Test identification

Name of test Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fifth UK Edition
Version WISC-V UK
Previous version(s) WISC-IV UK, WISC-V UK
Subjects Maths
Summary An individiually administered, comprehensive clinical instrument for assessing the intelligence of children aged 6 years 0 months to 16 years 11 months.

Assessment screening

Subscales 16 subtests: Similarities, Vocabulary, Information, Comprehension, Block Design, Visual Puzzles, Matrix Reasoning, Fluid Weights, Picture Concepts, Arithmetic, Digit Span, Picture Span, Letter Number Sequencing, Coding, Symbol Search, Cancellation.11 composite scores: Verbal Comprehension Index, Visual Spatial Index, Fluid Reasoning Index, Working Memory Index, Processing Speed Index, Full Scale IQ, Quantitative Reasoning Index, Nonverbal Index, General Ability Index, Cognitive Proficiency Index
Authors D. Wechsler
Publisher Pearson Clinical
Test source https://www.pearsonclinical.co.uk/Psychology/ChildCognitionNeuropsychologyandLanguage/ChildGeneralAbilities/wisc-v/wechsler-intelligence-scale-for-children-fifth-uk-edtion-wisc-v-uk.aspx
Guidelines available? Yes
Norm-referenced scores. Yes
Age range 6;0 -16:11 Years
Key Stage(s) applicable to KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4
UK standardisation sample Yes
Publication date 2016
Re-norming date n/a


Validity measures available? Yes
Reliability measures available? Yes
Reason for exclusion from shortlist shortlisted

Evaluation and Appraisal

Additional information about what the test measures Subtest and composite scores that represent intellectual functioning in specific cognitive domains (e.g., verbal comprehension, working memory), as well as a composite score that represents general intellectual ability (ie., Full Scale IQ).Subtests include measures of specific mathematics skills.
Are additional versions available? WISC-VUK (reviewed here) is a revision of the WISC-IVUK with additional subtests, updated norms, new index scores and major changes to score terminology.WISC-V has US norms.
Can subtests be administered in isolation? Yes(Note that 10 primary subtests are recommended for comprehensive description and evaluation of intellectual ability, 6 secondary subtests provide a broader sampling of intellectual functioning)
Administration group size Individual
Administration duration Dependent on many factors. Average subtest administration times by age and special group are provided on p22-23 of the manual.On average, time to administer all five primary index scores (10 subtests) is 65 minutes, and time to obtain FSIQ (7 subtests) is 48 minutes.
Description of materials needed to administer test Materials included in the test kit:Administration and scoring manual,Technical and interpretive manual,Record forms,Stimulus books 1-2,Response booklets 1-2,Block design blocks (nine read-and-white blocks),Coding scoring templates,Symbol search scoring key,Cancellation scoring template,HB pencil without eraser,Red pencil without eraser.Additional materials:Stopwatch
Any special testing conditions? Well lit, quiet environment free from disruptions and interruptions.

Response format

Response mode Oral/paper and pencil/manual (physical) operations
What device is required n/a
Queston format. open ended
Progress through questions adaptive

Assessor requirements

Is any prior knowledge/training/profession accreditation required for administration? Yes
Is administration scripted? Yes


Description of materials needed to score test Administration and scoring manual OR Qglobal
Types and range of available scores Raw score,Scaled scores (subtests, composite scores),Percentile Rank (composite scores),Comparison scores,Process scores,Primary index score or full scale IQ score.
Score transformation for standard score Age standardised
Age bands used for norming 4 months
Scoring procedures complex manual scoring – training required
Automatised norming None

