of being measured." Rene Descartes, Principles
of Philosophy, 1644
"Assessing gifted children is similar to and different from assessing other
types of children. Though areas to be assessed are similar for all, for gifted
children, the assessment techniques and tests require special characteristics.
While most professionals are trained to assess many kinds of children, few are
specifically trained to assess in this particular area. The general perception
is that these youngsters, with abilities and strengths in many areas, have no
special needs, educational or otherwise, that merit serious clinical
attention. For this reason, it is important that parents who suspect that
their child may be gifted search for a professional with experience in working
with this population..." Julia B. Osborn,
Testing and Assessment of Gifted Children: What do all these scores mean?, a
presentation by Carolyn K.
Children by Julia B.
- Testing versus assessment. These two activities are frequently discussed
together and criticized together, when, in fact, they are quite different...
Assessment WISC-IV Technical Report #4 General Ability Index
GAI removes lower Short Term Memory and Processing Speed scores from the full
scale score, resulting in a score more highly correlated to giftedness... (requires
Assessment WISC-IV Technical Report #7 WISC–IV Extended Norms
Extended norms are useful when a child’s score is the
maximum (ceiling) on two or more subtests (e.g., obtains scaled scores of 18
or 19 points)... (requires
How Can I Prepare My Child for Testing?
by Aimee Yermish
- There are some important things that kids should know about the tests
before they take them... Here are some ideas to prepare your child for
the experience of taking an individualized IQ or achievement test...
legitimate is the Flynn effect for the gifted?
by John D. Wasserman, George Mason University
- Flynn effect has not yet been adequately demonstrated for all levels of
ability; there is some support for its validity with low ability individuals
(e.g., those with intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities) but
there is no substantive evidence for its validity with high ability
individuals (particularly those who are intellectually gifted)... Also
are about as smart as we're going to get, says IQ pioneer by Flynn
Subtest Analysis: Clinical Acumen or Clinical Illusion?
by Marley W. Watkins, Department of Educational and School Psychology,
Pennsylvania State University
- Subtest analysis is pervasive in psychological training and practice. But
the evidence that exists regarding relations between subtest profiles and
socially important academic and psychosocial outcomes is, at best, weak.
Hypothesized relationships between subtest profiles and other psychosocial
behaviors persistently fail to achieve statistical or clinical significance...
- An Inventory of
collected by Carolyn K.
- A list of commonly administered intelligence and achievement tests, with links to more
information on each...
Guide to IQ Testing and Gifted Education
by David Palmer or
- Great introduction to IQ testing and gifted children. Answers your
questions, from Why test? to What do the scores mean? and What about scores
of twice exceptional children? Every parent entering the gifted
education world should read this book...
as We Can Get?: Gains on certain tests of intelligence are ending in some
David Schneider, American
- Psychometricians have long been aware of a phenomenon called the Flynn
effect—a widespread and long-standing tendency for scores on certain tests
of intelligence to rise over time. And now they have another curiosity to
ponder: The tendency for intelligence scores to rise appears to have ended
in some places. Indeed, it seems that some countries are experiencing a
Flynn effect with a reversed sign...
Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate & Attorney
Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright,
- (Written for special education parents, but just as valuable for gifted
education parents.) Most parents of special needs children know that
they must understand the law and their rights. Few parents know that they must
also understand the facts. The "facts" of their child's case are contained in
the various tests and evaluations that have been administered to the child.
Changes in test scores over time provide the means to assess educational
benefit or regression. Parents who obtain appropriate special educational
programs for their children have learned what different tests measure and what
the test results mean...
of the WISC-IV for Gifted Identification
a Position Statement of the National
Association for Gifted Children
- It is recommended practice to derive the General Ability Index (GAI) when
there are large disparities among the Composite/Index scores. Flanagan and
Kaufman (2004), in
Essentials of WISC-IV Assessment, deem the FSIQ “not interpretable” if
Composite scores vary by 23 points (1.5 standard deviations) or more...
