The Wechsler intelligence tests were developed by David Wechsler in the ‘50s, and they continue to be used by schools, psychologists, and other professionals as a comprehensive measure of cognitive ability. These tests are used to provide an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) score.
Today, there are several types of Wechsler tests:
There are also abbreviated versions of the Wechsler that can assess intelligence in less than 30 minutes. You can take some versions of the Wechsler test online, so in this article we’ll provide links to all available online tests, in addition to plenty of information about this widely used intelligence test.
Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI)
The WPPSI-IV, published in 2012, is designed for children ages 2 years and 6 months to ages 7 years and 7 months. The test is available in paper and pencil format only.
For ages 2 years and 6 months to 3 years and 11 months, the core subtests take 30-45 minutes to complete. Children aged 4 years to 7 years and 7 months should spend about 45-60 minutes on the core subtests.
For both of these age groups, the test structure includes three levels of interpretation: Full scale, Primary Index scale, and Ancillary Index scale levels.
The Full scale and Primary Index scales test the same skills, but the Full scale includes additional supplemental subtests, while the Primary Index scale includes only core subtests. The skills measured by these scales include the following:
The Ancillary Index focuses on the following optional tests, used in specific clinical situations:
Subtests are slightly different for the two age bands, with older children completing more subtests and activities .
The test features short, simplified directions and includes demonstration, sample, and teaching items for clarity.
Preschool children must work with manipulatives, answer questions that are asked verbally, and respond to picture-based stimuli.
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)
The WISC is today’s most widely used individual IQ test in schools. It is divided into subtests that are designed to measure specific skills, making it an excellent assessment for determining information about learning styles, as well as strengths and weaknesses.
The test can be individually administered to children ages 6-16 years and 11 months. For most children, the test takes 65-80 minutes to complete.
The test can be taken online or via paper, pencil, and manipulatives.
The skills on the test are divided into two major skill types: verbal and performance. Upon scoring, students will receive an overall I Q score, a verbal IQ score, and a performance IQ score. Scores are based on a comparison to other children of the same age.
Subtests include questions related to general knowledge, English vocabulary, traditional arithmetic, completion of mazes, and arrangement of pictures and blocks.
Students are tested on verbal comprehension, fluid reasoning, visual spatial skills, working memory, and processing speed. Reading and writing are not required.
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)
The WAIS is designed for ages 16 and up. The most recent version of the test, the WAIS-III, takes about 60-75 minutes to complete.
Like the WISC, the WAIS focuses on two key areas: verbal and performance. There are 14 total subtests on the WAIS-III: seven for the verbal section and seven for the performance section.
The verbal subtests are:
The performance subtests are:
Each subtest starts with very easy questions and proceeds to very difficult questions. The test administrator may end a subtest if the test-taker seems to have reached the limits of capacity.
Wechsler Test Online
To take the Wechsler test online, you can purchase an official version of the test or find a free version.
Most online versions of the Wechsler will be much shorter and faster than the full-length Wechsler Test. The free online version of the test typically takes about 15-30 minutes and is based on the same skills tested by the full-length Wechsler.
Wechsler Test Limitations
Although the Wechsler test is one of the most widely used measures of IQ, it’s not adequate for IQ scores that are extremely high (over 160) or extremely low (below 40).
Additionally, scores may be inaccurate if there is considerable discrepancy in a test-taker’s scores across the various subtests, particularly if the Performance score differs widely from the Verbal score.
Wechsler Test Scoring
The Wechsler gives you several different scores: a full-scale IQ score, your Performance IQ, your Verbal IQ, and subtest and index scores.
The full-scale IQ score is a composite of your scores on all of the subtests. It is considered the most valid score provided by the WISC.
The majority of IQ scores on the WISC fall between 85 and 115, and 100 is considered average. Remember to regard your full-scale score with caution if there is a major difference between your Performance and Verbal scores.
The Verbal IQ and the Performance IQ are based on your overall scores for the Verbal and Performance sections, respectively. This gives you an idea of where your relative strengths and weaknesses lie.
You will also receive a scaled score for each subtest. The 14 subtests have a mean score of 10 and a standard deviation of 3.
Additionally, you are provided with index scores in four categories:
Can You Prepare for the Wechsler Test?
Because IQ tests are intended to measure cognitive abilities and general intelligence, they are designed to be resistant to preparation.
However, if you want to increase your chances of getting a high score, you can work on practice questions and familiarize yourself with question types.
Building familiarity can help you answer questions quickly and more confidently, increasing your overall score on the test.
You can improve your general knowledge and vocabulary skills by reading frequently. Mental stimulation, such as Sudoku, logic puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and other activities can help keep you mentally sharp as well.
Whether you take the Wechsler test online or in an official session administered by a trained proctor, you should get a reliable and valid measure of your IQ.