Wechsler Intelligence Test


What is the Wechsler Intelligence Test?

The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) is an intelligence test originally designed for teenagers and adults in 1955. The test was devised by Psychologist David Wechsler, who argued that intelligence consists of a set of different mental abilities rather than a single general intelligence factor. It is frequently used in our country due to its high validity and reliability.


The most distinctive feature of Wechsler tests is that they are divided into verbal and non-verbal (performance) sections with separate scores for each subsection. All Wechsler scales are divided into six verbal and five performance subtests. The fact that it measures many different abilities makes it highly preferred. The entire test takes 60 to 90 minutes to administer.


Verbal intelligence, the component most commonly associated with academic success, refers to the ability to think in abstract terms using words or mathematical symbols. Performance intelligence suggests the ability to detect relationships and logically put separate pieces together into a whole. The inclusion of the performance section in Wechsler scales is particularly useful in assessing the cognitive abilities of children with a different mother tongue and speech and language disorders. The test can be particularly valuable to school psychologists screening for specific learning difficulties because of the number of specific subtests that make up each section.



Why Did David Wechsler Develop a New Intelligence Test?

Although the Stanford-Binet intelligence test was popular during and after, Wechsler was not satisfied with the limitations of this test. According to him, intelligence consisted in one’s ability to adapt to one’s environment and problem-solving ability. Due to a single IQ score, emphasis on specific tasks, and the test specifically covering children, the invalidation for adults had to be eliminated.

Therefore, a new test known as the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scales was devised in the 1930s. The test was later revised and became known as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.



What is WISC-R?

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (regular, revised and third edition) and Wechsler Preschool and Primary Intelligence Scale,

  • in school placement,
  • in determining the presence of a learning disability or developmental delay,
  • in demonstrating superior talent,
  • monitoring intellectual development
  • preparing rehabilitation and education program

available. Children with neurological disorders are often included in neuropsychological tests to evaluate their brain function. In many countries, WISC-R (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised) tests are preferred for children aged 6-16 years, which rates intelligence with different measurement possibilities.


Wechsler tests are discussed in detail in the 2017 June issue of the Turkish Journal of Psychology . According to the scientific transfers here, WISC-R was adapted to Turkish in 1995. WISC-R has been widely used for years in hospitals, clinics, Guidance Research Centers and research areas. Specifically, it plays an important role as an assessment tool in the assessment of children in need of personalized education.


When the scale was revised as WISC-R in 1974, the age range was changed to 6-16. In our country, the WISC-R standardization study was carried out on a sample of 1639 children selected from 11 different provinces and was adapted to Turkish culture in 1995. The WISC-R consists of 10 basic and 2 complementary subtests. Basic subtests of WISC-R; Knowledge and Arithmetic subtests, these tests have been updated in the next version. The test includes Verbal (Knowledge, Similarities, Arithmetic, Comprehension, Vocabulary, Number Spacing) and Performance (Picture Completion, Picture Editing, Block Design, Object Assembly, Coding, Mazes) composite scores.



Comparison of Stanford Binet Intelligence Test and Wechsler Intelligence Test 

Wechsler’s test was first introduced because he believed that intelligence was too complex to be adequately described by a single number, as Alfred Binet put it. For this reason, Wechsler needed to produce content that would appeal to different age groups.

The purpose of his original test was to help identify children who needed special help at school in France. He thought that various individual factors, including the child’s level of motivation, could affect test scores. 16 years later, WAIS has cumulatively advanced the first intelligence test studies with various researches. Both tests can be compared as shown in the table below:


It was developed in 1939. It was introduced in 1955.
It was developed to be applied on children. It has a version that can be used for adults as well as children.
It is the first developed intelligence test. It aimed to eliminate the shortcomings of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test.
Highlights scheduled tests. It contains some timed subtests.
Generates a single overall intelligence score. It includes different types of points.


In a sense, Wechsler’s test was a throwback to many of the ideas that Binet also embraced. Rather than giving a single overall score, this test provides a profile of the test taker’s overall strengths and weaknesses. For example, scoring high in certain areas but low in others may indicate the presence of a specific learning disability.



Wechsler Intelligence Test Question Examples 

While applying the Wechsler Intelligence Test, the content of the questions varies according to the age level and the adapted culture.

At the youngest age,

  •     What animal meows you see in the picture?
  •     Show the apple in the pictures.
  •     Which figure shows the square? such questions may arise.

1st and 2nd grade level ,

  •     Questions may be asked to find the missing part in the photograph (For example, a hand in the photograph may be missing a finger, or a girl may not have an ear drawn.)
  •     In which cluster is the number of red apples twice the number of green apples?
  •     Which picture has more points if each correct mark and star counts as 5 points? such questions may be asked.

