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David Wechsler Intelligence Test Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: May 1st, 2020

General Information

In 1967, David Wechsler created the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, and the test has been updated several times since then (Keith, 2009). The complete test kit (including manuals, tests, scoring, and so on) is quite costly and may cost between $1,000-2,500. It is possible to find some materials for training or sample test online the price may range between $10 and $200. Of course, these are only parts of the test. It is also possible to find some sample questions online.

Test Description

The test is designed for children between 2 years, six months and seven years 7 months (Goertzel, 2013). The test is aimed at measuring academic, intellectual, socio-emotional, and behavioral features of a child and can be utilized for diagnosing possible developmental retardation, problems with reading, and so on (Keith, 2009).

The test contains five major areas: full-scale IQ, verbal IQ, performance IQ, processing speed IQ, and global language. The test questions depend on the age of children.

Thus, for 2- and 3-year-old children, the following tasks are provided: receptive vocabulary, block design, object assembly, and picture naming. For ages between four and seven, the following tasks are utilized: block design, similarities, coding, picture concepts, vocabulary, matrix reasoning, comprehension, symbol search, picture completion, information, word reasoning, object assembly, receptive vocabulary, picture naming.

The test consists of 14 subtests. The scores range from below 70 (extremely low where 70-79 is the borderline) and more than 130 (very superior). The rest of the scores include 80-89 (low average), 90-109 (average), 110-119 (high average), and 120-129 (superior) (Goertzel, 2013). The test is helped by an examiner in one-to-one format (a psychologist works with one child).

Technical Evaluation

The test can be applicable to a quite a wide range of children. Watson and Flamez (2014) note that the test was designed to address the peculiarities of various ethnic minorities living in the USA.

The tasks are adequate for children of the given age. It is necessary to add that the test cannot be employed with children having certain disabilities (blind, severe developmental disabilities, and so on). The test has been used for decades and has been examined clinically numerous times (Keith, 2009). The research shows that the test is reliable and valid in evaluating the five scales mentioned above.

Summary Evaluation and Critique

The test in question has certain strengths and weaknesses. The strengths of the test include the applicability of the test as it may be used with a broad audience (there are only a few limitations). The test has proved to be reliable and valid. It helps identify children’s academic, psychological, behavioral, and developmental features.

At the same time, it focuses on the average performance. Children with exceptional and unsatisfactory scores simply fall out. The scoring is also quite confusing, and it is not clear how exactly each group (average, high average, and so on) differs. It can also be somewhat difficult to measure the results.

Therefore, it is clear that the test needs certain improvements. It is necessary to carry out research to identify the features of each level of competence (low average, high average). It can also be effective in reducing the number of these levels (very superior seems superfluous). It can also be beneficial to add more levels to unsatisfactory scores. To make the measurement process easier, it can be effective to use the 1-100 scale.


Goertzel, B. (2013). . Web.

Keith, T. (2009). Wechsler intelligence test. Web.

Watson, J. C., & Flamez, B. (2014). Counselling assessment and evaluation: Fundamentals of applied practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

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