Do the Tests Tell Us?
by Carolyn K.
- Many parents arrive in the world of gifted education with a report full of
tests results, supposedly defining their child as "gifted." But more often
than not, parents have more questions than answers upon receiving those test
results. And just as often, the short answers from the psychologist, the school, the teachers,
and other parents do more to confuse than clarify...
- What is Highly Gifted? Exceptionally
Gifted? Profoundly Gifted? And What Does It Mean?
by Carolyn K.
- Levels of giftedness, test ceilings, questions that you want answers to...
- Why should I
have my child tested?
by Carolyn K.
- Intelligence tests, ability tests, achievement tests, test young, test
older, use this test, use that test... we all hear tons of tidbits of
information about testing, from the schools, from other parents, from mailing
lists, from professionals. Here are all those tidbits, distilled into a
comprehensive guide to testing our gifted children...
- Why do my
child's test scores vary from test to test?
by Carolyn K.
- Why do children's test scores, on both IQ and achievement tests, vary (sometimes dramatically) from test to
test? There are so many reasons, and most do not have anything to do
with the child's intelligence or ability...
2002 APA Ethics Code
- Occasionally, a psychologist or tester declines to share a child's actual
test scores with the parents. The APA Ethics Code is clear on the
Release of Raw Test Data: "Pursuant to a client/patient release, psychologists
provide test data to the client/patient or other persons identified in the
release" (p. 1071).
and Testing: What about the SB5, WISC-IV, and Other Tests? by Barbara
Gilman, closing statement from
Our Gifted Online Conferences
conference on Testing and Assessment
- Promising New or Still Valuable Tests or Portions of Tests, The Increased
Emphasis of Processing Skills Measures as Part of the FSIQ, How Can We
Accommodate Aspergers , Learning Disabilities and Other Deficits in
Testing?, With Likely EG and PG Children, Is It Important to Seek Testing
From Testers Experienced With This Population? and other questions
- Assessment of Children
WISC-IV and WPPSI-III Supplement by Jerome M. Sattler and Ron Dumont
- Full of helpful administrative and interpretive tips, it is a must-have
reference for students and clinicians involved in intelligence testing...
Institute of Mental Measurements
- Comprehensive (and technical) source of information on intelligence and
achievement tests (this resource offers test review information at a charge;
to see the same information for free, visit the reference section of your
local library, for the Buros Mental Measurements Yearbooks)
case for the Stanford-Binet L-M as a supplemental test by Kathi Kearney &
- The population is apparently gaining in intelligence, but modern
intelligence tests have less power to measure the high end of that
intelligence. The original Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale was structured to
measure development from very early childhood to adulthood. It has a higher
ceiling (and lower floor) than any of the current tests. And the most
important factor in assessing gifted students is the height of the ceiling...
(requires Adobe Reader)
Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) Theory of Cognitive Abilities: Past, Present and
by Kevin S. McGrew, University of Minnesota
The history and
evolution of Cattell-
Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory of cognitive abilities,
the broad and
narrow CHC abilities, including, where appropriate, the integration of
factor analytic research (since 1993) that suggests possible refinements to
the taxonomy, and (3) review structural evidence that supports the broad
strokes of CHC theory...
A psychometrician named Farrell,
Upon reading some research by Carroll,
Said “How can this be--
There’s just too much g!”
My test is now over a barrel! -- Andrew D. Carson, Ph.D.
contribution of cognitive psychology to the study of human intelligence
by Cesare Cornoldi
- One of the reasons for the immediate interest of lay people in the concept
``intelligence'' and the simultaneous reluctance of researchers to study
this concept is the fact that intelligence has been defined in numerous ways
and the term has been used in a variety of different and partially
Collection: Old and New IQ Test Score Pairs Carolyn K., webmistress,
Hoagies' Gifted Education Page
- Similar to the old WISC-III and/or WPPSI-R vs. SB L-M
data, I'm collecting (anonymously) data comparing kids' scores on now old
versions WPPSI-R, WISC-III and SB-4 to the same kids' scores on the newer
WPPSI-III, WISC-IV and SB-5. (SB L-M scores are optional) These
scores will be collected, and included in a similar table once I have 25 data
points, enough to make the results anonymous. Thanks for your data
points! Current count: 23 data points (March, 2008)
difference between ratio and deviation aptitude test scores by Margaret
- Or why gifted IQ scores don't accurately differentiate gifted children...