3rd and 4th grade level,

  •     Visual questions based on the part-whole relationship,
  •     Through the shapes that follow each other in a meaningful way, the questions that follow what should come to the next blank are encountered.
  1. and 6th grade level;

Often questions are asked that require analysis of problems based on reasoning and reading comprehension.

Psychology, psychological counseling and guidance, psychological services graduates can apply the intelligence test. In addition, those who receive the necessary training and are entitled to a certificate can do so.

Measurement-evaluation is examined under two main headings. 




1. Reasoning, Similarity (Optional): It is a subtest to measure the child’s ability to establish similarity between situations or entities.


“Which of these (hover over the answer options) has the same weight as this one? (show the star to the left of the question mark)” 

“What is the similarity between morning and afternoon?” (Answer: There are both in a day/ expresses the time in the day etc.)


2. Verbal Comprehension, Vocabulary: This is a subtest for understanding what the child knows and has learned.

“I’m going to show you some pictures. First I will say a word to you and then I want you to show me a picture of that word. Let’s start! Now show me the weather vane.”

3. Judgment: Measures the ability to make an inference through reasoning.


 “Fish live in the sea. Bonito is a fish. So where do you think the acorn lives?”

4. Example of Matrix Reasoning/ Serial Sequence Matrices: This is a subtest to measure comprehension of patterns that continue in a certain way.

“See the figures inside these boxes? In the answer line below, choose the shape that continues this pattern.”

 5. Vocabulary: Checks how many words the child knows and how he or she expresses them.


“Come on, tell me the names of the toys you might see in the park.” Count the words you know that start with the letter “K”.

6. Working Memory, Digit Range: It measures problem solving ability by keeping auditory stimuli in mind.

“Let’s play a game. I will give some numbers. When I’m done, I want you to repeat exactly as I said.” Then, can you say the numbers below very clearly with exactly one number per second? (The number rows in the series can be arranged according to the age level, such as counting 3 by 3 in reverse, advancing a 3 by 2, etc.)

5 – 2 – 1 – 0 – 9 – 6 – 7



   This area consists of the following sub-skill tests.


  • Visual completion : It is a subtest that measures the child’s ability to pay attention to a visual stimulus. He is asked to look at the picture shown to him and say / show what is missing.
  • Arrangement : It is related to perceiving the order of occurrence of events and establishing a cause-effect relationship.
  • Coordinating : Measures the ability to predict.
  • Putting the parts together : It measures the part-whole relationship.
  • Encryption : It is a subtest of speed, recall and focus.
  • Labyrinth : It is about hand-eye coordination and object-ground relationship.

Each of these scales represents an ability that is vital to academic performance. Your child may have great verbal skills, but if they have poor verbal working memory, they will have a hard time holding on to what the teacher says to take notes or get big ideas. If your child cannot understand the relationships between parts and a whole, they may be very intelligent, but may have trouble prioritizing ideas, breaking down tasks, or forming outlines to get the gist. A significant difference in subtest scores may suggest a problem with a particular skill being tested; it may also indicate the underlying cause of a learning disability or a change in the rate at which skills mature. For this reason, both basic and sub-scaling should be evaluated thoroughly by experts in the field.



Where Is the Wechsler Intelligence Test Taken?

In general, testers can be listed as follows:

  • Rehabilitation and Research Centers (RAM) affiliated to the Ministry of National Education
  • Science and Art Centers (BİLSEM)
  • University hospitals
  • research hospitals
  • Private centers with clinical and certified psychologists
  • Erenköy Mental and Neurological Diseases Training and Research Hospital (EAH)
  • İ.Ü. Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine
  • Şişli Hamidiye Etfal Training and Research Hospital
  • Eagle Dr. Lütfi Kırdar Training and Research Hospital


Wechsler Intelligence Test Scoring Scale 

The Wechsler Intelligence Scales are standardized tests, meaning they were applied to a large representative sample of the target population as part of the test design and norms were determined from the results. The mean standard score of the scales is 100 and the standard deviation is 15. The standard deviation indicates how much above or below the norm the test taker’s score is. For example, a ten-year-old child is assessed on the WISC-III scale and achieves a full-scale IQ score of 85. The average score of 100 is the average level at which all 10-year-olds in the representative sample performed. This child’s score will be one standard deviation below this norm.

While the full-scale IQ score provides a reference point for assessment, it is only an average of various skill areas. A trained psychologist evaluates the child’s performance on the subtests of the scale in order to discover his or her strengths and weaknesses, and makes comments and suggestions based on these findings.


The results of intelligence tests alone should not be seen as a complete indicator of a child’s future path. It is very useful in identifying children who may need special attention because of a disability or giftedness. If parents are considering telling their child the result of this or any other intelligence test, they should carefully consider the possible consequences.

If the test needs to be repeated, six months should be waited.

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