While the Stanford-Binet is often used to identify gifted and talented children, the original test (the Binet-Simon) was designed to do quite the opposite; Binet designed the original assessment to identify children with intellectual deficits. Terman re-designed the Binet-Simon for use in the United States and adapted it to be used for the identification of individuals with learning disabilities and those with above average intellect.
Most psychologists administer the Stanford-Binet - Fifth Edition, which was released in 2003. Administration of the Stanford-Binet takes anywhere from 30 minutes to two and a half hours. Age and abilities factor into the amount of time it takes a child to complete the assessment. Age determines the starting point for the first section whilst performance on each sub-test determines the starting point for the subsequent subtest.
Who can take the Stanford-Binet?
The Stanford-Binet - Fifth edition can technically be administered to any individual of at least two years of age; however, for more reliable results, its advisable to wait until a child is at least 5 or 6 years of age.
What does the Stanford-Binet measure?
Fifteen subtests exist for the Stanford-Binet; however only ten subtests are administered to assess five factors: knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual spatial processing, working memory, and fluid reasoning. For each verbal subtest, there is a non-verbal counterpart. Six subtests: vocabulary, comprehension, pattern analysis, quantitative, bead memory, and memory for sentences are administered to all ages; the remaining four subtests vary slightly by age.
How is the Stanford-Binet scored?
A raw score is calculated for each sub-test. In addition, a composite core is calculated for each of the five factors. A full scale IQ (FSIQ) is calculated as well as a Verbal IQ and a non-verbal IQ. One’s verbal IQ is determined based on performance on each of the five verbal sub-tests. Similarly, a non-verbal IQ is determined based on performance on each of the five non-verbal sub-test.
There’s a significant discrepancy between my child’s Verbal IQ and Non-verbal IQ. What does this mean?
A significant difference between verbal and nonverbal IQ can be indicative of a learning disability. If either your child’s verbal IQ or nonverbal IQ places your child in the gifted range, but the other score does not (or their FSIQ does not), your child may be twice-exceptional. Further evaluation may be useful.
Does the Stanford-Binet have a ceiling effect?
All test have a ceiling, a maximum level of performance that can be assessed; the Stanford-Binet does have a ceiling; however, its ceiling is higher than comparable tests (such as the WISC-V). If your child “hits the ceiling” on the Stanford-Binet, that’s okay. It’s likely that you still got the information you needed. It is not often necessary (for practical purposes) to distinguish between an FSIQ of 160 and 165.
Should my child take the Stanford-Binet or the WISC-V?
If your child is under the age of 5, and you feel that an IQ test is absolutely necessary, your child should take the Stanford-Binet rather than the WISC-V.
If you believe that your child is profoundly gifted, the Stanford-Binet may be a better option than the WISC-V. With the extended norms, the Stanford-Binet has a higher ceiling than the WISC-V.
My child didn’t do well on the Stanford-Binet. Does that mean my child isn’t gifted?
The Stanford-Binet is only one way to measure a child’s intelligence. It is one test, administered on one day. If your child was sick, uninterested in the testing itself, or having an otherwise off day, his/her abilities might not be adequately represented by his/her Stanford-Binet scores. Moreover, if your child was under the age of 6, your child’s level of cooperation, engagement, and willingness to follow directions may have affected their performance.
If your child has other scores that demonstrate similar (but not always exact) abilities, then consider the results reliable. If your child’s results on the Stanford-Binet appear to be an anomaly, differing significantly from a number of other assessments your child has taken, consider what factors may have contributed to this and talk with the administrator for more insight.
My child scored higher/lower on the Stanford-Binet than (s)he did on the WISC-V. Which one is more reliable?
I wouldn’t necessarily say that one is more reliable than the other although the Stanford-Binet normatives are based on a larger population which makes me lean towards the Stanford-Binet in terms of reliability. IQ is not an exact science, and one’s results on an IQ test might change slightly from one day to the next due to a number of factors including: health, adequacy of sleep, diet, and stress.
Binet actually did not believe that he was measuring inborn or permanent levels of intelligence; he believed that one’s IQ score could vary from time to time. He also believed that intelligence could not be defined by a single number; the ranking of children using such a scale was unfair. Despite this, it is common practice in the modern era to classify children based on a single number. We now know that IQ remains relatively stable over time; however, a number of factors can contribute to poor performance on any one day of testing.
As such, if there is a minor discrepancy between your child’s performance on the Stanford-Binet and another intelligence test, don’t be alarmed. Moreover, children will NOT get the exact same FSIQ from one intelligence test to another; these assessments may be similar, but they are not identical.
What can I do with my child's Stanford-Binet scores?
Parents typically seek out an IQ Test for their child because they need an IQ test for a specific purpose. IQ scores may be used for entrance into various gifted programs including your school's gifted and talented program, Mensa, Davidson Young Scholars, and HEROES Academy.
HEROES Academy requires a FSIQ of 130 or higher on the Stanford Binet for admissions purposes. Students may submit a number of other tests for admissions instead.