highly gifted students by J. Hansen
- The principle reason for identifying highly gifted children is to help
them get a better education than they probably would get otherwise. Tests
designed for age-peers are powerless in yielding information to meet this end.
One effective method of discovering highly gifted students is by above-level
Willis Farleigh Dickenson University
- Comprehensive site on tests and testing, by two professors at Fairleigh
Intellectual Potential by Jerry Schecter
- "My child is only five years old, and he reads at a fourth grade level.
But he's doing cutting and pasting in his kindergarten class and complains of
being bored. He doesn't want to return to school." Scenarios like these
are repeated countless times every school year, and parents are often at a
loss as to how to deal with them.
- The Explore Test: A
Talent Search by Linda
- Questions and answers about the Explore Test, a commonly used Talent
Search identification test
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Sometimes advocacy has to begin with getting answers to questions already
asked. In the United States, if your child has had testing, you are
entitled to copies of the full results, including IQ / standard scores,
percentiles, age and grade equivalent scores, and much more... but sometimes
you may need to cite this federal law to get them
Accurate Assessments of High Levels of Giftedness by Linda Silverman and Kathi Kearney
- One unique problem for parents of highly gifted children is the
impossibility of gaining accurate information about the level of their
children's abilities, given the low ceilings on modern tests. None of
these tests can capture the full range of abilities of the extraordinarily
gifted because the children's abilities extend beyond the upper limits of
the tests (requires Adobe Reader)
and highly gifted students: how do they score on the SB5? (Identification
Discrepancies) by Shannon Pratt (subscription required)
- Despite attempts to develop a test useful for determining giftedness,
there were several early indications that the test was not operating in the
expected manner. The gifted sample included in the validity studies received
a mean Full Scale score of 123.7--over 6 points below the general standard
of 130 for gifted-program participants. In an additional study Riverside
documented that students performing at a prodigious level received a mean
score of 130, a score much lower than expected. In addition to the lower
means, it seems odd that a sample made up primarily of moderately gifted
students would only score 6 to 7 points below a sample in the profoundly
Today but not Tomorrow? Longitudinal Changes in Ability and Achievement
during Elementary School by David F. Lohman & Katrina A. Korb, The
University of Iowa
- Approximately half of the students who score in the top 3%
of the score distribution in one year will not fall in the top 3% of the
distribution on the next year. One can substantially reduce the amount
of regression by combining the information from multiple assessments.
Understanding that all abilities are developed and that schools play a
critical role in that process can lead to policies in which children’s
reasoning abilities are assessed... Read
Understanding and predicting regression effects in the identification of
academically gifted children, an update and extension of the original
paper... (requires Adobe Reader)
Glossary of Measurement Terms Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement's technical
- Looking for a definition of criterion-referenced vs. norm-referenced,
grade equivalent, percentile or stanine? Here are the definitions...
Assessment WISC-IV Technical Report #4 General Ability Index
- WISC-IV publisher's information on calculating the General Ability Index (GAI)
for gifted identification when the processing speed and/or short term memory
indices pull down the full scale score... (requires Adobe Reader)
- History of Influences in
the Development of Intelligence Theory & Testing
- An interactive map and supporting details on the history from Plato to
Sternberg, Gardner and Catell of today...
of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales: Content and Psychometrics by
Kirk A. Becker
- Using qualitative and quantitative methods, this bulletin examines the
similarities and differences between the different editions of the
Stanford-Binet published over the past century...
to Use the New IQ Tests in Selecting Gifted Students, executive summary
Symposium on Assessment Techniques in the Identification of Gifted Learners
hosted by the World Council for Gifted Children 16 th Biennial Conference in
New Orleans, Linda Kreger Silverman
- 20 recommendations for using IQ tests in the identification of gifted
students, along with research references for each recommendation. 1.
