Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test: An Expert Guide to the KBIT

Your hunt for a definitive guide to the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT) is over. This article answers the most common questions about the test, including :

  • What exactly is the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test?

  • How is the KBIT used?

  • What age group is eligible for the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test?

  • What sort of content is covered by the KBIT?

  • What’s the difference between the KBIT-1 and KBIT-2?

  • How is the KBIT scored and Interpreted?

  • What makes the KBIT different from other gifted tests?

  • Who created the KBIT?

  • What’s the best way to Prepare for the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test?

  • Where Can I Find KBIT Sample Questions?
  • What Exactly is the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test?

    The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, or KBIT, is a short test designed to measure a child’s verbal and non-verbal intelligence. Just as brief as its name indicates, the KBIT takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete. Currently, most schools utilize the second version of the KBIT, the KBIT-2, when conducting this exam.

    What’s the Difference Between the KBIT-1 and KBIT-2?

    The KBIT-1 is the original version of the test and was the one administered between 1990 and 2004. After fourteen years of use, the KBIT was replaced by the newly developed KBIT-2. This new formulation was designed to retain the strengths of the first version and correct weaknesses. The definitions subtest on the original was replaced by a verbal test that did not rely so heavily on reading cues. Additionally, the test makers added colored pictures, a new scale for measuring verbal ability, an updated matrices subtest, and a standardization of tasks across all age ranges.

    How is the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test Used?

    Aside from being used to identify children suited for special programs, the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test can also provide the following:

  • A quick and rough calculation of one’s intelligence

  • A way to reexamine the intellectual progress of those who have undergone previous cognitive assessment

  • A way to discover children who are at high-risk and may need a more in-depth mental evaluation

  • A general idea of how one’s non-verbal intelligence compares to his or her verbal intelligence
  • What Age Group Can Take the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test?

    While commonly used for school-age children, especially those applying to competitive schools, the KBIT provides scores valid for everyone from 4 to 90. While administered in English, correct answers given in Spanish will also receive full credit. As test takers get older, the questions become more difficult.

    What Sort of Content is Covered by the KBIT?

    KBIT sample  QUESTION

    KBIT sample QUESTION

    The KBIT is composed of two sections: verbal and non-verbal. Each half of the test is composed of additional categories. The verbal test is comprised of a section devoted to riddles and one devoted to verbal knowledge. It’s 60 questions in total. The verbal section is designed to test verbal concept formation, reasoning ability, and word knowledge. The non-verbal half of the KBIT is made up of 46 questions involving matrices. This half of the test has been engineered to test one’s ability to solve problems, complete visual analogies, and recognize relationships.

    How is the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test Scored and Interpreted?

    [Suggested Image Two: Bell curve of scores] When you receive your child’s, results, you will be given three separate scores. The first of these, the verbal, outlines how well you did on the riddles and verbal knowledge portions of the test. It assesses crystallized ability. The second, the non-verbal, shows how the student performed on the matrices section of the KBIT. It shows how the test scored your child’s overall abilities in fluid reasoning. Lastly, the test will provide you with a composite IQ score. It’s the IQ score that is typically used in the admission’s process for gifted and talented programs. This number is found by taking the raw score and converting it, via a predetermined equation, into the final composite IQ score. This number typically ranges between 40 and 160. Any scores above 130 are considered ‘extremely high’ and indicates giftedness.

    What Differentiates the KBIT from Other Gifted Tests?

    While tests such as the OLSAT can take up to 80 minutes to administer, the KBIT earns the B (as in Brief!) in its name. It typically takes between 15 and 20 minutes to complete. In addition, while tests like the NNAT are intended only for school-aged children, the KBIT has a much wider range of administration and uses. Just as often as it’s used to identify the gifted, the KBIT is utilized to identify people with cognitive or developmental disabilities.

    How and When was the KBIT Created?

    In 1979, Alan Kaufman and his wife developed the original Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, and other educational tests, after years of research at the University of Georgia. A condensed version of one of these tests, the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, was developed in 1990. This shorter exam would come to later be called the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. The Kaufmans served as mentors for testing greats, such as the NNAT’s creator, Jack Naglieri. The test remained the same until it was reformatted into the KBIT-2 in 2004.

    How Can I Prepare My Child for the KBIT?

    To prepare your child for all three sections of the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, you must do one thing: practice. We suggest that your child take at least two Kaufman tests before exam day. Prior to that, you must be certain to familiarize your child with all three question types. Only by truly knowing the test, can you help your child prepare for it. When your child first starts to practice, have her do so without any time restrictions.

    Once your child has done a few practice questions, examine the test results to determine your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Focus on the latter and dial back the amount of practice given on the former. As soon as your child feels confident in their ability to perform well, add items such as time limits and verbal readings to your testing practice. In addition to measuring a child’s overall intelligence, the KBIT score is also an indicator of how well your child performs under pressure.

    For younger children, keep practice brief and fun. For older kids, you can increase the overall length of each practice session.

    Where Can I Find Practice Questions?

    You can download practice questions for the KBIT by clicking the button below.


    By exposiing your child to new verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills on the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, you can help not only improve her test score, but promote her problem solving skills, which can help her throughout her life.