Who conducts intelligence tests for children

Intelligence tests

IQ test for children and adolescents


Why test

Benefit from recognizing gifted children

Intelligence diagnostics aims to make comparative statements about the current level of development and learning of a child. Based on this, it is possible to make recommendations for encouraging or supporting a child. The individual support concept should always take into account the positive change or stabilization of a child in his (family) environment.

The immediate benefit of recognizing giftedness or above-average intelligence is often immediately apparent: the parents understand their child better, which time and again leads to a clear weakening of conflicts in family coexistence. Parents also usually react quickly by creating intellectual stimulation spaces for their child that go well beyond everyday school life: this is always about building a positive self-concept.

A determination of giftedness (as early as possible) is useful in order to be able to initiate the necessary measures in kindergarten and school. Again and again, the intellectual stimuli, especially in kindergartens or in the first years of school, are insufficient for gifted children, also to avoid stagnation of cognitive development or even developmental setbacks. General reluctance and early demotivation accompany the lack of demand, which makes learning and further development difficult. Motivational sensitivities may turn out to be disruptive factors. Reacting to requests or direct instructions (and thus achieving a required performance in everyday school life) is also influenced by the attitudes conveyed by the parents.

Anyone who does nothing is not gifted? Unexpectedly low performance in the context of above-average intelligence

This means that not every highly gifted or above-average intelligent student will sooner or later show excellent performance. In connection with intelligence tests, it was noticed that over 10 percent of the highly gifted students with IQ scores over 130 did not achieve very good school results. This shows the phenomenon of underachievement: if these learners have at most average, rather poorer school grades, this performance is viewed as “unexpected”. The cognitive ability to perform is shown more clearly in school grades when a learning and achievement motivation and also a higher work effort builds up. Impairments due to developmental disorders, negative self-image, aversive attitudes, organic diseases and a problematic environment lead to school difficulties here too. Finding the cause of any underperformance is always a complex task. Not all gifted people become geniuses in the course of their development in life, but they should be helped to develop their potential (also for the common good). For example, a high value achieved in the IQ test can strengthen self-confidence and lead to higher performance motivation. This can also be seen again and again with higher skills in individual areas. Here, the pupil should also be supported in the search for suitable support measures for intellectual stimulation, which are not provided for in everyday school life.

Gifted children - especially pre-school children - say more often that they do not like going to kindergarten when the other older children are no longer there in the last year of kindergarten. They quickly feel bored and usually do not have adequate playmates, i.e. "like-minded people". A gifted child will experience themselves differently in this situation compared to the larger, relatively age-homogeneous group. This is where the commitment of the educators is required.


What does an intelligence test say?

An important means of determining intellectual ability is an intelligence test. An IQ test should always be carried out by experienced educators with proven expertise. The IQ test enables a reliable assessment of the level of intelligence. The test result ultimately indicates a child's IQ score compared to the age norm. For many, the purpose of an IQ test is already sufficiently fulfilled. A good diagnosis, however, does more: An intelligence test can, if correctly interpreted, serve as an educational aid and as the basis of a pedagogical demand and support concept. Using an IQ test, it is possible to create an individual and accurate profile analysis of a child's strengths and weaknesses. The results of the individual subtests allow a good interpretation:

  • What should be paid attention to in education?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Where can you see peculiarities?
  • In which areas should particular support be given? and much more

This intelligence diagnosis can thus be used for individual development advice and intervention assistance - in the area of ​​above-average intelligence and / or giftedness, especially for educational preventive measures. An index of abilities and skills allows conclusions to be drawn as to whether the child actually uses his abilities to the full.

Intelligence tests provide valuable starting points for targeted support.
An intelligence test can provide useful support to parents in bringing up their children.


From what age does an intelligence test make sense? Is a one-time test enough?

Basically: A test is possible at any time and especially advisable if the current situation makes it necessary to "determine your position". The earliest possible time for a test is given when the child is able to withstand the test situation - this is usually the case at kindergarten age. Of course, the test procedures for the younger children are not so well differentiated, but they are informative and provide good information. The tests are adjusted to the age of 3 months.

A high test result is no coincidence and makes a reliable statement about the intellectual potential of a child at any age. However, it is possible that the result of a repeated test will be different at a later point in time. This does not mean that the "level of potential" has changed. Rather, such a result paints a picture of the child's current situation: support, attention, family situation and much more. Therefore, it makes sense to repeat tests at certain times.