Individual IQ tests provide better information for high-stakes decision
making for gifted students than group tests. Group IQ tests are best used
for general screening purposes. 2. Gifted students are a special needs
Know My Child is Smart; Why Does She Need Testing? by Linda Kreger Silverman
- Early detection of children’s learning deficits is vital, as early
intervention is essential for optimal development. A well-kept secret is
that the same developmental rule applies to children who are unusually
advanced. Early detection and intervention are also essential for optimal
development of gifted abilities. Testing can prevent problems from occurring
down the road...
and assessment of gifted students with learning disabilities by Lilia M.
Ruban and Sally M. Reis
More is known about the characteristics and needs of gifted students with
learning disabilities today than in the past. However, many of these
students are not identified as requiring services, and if they are, it is
for only 1 exceptionality. This absence of knowledge about the consequences
of the coincidence of gifts and disabilities has resulted in
misidentification and minimal services for many students...
for measuring leadership in children and youth by Frances A. Karnes, in
Gifted Child Today ($)
Following the incorporation of leadership as a dimension of giftedness in the
federal definition, instruments for screening and identification of leadership
have been developed, as well as curricular approaches and programs for
developing and enhancing leadership skills. Screening and identification
practices can assist educators in nurturing leadership skills in students
identified as gifted leaders, but can also serve to help teachers develop
leadership skills of students with other areas of giftedness...
Assessment of Exceptionally and Profoundly Gifted Children by John D. Wasserman, from
Ringing the Bell Curve: Saving and Surviving Amazing Kids (published
IQ Kids: Collected Insights, Information, and Personal Stories from the Experts
- Exceptionally and profoundly gifted children... have been found to have
qualitatively and quantitatively unique cognitive characteristics that
differentiate them from intellectually gifted children performing at the
lower ranges of intellectually gifted ability... The SB L-M remains
unmatched in its breadth of procedures and is probably truer to the changing
nature of cognitive-intellectual abilities over development than any other
test subsequently published...
- History of IQ, Flynn Effect, how to estimate your IQ from
scores, and more... Note that these tests have hard ceilings of just
over 152, under 164, and under 160 (using standard deviation of 15)... they
just aren't designed for differentiation with highly, exceptionally, or
profoundly gifted high school students and adults.
IQ Percentile and
Rarity Chart for standard deviations of both 15 and 16...
America smart enough? IQ and national productivity by Daniel Seligman in
Arguments about group differences in IQ have roiled the academy for years.
Oddly enough, nobody pays attention to certain national IQ differences, which
could help us answer the question: How does Japan do it? INTELLIGENCE
testing has a bad, bad reputation these days...
Junior Meritocracy by Jennifer Senior, in New
Should a child’s fate be sealed by an exam he takes at the age of 4? Why
kindergarten-admission tests are worthless, at best.
Note: the article is based on New York City admission policies, and does not
reflect policies in the rest of the U.S. Conversely, the implication
that all students should receive an enriched education from Kindergarten and
be assessed later through comprehensive observation is good, but Senior
admits, impossible to implement...
from the history of intelligence testing by David Lohman
- Three themes on intelligence testing: the developers of intelligence tests
were not as narrow minded as they are often made out to be; theories of
intelligence are the product of not only data and argument, but also the
personal proclivities and experiences of theorists; the most important
changes in the format of intelligence tests were dictated by the demands for
efficiency and reliability... (requires Adobe Reader)
of Intellectual Capabilities: A Review of Theory by John L. Horn
- Presents an overview of intelligence theories, and places the Gf-Gc theory
of the Woodcock Johnson Cognitive into the context of other theories and
their historical underpinnings... (requires Adobe Reader)
Minute Test-taking Tips by Ronald L. Rubenzer
- The "testing triathlon": being fact smart, test smart, stress smart.
