What is the WISC-V?

What is the WISC-V?

People often ask me if a Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Fifth Edition (WISC-V) is part of a psychoeducational assessment. Then they often ask if this is an intelligence test. A psychoeducational assessment normally consists of an intelligence test such as the WISCV and an achievement test such as the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test Third Edition (WIAT III). The WISC-V has recently become available for use in Australia (by qualified psychologists) which is an updated version of the WISC IV.

An intelligence test such as the WISC-V is useful for measuring your child’s strengths and weaknesses and can be essential component of the diagnosis of certain academic problems or strengths; as such it is important in various procedures such as dyslexia assessments and tests for intellectual disability or giftedness.

The WISC-V is an individually administered clinical tool for assessing cognitive ability of children 6 years through to 16 years and 11 months. The test provides a general intellectual ability score often referred to as your IQ score. It also provides information on different areas of intelligence such as verbal and practical intelligence.

The WISC-V normally takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete as part of a psychoeducational assessment. Normally a qualified psychologist would also administer others tests within a psychoeducational assessment such as an achievement test that would normally take an hour in length. Scoring and writing a report by a qualified psychologist may take from 4 to 8 hours to complete.

There are five main components of the WISC-V called Verbal Comprehension, Visual Spatial, Fluid Reasoning. Working Memory and Processing Speed. Verbal Comprehension measures your child’s language understanding such as what is the meaning of words (vocabulary) and how are two words alike or similar. In comparison, Visual Spatial and Fluid Reasoning tasks measure your child’s practical ability; however, there is still some understanding of language required such as the ability to follow instructions. Working Memory assesses your child’s capacity to hold and manipulate information in their mind over short periods in an auditory and visual manner. In contrast, Processing Speed is designed to measure how quickly your child can perform mental tasks.

Allowing a psychologist to administer these educational assessments, along with other tests such as dyslexia testing and adhd testing for your child, will help in the long run. A teacher may ask for a WISC-V to be completed either to provide early identification of reading and learning issues or to assist in identifying learning disabilities. Alternatively, it can be useful in diagnosing giftedness or assist schools make appropriate accommodations (such as increasing time allowed to complete a test or exam) and develop individual learning plans students.


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