Intelligence tests for children from 3 years

IQ tests are also already available for the 3-year-old children. They are of course adapted to the age. It is important that the child is able to take part in a "question and answer game" in sections of around 15 minutes independently of the parents. If this is not the case, an analysis interview should take place with the parents and an IQ test carried out at a later point in time.

An intelligence test in preschool or early elementary school age can only be regarded as reliable in the long term to a limited extent. According to recent research, test values ​​in IQ tests are only so stable from the age of 11-12 that predictions can be made into adulthood.

In general, the mental and also cognitive development of children and adolescents often changes. Findings are therefore only valid for a limited period of time (approx. One to two years). Meaningful intelligence tests (especially in the sense of an intellectual talent profile) can be created at any point in the child's development.

From a pedagogical point of view, the value a child has achieved in an intelligence test is only an indication of their potential and not an immutable quantity. So that the potential can be shown, a variety of factors are important, such as:

  • the (extended) family,
  • the group of friends,
  • the motivation with which the child devotes himself to topics / tasks,
  • the ability to concentrate,
  • the personal, character requirements (such as a phlegmatic vs. an agile being)

In order to be able to closely follow the development of the child and optimize the corresponding support, it is often advisable to carry out an intelligence test before starting school.

The special abilities of a pupil will always play a major role in the parenting conversation, narrowing down to the cognitive potential alone should not be made, as other competencies and abilities that the child already shows and / or beyond are also important for them Personality of the child.


Does it make sense for the child to practice before the IQ test?

No, practicing makes no sense. With the help of the IQ test, a meaningful talent profile with the strengths and weaknesses of the child should be created in order to optimally support and challenge the child individually. Training the tasks falsifies the result and does not provide any reliable information.

Apart from that, practicing the test is hardly possible: The IQ tests from the Internet have nothing in common with the actual recognized test procedures. In addition, the tasks are varied and differentiated, which makes training even more difficult.


IQ values ​​- the level of talent

Talent can be given in different values. The best known are the IQ value (intelligence quotient) or the percentile rank (PR). The results of individual tests cannot always be compared with one another and sometimes turn out differently. This can be due, for example, to the different weighting of individual test components or to different conversion factors. The percentile rank is probably best used for a certain comparability in the tests.


Table: IQ in children (and adults), the German classification

There is no special IQ table for children, but the IQ scale for children is a uniform classification, regardless of how old the test person is. This is possible because the test values ​​achieved are converted accordingly depending on the age of the child. Of course, an IQ test for 3-year-old children is structured differently than an IQ test for 11-year-old children.

One speaks of normal, average intelligence when an intelligence value of 100 (IQ value) or a percentile rank of 50 is achieved.
One speaks of above-average intelligence from a value of around 115 or, better, a percentile rank of 85.
A child is referred to as gifted when it reaches an IQ value of 130 or more, or from a percentile rank of 98. This means: 15 percent of the children of a year are above average intelligent and only 2 percent of the children of a year can be classified as gifted become.


Are as many boys as girls being tested?

The statistics of the intelligence tests carried out show that boys are tested significantly more often than girls (you will find test values ​​from the institute below). Why?

Attempt to explain:

Intelligence tests are usually commissioned by parents who want to receive a talent profile of their child. Since gifted girls very often show completely different and more adapted behavior, parents rarely have a talent profile drawn up here. It is often the case that an outstanding above-average intelligence in girls is only suspected and determined when the brother has become conspicuous. So it always makes sense to have siblings tested.

“A significant difference between gifted girls and boys, according to Stapf / Stapf (1996), can be seen in the fact that only 25% of all gifted children who come to an intellectual examination are girls. This means that significantly fewer girls are identified than boys. ”The reasons given by the authors are the social orientation of the female sex, which has a rather inhibiting effect on intellectual development. It is often more important for the girls to be accepted in the group of girls of the same age and thus they adapt to the achievements and interests of their classmates. In addition, the girls react more with listlessness and disinterest than with strongly disruptive behavior / clowning as boys. Parents also tend to "believe" less often in their daughters' gifts than in their sons. It therefore makes sense to identify the girls as early as possible, to promote their self-confidence (especially in the MINT areas) and, in the case of groups of gifted children, to offer individual courses only for girls (Trautmann 2005).