Left-brain, right-brain, and both-brain activities to assure test
preparedness... (requires Adobe Reader)
Testing by Elizabeth Meckstroth
- ...intelligence testing materials are available to many practitioners who
are not sensitive to gifted children's enormous range of abilities or the
intensity of their emotions... Research continually confirms that parents know
their children best. For example, Jacobs found that parents could
identify 61% of their gifted kindergarten children. By contrast, their
teachers identified only 4.3% of these children...
Levels of Educational Performance (PLEPs) by Todd McIntyre of
- How do you determine a student's Present Levels of Educational Performance
(PLEP) prior to the Gifted meetings? How does that PLEP correlate to
the district's curriculum? What's the role of state standardized tests
in determining the student's PLEP? Though written for folks dealing
with Pennsylvania mandate, it has valuable information for all parents of
- Proficiency testing is NOT the same as other testing, and does not help
the gifted child, or the adults seeking to understand and quantify the gifted
child. Yet it must be discussed here...
- Professionals familiar with Gifted and Exceptionally Gifted
- In addition to psychological testing, gifted children (and adults) have
other needs for professionals. From audiologists to developmental
optometrists to counselors, here's a list of professionals across the
U.S. who offer valuable services, while understanding our gifted children...
- Psychologists familiar with Testing the Gifted and Exceptionally Gifted
- The question is often asked, "Who should I get to test my gifted child?"
or "My highly gifted child?" What psychologist is familiar with the ceilings
on the commonly administered individual IQ tests like the Wechsler (WPPSI or
WISC) and Stanford-Binet (SB-IV), or perhaps is
familiar with giving the supplemental Stanford-Binet LM (SB L-M, the 'Old
Binet')? Here's a list of psychologists around the
world who offer the SB L-M as supplemental testing for gifted children...
Scores on Intelligence Tests
- American Scientist article explains the Flynn Effect of rising IQ scores
Role of Nonverbal Ability Tests in Identifying Academically Gifted Students:
An Aptitude Perspective by David Lohman
- Disadvantages of figural reasoning tests include task specificity greater
than for V or Q, large practice effects, largest Flynn effect, appearance of
measuring something innate, appearance of being culture fair, distal
predicator of academic success... (requires Adobe Reader)
Interviews: Arthur R. Jensen by A Alexander Beaujean, University of
- Teachers should also notice pupils who are especially exceptional at the
high end of the ability spectrum; they often need a different educational
program than that offered to their more typical age-mates... Standardized
[individual IQ and achievement] tests, can get a much better estimate of a
pupil’s standing in academic ability related to peers of his/her own age
than is possible for a teacher to estimate using the more informal
assessment procedures... Despite years of
psychometric research that proves contrary, there are still those who think
that cognitive assessment instruments are biased, and consequently are only
valid for middle-class Caucasians... (requires Adobe Reader)
- In 1996, the Educational Testing Service simplified the SAT. The overall
effect was to raise the average combined score...
The Secret Weapon from
GT-World (click Articles, and then Secret Weapon)
- Adaptation of the top secret chart used by some school psychologists when
holding staffings for special ed kids; shows mental age by IQ vs. physical
age and grade...
The Path of Turning Data into Information by Todd McIntyre of
- A child’s educational test scores contain data. Statistics is the process
by which information is gleaned from raw data. Stat-Fu is designed to
provide the parent with a path towards understanding the significance of
their child’s tested results. And, as with all paths, Stat-Fu is only
meaningful if it is traveled.... (requires Adobe Reader)
- TAGFAM MonTAGe
E-Journal: IQ Testing: An Overview editor, Valorie J. King
- Includes articles "IQ Tests: What Are They Measuring?" and
"Pathfinders In The IQ Wilderness"
and Counseling Interview Questions by
Institute of Educational
- What questions should I ask when interviewing a professional to assess or
counsel my gifted child? When inquiring about services for your child, it is important to be candid
regarding your motives for seeking professional assistance...
