The Stanford-Binet Test is an intelligence test that is only able to be administered by a trained psychologist based on the intricacies involved with the test. That does not mean however that it is something that an average person cannot have a grasp of. As with anything related to intelligence, the intelligence scores that are received when taking the Stanford-Binet Test are able to be understood with a little background information on the test itself. The Stanford-Binet test has evolved since the test’s inception, and the test taken today is the fifth edition of the Stanford-Binet test. Over time, while the test has changed, it is still seen as one of the most reliable intelligence tests. The Stanford-Binet test is typically administered to children, but can be used as a tool with adults as well.

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales look at several levels of cognitive ability in children. Incorporated in the testing is both verbal and nonverbal responses. Each verbal subset of the test will have a corresponding nonverbal portion. The length of testing will vary depending on several factors. The age of the child and number of sub tests that the child takes will effect the amount of time the test takes. On average, the test will take approximately 45-90 minutes for the participant to complete. The typical test examines five cognitive factors that are measured to determine a child’s ability to learn. The intelligence quotient scores, or IQ scores, that are derived from these factors measure the child’s ability to learn. After testing is completed, the examiner reviews the ratio of correct answers to find the child’s mental age and compares that to the child’s chronological age to determine the final IQ score.

Practicing for the Stanford-Binet Test

Prior to taking the test, there are some areas that can be studied for in order to improve overall scores. While it can be difficult to find specific topics to study for, an individual can work on puzzles, practice calculations, and review general knowledge items in science or other subjects to increase the likelihood of a higher intelligence score on the test. The test has five major subsections of cognitive abilities that are measured: fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory. These cognitive abilities underlie the core of the test and what is actually being measured. The test itself is comprised of four tests that are scored individually and then are used to create a composite score, which is called the Standard Age Score which correlates to the child’s mental age. The four tests are Short-Term Memory, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Abstract/Visual Reasoning. The tests can be administered to children as young as two, and the examiner will adjust the test based on the ability and age of the child who is taking the test.

Test Format

The actual experience of taking the test will vary based on the age of the child. A multitude of questions will be answered, such as verbal analogies and absurdities. Memory is tested, as well as procedural knowledge and vocabulary. The test will begin with easier questions and gradually progress to more difficult questions. The test is written to accommodate different age and ability levels, which eases the frustration a child may experience. The way the test is administered will allow the child to be challenged but not so much that he gives up or presented with problems that he cannot answer.

What Does My Stanford-Binet Score Mean?

Once a score is determined, the corresponding IQ range is used to determine how the child falls on the scale of intelligence compared to an average of other children. The average for an IQ score is 100, with a range from 90-109 thought of as average. Anything above 109 is above average, whereas anything below 90 is below average. The maximum score range is 145-160 for very gifted and advanced children, with 40-54 as the lowest score range for children who may be moderately impaired or delayed. These scores may be utilized for a variety of reasons. In between each of these ranges are additional classifications including in the above average category: high average, superior, and gifted or very advance. In the below average ranges, there includes: low average, borderline impaired or delayed, and mildly impaired or delayed. The scores are not static, and if a child or young adult takes the test a second time, he may have a score that reflects a different range. This mirrors that intelligence is not innate and can be learned, so if a child has increased their knowledge or other cognitive abilities he may change what his IQ is.

Overall, the Stanford-Binet test is a reliable IQ test that has many practical uses. It can be used to aid in developing programs for both children with special needs and those who are deemed gifted, as well as multiple uses in assessment areas such as clinical or career assessment. As the test has developed since the early 1900s, it has incorporated additional measures of intelligence to present a product with a much more well rounded view of what measures intelligence. While IQ scores are only one part of a child’s ability, they are a valuable tool in certain cases.