Recognized intelligence tests - an overview

There are good testing procedures for all ages. The talent profile obtained should enable individual support for highly talented people, but also provide good information for those with normal talent.

Intelligence test Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-IV (WPPSI-IV)

With the HANNOVER-WECHSLER-INTELLIGENCE TEST FOR PRE-SCHOOL AGE, the German adaptation of the WECHSLER PRESCHOOL AND PRIMARY SCALE OF INTELLIGENCE, a current intelligence diagnostic by David Wechsler is available. His SCALE OF INTELLIGENCE are among the most widely used intelligence test procedures worldwide. The WECHSLER PRESCHOOL AND PRIMARY SCALE OF INTELLIGENCE- FOURTH EDITION (WPPSI-IV) was further developed on the basis of current research results from many psychological areas (such as developmental psychology, clinical child psychology or research methods) from the previous version WPPSI-III (Wechsler, 2002) and included in the English version published in 2012. The construction and standardization of the WPPSI-IV for the German-speaking area was carried out from 2014 to 2017.

The Wechsler intelligence tests have been revised several times over the past seven decades to include
  • to integrate new developments in the field of intelligence diagnostics,
  • Update standard values ​​and thus take changes in the population into account,
  • To adapt tasks to cultural and technological developments and
  • to correspond to relevant aspects of the respective society.

The structure of this intelligence test is different for 3-year-old children than for 4 to 7-year-old children. In principle, the core sub-tests specified for the respective age group are carried out.

(Source: D. Wechsler, WPPSI-IV. Technical Manual, Pearson, 2018.)

Intelligenztest Wechsler Intelligence Scale For Children (WISC-IV) (older name: Hamburg-Wechsler-Intelligenztest für Kinder IV (HAWIK-IV))

Since autumn 2011, the HAWIK-IV test procedure has been available again under the English name WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale For Children). Nothing has changed in terms of the test content and the significance.

The IQ test HAWIK-IV / WISC-IV is an individual test and is one of the most widely used and generally recognized test procedures worldwide. With the HAWIK-IV version, the cognitive development of children and adolescents aged 6; 0 to 16; 11 years (i.e. 16 years and 11 months) can be clarified in individual test procedures. The individual results are presented in a clear performance profile. The Wechsler tests are a compilation of various subtests with the help of which several intelligence dimensions are recorded. The intelligence can be deduced from the observed and registered test performance. Basic skills such as language comprehension, abstract reasoning, working memory performance, or the speed with which information is processed are important sub-test results. They reflect the child's / adolescent's level of intelligence accordingly. The IQ value is calculated from these individual values.

The standardization for Germany, Austria and Switzerland was implemented from May 2005 to June 2006; a total of over 2,600 children and young people were tested at over 50 locations. This test can still prove to be useful under certain questions, although the WISC-V revision is already available.

Intelligence test Wechsler Intelligence Scale For Children (WISC-V)

The WECHSLER INTELLIGENCE SCALE FOR CHILDREN-V (WISC-V) is a comprehensive individual test procedure for assessing the cognitive abilities of children and adolescents aged 6; 0 to 16; 11 years. As a complex test battery, it can also be used to assess intellectual giftedness , Intellectual disabilities and individual cognitive strengths and weaknesses can be used.

The test is based on a fundamental revision of the WECHSLER INTELLIGENCE SCALE FOR CHILDREN – IV (WISC-IV, Wechsler, 2003; German adaptation Petermann & Petermann, 2007, 2011) and consists of 15 sub-tests, the individual results of which are combined in a performance profile. In addition, the sub-tests are summarized in scales (indices), which depict the skills in different cognitive areas (SPEECH COMPREHENSION, FLUID CONCLUSIONS, VISUAL-SPATIAL PROCESSING, WORK MEMORY AND PROCESSING SPEED) as well as the general intellectual level of a child (i.e. overall intellectual level).

The WISC-V was standardized in the Federal Republic of Germany in 2015 and 2016 and can be used in the context of a wide range of child psychological and educational issues. It was developed on the basis of current knowledge.

(Source: D. Wechsler, WISC-V. Implementation and evaluation manual, Pearson, 2014.)

Intelligence test Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children – II (KABC-II)

The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children – II (KABC-II) is an individual test for measuring intellectual abilities in children and adolescents. For the German battery, population-representative norms were collected for the various age groups from 3 to 18 years in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This test procedure is widely recognized and has high reliability and validity values. Various intellectual abilities can be measured with the KABC-II. include sequential and simultaneous processing, learning, and reasoning.

