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#90421 - 12/02/10 11:50 AM WISC-IV big gap between VCI and PRI scores. Help?
Kirstie Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 1
Hi everyone,
I was referred here by a friend who thought one of you might be able to help me make better sense of my son's WISC-IV results? For background, he's 6 and in 1st grade. He was tested by my cousin who has been giving IQ tests as part of her job for some time now but needed to give one for a clinical psych class.

His overall FSIQ was a 132. Here is his breakdown:
PRI: 137
VCI: 119
WMI: 126
PSI: 118

I have read of the GAI that just looks at the PRI and the VCI bc it is suggested that the PSI may underinflate IQ scores and that WMI isn't really related to intelligence. In my son's case, these scores are maybe overinflating his scores?

The report says that "XXXX scored above average for the Information, Comprehension, and Word Reasoning subtests. He scored in the superior range for the Similarities subtest. XXXX scored right at average on the Vocabulary subtest."

Does anyone have any thoughts here? I've always felt he was bright...particularly when it comes to things like building, art, etc and he does have an outstanding memory.

Should I be concerned with the gap in his verbal scores? Is there something I should be doing or pursue? He's always been the "strong and silent" type. I wonder if he just can't express himself like he wants or maybe his skills in other areas are masking something that needs to be addressed?

Thanks and sorry for the long post!


#90425 - 12/02/10 01:25 PM Re: WISC-IV big gap between VCI and PRI scores. Help? [Re: Kirstie]
Grinity Offline

Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 7206
Loc: Connecticut
Does he seem frustrated in his silence?

Is he a pretty happy guy?

Is school going well? Friends?

How about the extended family - have things gone reasonable well for the larger family tree?

I'll be he sometimes gets engaged in some problem-solving activity and you can see the steam rising off his head.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by PSI underinflating IQ, but yes, PSI and WMI are both independent of what folks usually mean when they say 'smart.' PSI is about speed, and WMI is about working memory = how many aspect of a problem can you keep in mind while you are looking for an answer.

I don't have much to say about the PRI/Verbal split - I'll be watching to see what Dottie says.

Love and More Love,
Coaching available, at

#90431 - 12/02/10 05:42 PM Re: WISC-IV big gap between VCI and PRI scores. Help? [Re: Grinity]
kcab Offline

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1601
Loc: Sparta, apparently
I'm not a score expert, but my DS had a roughly similar pattern, with PRI the highest area, followed by WMI. His overall VCI and PSI scores were similar to your son's, but sounds like a different picture when you look at the subtests.

Anyway, I don't think I would say that the PSI and WMI scores overinflate the FSIQ for your son. I'd say they show strong supporting skills. The precise PSI score is probably less meaningful than information from the tester on how he approached those subtests, but the score you have indicates that he's fast enough so that speed is not a concern. Good working memory (WMI) is good to have and can make it easier to do some things.

As far as PRI/VCI, what I see with high PRI is skill at discerning relationships and reasoning. But, I'm not sure how much of that is attributable to PRI and how much to VCI. My son's VCI subtests had a different pattern from your DS's, with enough variation so that the VCI is considered invalid, so I'd be reluctant to generalize too much.

What struck me was that your DS's vocabulary score was average while he has high scores elsewhere - I wonder if this reflects exposure? In any case, it can't hurt to make sure he is exposed to complex language and that you define words that might be unfamiliar.


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