Construct Validity

Does it adequately measure literacy, mathematics or science?
Does it reflect the multidimensionality of the subject? Specific maths
Construct validity comments (and reference for source) A good deal of evidence for construct validity is presented in the Administration and Scoring Manual as well as the Technical and Interpretative manual (US versions). Adaptations needed for Anglicisation from WISC-V were minimised during development through consultation with international offices regarding cultural and language appropriateness. The WISC-VUK project then extended this. Language adaptations described in detail on p355 of the Administration and Scoring manual.A great deal of information provided about the theoretical and historical context of intelligence measurement generally, as well as this measure specifically. Extensive data about amendments was collected from professionals prior to revision, comprehensive literature reviews were conducted and expert and advisory boards convened, and large scale tryout prior to standardisation. Many studies have supported the validity of previous versions of the WISC as a measure of intellectual ability.The authors report that Confirmatory factor analyses support the WISC-V test structure has excellent fit.However note that Canivez et al (2019) contest this and argue for use of full scale IQ measures or individual subcales.Validity studies show excellent correlations in performance on the WISC-V (US edition) compared to other similar measures including WISC-IV (N=242, FSIQ corrected r = .81), WPPSI-IV (N=105, FSIQ corrected r = .83), WAIS-IV (N=112, FSIQ corrected r = .89), KABC-II (N=89, correlations between subtests that measure similar cognitive domains are adequate, mostly .30-.60), KTEA-3 (N=207, correlations between FSIQ and composite scores are adequate-excellent .49-.82), WIAT-III (N=211, excellent correlations between FSIQ and total achievement score .81) and excellent discriminant validity through low/zero correlations between performance on the WISC-V compared to other measures of different constructs including Vineland-II (N=61, correlations are very low, near zero) and BASC-2 PRS (N=2302, correlations are very low, near zero and mostly inverse).

Criterion Validity

Does test performance adequately correlate with later, current or past performance?
Summarise available comparisons The measure is intended for use for diagnostic purposes, and this use is supported by evidence of contrasted group validity within the UK normative sample by comparing performance of (a) 31 intellectually gifted children vs control (b) 21 children with mild/moderate learning disability to control. Intellectually gifted children performed scored higher than matched controls on all subtests. Children with mild/moderate learning disability performed lower than controls on all subtests. Similar results were reported in the US normative sample in the WISC-V Technical and Interpretive Manual.


Is test performance reliable?
Summarise available comparisons Good-excellent internal consistency (subtest coefficients .80-.95, composite scale coefficients .88-.96 - note these reliabilities were based on the UK normative data, similar reliabilities were observed in the US normative sample for the WISC-V). Coefficients and SEM presented by age group, overall and for special groups for each subtest on of Administration and Scoring manual p366-368.Confidence intervals are also presented by age group and subtest on of Administration and Scoring manual.Good evidence for temporal stability and interscorer agreement in US standardisation sample.

Is the norm-derived population appropriate and free from bias?

Is population appropriate and free from bias? Yes
If any biases are noted in sampling, these will be indicated here. Sampling for standardisation is excellent, although UK sample is relatively small the US normative study for the WISC was much larger.WISC-VUK standardisation project to provide UK norms based on a census-matched sample of 415 children aged 6;0-16;11 divided into 11 one-year age bands. Sample was recruited through a range of methods described in detail (see p358 of Administration and Scoring Manual) and stratified by gender, age, parent educational level, race/ethnicity, geographic region. A number of exclusion criteria were included (see p359), meanwhile one participant with formal diagnosis of learning difficulty and one participant labelled as gifted were included in each age band. Detailed information about sample demographics compared to census data are provided on p360-363.


Sources Wechsler, D. (2016). Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fifth UK Edition (WISC-VUK): Administration and Scoring Manual. London, UK: Pearson Assessment/PsychCorp.Wechsler, D. (2014). Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fifth Edition (WISC-V): Technical and Interpretive Manual. Bloomington, MN, USA: NCS Pearson, Inc/PsychCorp.Canivez, G. L., Watkins, M. W., & McGill, R. J. (2019). Construct Validity of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children -- Fifth UK Edition: Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analyses of the 16 Primary and Secondary Subtests. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(2), 195-224.