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The Psychometrics Centre

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Anglicisation and standardisation of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV)

The Psychometrics Centre carried out the anglicisation and adaptation of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV) for Pearson Assessment in 2002.

This is the fourth generation of the most widely used children’s intellectual ability assessment. While maintaining the integrity of the Wechsler tradition, WISC-IVUK builds on contemporary approaches in cognitive psychology and intellectual assessment, giving a new, powerful and efficient tool to help develop and support clinical judgement.

Understanding of learning difficulties and attentional disorders has greatly expanded since the publication of the WISC–IIIUK. WISC–IVUK makes important advances from previous editions in order to provide the most effective clinical tool representing cutting edge research and thinking. This timely revision is the result of over a decade of research and success with the WISC–IIIUK.

Developments made in this new product

  • Expanded and strengthened clinical utility to support decision-making
  • Development of four Index Scores as the primary interpretive structure
  • Improvement of the assessment of fluid reasoning, working memory and processing speed
  • Improve subtest reliabilities, floors and ceilings from WISC–IIIUK
  • Co-normed by The Psychometrics Centre with WIAT-II (UK)
  • Updated, colourful artwork.

Subtest Changes

Three WISC–IIIUK subtests have been eliminated from WISC–IVUK: Object Assembly, Mazes and Picture Arrangement. WISC–IIIUK subtests that are now supplemental include Picture Completion, Arithmetic and Information.

New Subtests

Several new subtests are added to reflect current clinical knowledge and practice:

  • Word Reasoning - measures reasoning with verbal material; child identifies underlying concept given successive clues.
  • Matrix Reasoning - measures fluid reasoning (a highly reliable subtest on WPPSI-III UK); child is presented with a partially filled grid and asked to select the item that properly completes the matrix.
  • Picture Concepts - measures fluid reasoning, perceptual organisation, and categorisation (requires categorical reasoning without a verbal response); from each of two or three rows of objects, child selects objects that go together based on an underlying concept.
  • Letter-Number Sequencing - measures working memory; the child is presented with a mixed series of numbers and letters and repeats them numbers first (in numerical order), then letters (in alphabetical order).
  • Cancellation - measures processing speed using random and structured animal target forms (foils are common non-animal objects).
  • In addition, new optional recall procedures have been added to the Coding subtest, including free recall, cued digit recall and cued symbol recall.

Four Composite Scores

In order to make interpretation more clinical meaningful, the dual IQ and Index structure from WISC–IIIUK has been replaced with a single system of four composite scores (consistent with the Four Index Scores in WISC–IIIUK) and the Full Scale IQ.

This new system helps for a better understand of a child’s needs in relation to contemporary theory and research in cognitive information processing.

Visit Pearson Assessment for more on the WISC-IV