Stanford Binet IQ Test for Kids: What You Need to Know

 stanford binet kit

stanford binet kit

If you’re interested in determining what type of curriculum would be most appropriate for your child’s learning abilities, or if you want to assess your child’s intellectual strengths and weaknesses, an IQ test may be the way to go.  Your child may also be asked to take the Stanford Binet if she is applying to a school for gifted children, such as the Hunter College Elementary School (HCES) in New York City.

Here we’ll explore everything you need to know about the assessment that is considered to be the gold standard of intelligence testing: the Stanford Binet IQ Test. The version that is currently the most widely used is the Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale, 5th Edition (SB5).


The SB5 can be administered to children as young as 2. However, experts recommend waiting until your child is at least 5. It is not uncommon for very young children to receive a score of zero on the SB5 because they are not able to thoroughly focus on the test or follow directions adequately.


The amount of time taken on the SB5 varies, as it is generally an untimed test. However, the average test subject will take 45-75 minutes to complete the test.

Test Administration

The test must be individually administered by a trained Ph.D. in psychology. You will not be allowed in the room while your child is testing.

Test Preparation

 the sb iq test for kids is supposed to be prep-resistant

the sb iq test for kids is supposed to be prep-resistant

The SB5 is a protected test, meaning it is difficult to find extensive information about the test’s content. This is because the test is designed to measure your child’s innate abilities, meaning extensive tutoring, coaching, or otherwise studying for the test is discouraged.

The best way to prepare your child for the Stanford-Binet IQ Test is to practice critical thinking and reasoning skills, as well as exposing your child to a variety of learning experiences. You may also prepare your child for the general types of questions likely to appear on the SB5.

Click the button below to access 25 questions that measure critical thinking and problem-solving skills.


The SB5 is believed to give especially sensitive and accurate results. It is also a favorite among children because the test features colorful artwork, toys, and manipulatives. Tests that are individually administered by an expert, such as this one, are considered the most reliable and effective.


The test is expensive to administer. Unlike pen and pencil, or online tests, a testing kit typically ranging from $975 to $1200  and psychologists also must be compensated for their one-on-one time with a child.  This translates as a hefty cost for those paying for the test. For example, parents need to pay $350 to have their child tested for Hunter College Elementary School (this only includes the testing – getting information on how your child performed and interpretation of your child’s strengths and weaknesses from the psychologist costs more). Like most IQ tests, the SB5 also cannot measure IQ scores above 160, so it is not an accurate measurement of intelligence beyond this range. The Stanford Binet Form L-M can measure scores of 165 and higher for exceptionally gifted students.

Stanford Binet IQ Test Structure

This assessment is divided into 10 subtests, which typically take about five minutes to complete. The subtests provide comprehensive coverage of the five factors of cognitive ability:

-Fluid Reasoning


-Quantitative Reasoning

-Visual-Spatial Processing

-Working Memory

For each of the five factors, the SB offers a verbal portion and a nonverbal portion, comprising the ten subtests. The verbal subtests require speaking and reading skills, while the nonverbal tests necessitate listening skills. Each nonverbal portion involves pointing, completing puzzles, or assembling manipulatives. Your child will receive an overall IQ score, a nonverbal score, a verbal score, and total IQ scores for each subtest.

At the start of the test, your child will be given a routing test that determines the starting point for the remainder of the subtests. A subject who performs well on the routing test will receive more challenging questions than a subject who performs poorly.

The questions for each subtest become increasingly difficult as the test progresses. Your child’s test administrator will transition your child to the next subtest as he or she begins to struggle with the questions. At the start of each subtest, the test administrator will carefully explain the subtest’s expectations to your child. The administrator will also work through examples with your child before progressing to the questions.

Stanford Binet IQ Test: Question Types

Although this is a protected test, we do have some general information about the question types likely to appear on each subtest of the Stanford Binet IQ Test.

Fluid Reasoning

Verbal- This subtest includes verbal analogies and picture reasoning. Your child may also be tested on recognition of verbal absurdities (determining what is wrong or illogical about a sentence).

Nonverbal- The nonverbal section of the reasoning test is used for routing. It involves object series or matrices in which your child will be asked to supply the missing piece of a pattern or design. Sequential reasoning is another component of this subtest.


Verbal- The vocabulary section of the verbal knowledge subtest is also used for routing. This subtest involves toys, flash cards, and pointing at body parts to identify them.

Nonverbal- This subtest will require your child to identify visual absurdities, such as something that is illogical or missing in an image. Your child will also demonstrate procedural knowledge using gestures.

Quantitative Reasoning

Verbal- On this subtest, your child will encounter five different question levels. Topics include number concepts, measurement estimations, problem solving, and geometric figures.

Nonverbal-The same concepts as the verbal subtest are tested here, but questions are asked and answered differently.

Visual-Spatial Processing

 the stanford binet iq test measures visual-spatial dexterity.

the stanford binet iq test measures visual-spatial dexterity.

Verbal- Your child will answer five levels of questions about position and direction. This will include explaining directions, identifying spatial relationships in images, and understanding complex statements regarding spatial orientation.

Nonverbal- Your child will complete a series of puzzles and patterns relating to visual-spatial concepts.

Working Memory

Verbal- On this subtest, memory of sentences will be tested. This includes remembering the last word in a series of questions.

Nonverbal- Your child will be asked to complete delayed response tasks, which involve information being presented and then withdrawn. After a delay, the information is presented again, along with a comparison object, and the child must identify which bit of information was previously presented. This can include hiding an object under a cup, for example. Your child may also be asked to complete a block tapping test, in which the test administrator will tap a series of blocks and ask your child to repeat the sequence.

Those are the basics of the Stanford Binet IQ Test, an excellent option if you want in-depth information about your child’s intelligence.

If you’re interested in exploring alternatives, check out our information on other IQ tests for kids, such as the OLSAT or the NNAT.