Your Gifted Child: A Springboard for Effective Advocacy by Barbara
Jackson Gilman, in Duke
- For the rare gifted student whose educational needs have been met,
individual assessment may not be a priority. However, for the vast majority,
testing can be a potent ally. It can address parental concerns and bolster
advocacy efforts when the curriculum is restrictive and gifted
accommodations are sparse. A professional evaluation documents cognitive
strengths, assesses academic achievement, and recommends specific strategies
to meet a child’s needs...
Tests and Measurements
- LD Online's site on testing is written for LD students, but is just as
informative for parents of gifted children
of the SB5 in the Assessment of High Abilities by Deborah L. Ruf
- The feature of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition (SB5)
make the test useful for the assessment of high abilities in both general
and gifted assessment... (requires Adobe Reader)
- Also read
Special Composite Scores for the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth
Edition by Gale H. Roid
- Several new composites for the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth
Edition (SB5)... First, subtests are grouped into composites useful for
predicting learning disabilities. Second, composites are provided for both
slow learning and giftedness. Third, composites for general clinical use are
presented, followed by applications to various special populations, such as
individuals with attentional problems, traumatic brain injuries, and dual
exceptionalities (such as giftedness coupled with learning disabilities).
... (requires Adobe Reader)
Test Results to Support Clinical Judgment by Linda Kreger Silverman
- In diagnosing giftedness, too often the test results are expected to be
able to do the job alone
are about as smart as we're going to get, says IQ pioneer by Alexandra
Frean, Times of London
- Now the man who first observed this effect, the psychologist James Flynn,
has made another observation: intelligence test scores have stopped rising.
Far from indicating that now we really are getting dumber, this may suggest
that certain of our cognitive functions have reached — or nearly reached —
the upper limits of what they will ever achieve, Professor Flynn believes.
In other words, we can’t get much better at the mental tasks we are good at,
no matter how hard we try...
- What should I look for
in a psychological evaluation? Parent to Parent, by M. Warshaw
Are the Gifted Using the New WISC-IV? by Linda Kreger Silverman, Barbara
Gilman, and R. Frank Falk
- Studies conducted to date on the WISC-IV suggest that two of the four
indices, the Verbal Comprehension Index and the Perceptual Reasoning Index,
provide the best measures of giftedness...
Is Assessment Important If We Plan On Homeschooling? by Alexandra Shires
- other homeschooling parents often ask me,
“Why is assessment important if we plan on homeschooling?” My answer, though
likely more than they wanted to hear, seldom has anything to do with
obtaining an IQ score. Assessment also is critical for
determining if your child has any weaknesses;
assessment can reveal a variety of learning disabilities including...
- Why We Use the
Stanford-Binet Form L-M
- While it is a dated test, the SB L-M is clearly still a valid test, or it would
not be listed as such in the  Riverside catalog [which states]:
Form L-M, with its lower floor and higher ceiling, is
diagnostically appropriate for children at the extremes of mental ability. It
can be used to evaluate levels of mental retardation and intellectual
giftedness (bold added)
WISC-III and/or WPPSI-R vs. SB L-M Collected by Carolyn K.
- This new table of over 50 students shows that... no conclusions can easily
be drawn from WISC-III or WPPSI-R subtests ceilings to indicate how MUCH
higher a gifted child who hits the ceiling on a Wechsler IQ test may score in
supplemental testing on the SB L-M, but when given to children who reach
ceilings on the WISC / WPPSI, they nearly all DO score
Verbal/Performance Discrepancies Among a Sample of Gifted Children by
John D. Sweetland, Jacqueline M. Reina and Anne F. Tatti
- Very intelligent children demonstrate much larger Verbal-Performance
discrepancies than are reported in the WISC–III manual... Though this
refers to a previous version of the WISC, the Verbal-Performance
discrepancies among gifted children continue to occur (requires Adobe Reader)
April 08, 2014