The KABC-II is divided into core sub-tests and supplementary sub-tests. Carrying out the core sub-tests leads to results for all scales and total scales, while the supplementary sub-tests allow a more extensive recording of skills and processing processes. Individual subtests and the total scales can be performed outside of the intended age range. In many areas, so-called learning tasks are used to ensure that there is an understanding of the task types. This test can focus on cognitive processing, less emphasis is placed on acquired knowledge. Learning and planning skills are also recorded.

Intelligence test AID 3

The test is aimed at the age group 6; 0 - 15; 11 years. Calibration and standardization took place with around 200 children and young people from Germany and Austria. By default, 10 sub-tests are performed. Here too, school knowledge is not asked, but multi-faceted questions arise, for example, from the areas of linguistic-logical thinking, formal-logical thinking, the ability to differentiate, memory and social sensitivity. In addition to the average value of the intelligence, a profile of the strong, weak or normal abilities of the child is obtained.

IDS - Intelligence and Development Scales

Intelligence test and general development test

This test was standardized on 1330 children in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, spread over 12 age groups. The IDS is an individual test. The IDS scales allow a differentiated developmental psychological determination for children aged 5; 0 to 10; 11 years (i.e. 10 years and 11 months) for cognitive development as well as for general development. This test procedure thus offers a combination of both the calculation of an intelligence value and a comprehensive development profile analysis in six functional areas: cognition, psychomotor skills, social-emotional competence, mathematics, language and achievement motivation.

In this test procedure, emphasis is placed on an area-specific strengths and weaknesses analysis of the child. This is related to both the individual development profile and that of the age group. The IDS scales contain various sub-tests: perception (visual), attention (selective), memory (phonological, spatial-visual, auditory) and thinking (visual, conceptual).

The cognitive subtests are added to an intelligence value. The IDS scales can also be used in modules to enable testing that corresponds to the individual clarification situation. The IDS scales are suitable for questions in the context of intelligence diagnostics, development diagnostics and school entrance diagnostics as well as in the clinical area.

Note: In addition to the intelligence test, a closer look at the child with the help of a development test ("general development") can be helpful, which includes in particular the emotional development, social competence and psychomotor skills. Behavioral problems occurring early on are often associated with an unfavorable long-term development prognosis: impaired parent-child relationship, difficulties in school or even rejection by peers. Social-emotional abnormalities should be taken into account in the upbringing, but they are not per se linked to above-average intelligence.

Colored Progressive Matrices (CPM)

The CPM consist of three sets of twelve items each and are standardized for the age range 3; 9 (i.e. 3 years 9 months) to 11; 8 years (i.e. 11 years 8 months). This test requires children to think in analogy and use this as a consistent method for reasoning. The children have to choose the answer out of six given that complements the pattern to be completed. The test consists of 36 items in total.

Intelligence test procedures that can be used to a limited extent

IS 2000 intelligence test for adults

The IST 2000 IQ test is one of the most important test procedures for adults. More than 5500 subjects were tested for standardization. The people come from the different federal states of Germany and are made up of schoolchildren, trainees, students and professionals from different areas.

Intelligence can be seen as a complex construct that is characterized by a large number of sub-skills. The test consists of different groups of tasks that measure verbal, numerical and figural intelligence.

The basic module also includes conclusive thinking (SD), which is particularly basic in terms of intelligence. Furthermore, the test consists of additional task groups to record memory.


Supplementary diagnostics that could be useful for further questions, especially about the (learning) behavior of gifted children

Intelligence is measured in order to gain a secure basis for pedagogical action in school, in kindergarten, in the family in an educational context. Supplementary personality diagnostics can support this.

SELLMO test: motivation test

The scales for recording learning and achievement motivation (SELLMO) measure the motivational components of learning and achievement deficits in the form of goal orientations. The SELLMO should be used as part of educational diagnostics in particular when a person's performance falls short of their actual abilities.

KLT test: concentration and performance test

The KLT-R records the long-term tension, quantity and quality of the performance of a test person. The test is extensive and is available according to the very different age groups.

d2 test: attention and concentration test

The test is used to measure concentration on tasks that require attention (concentrated attention). It records the test person's ability to concentrate as well as the speed and accuracy in distinguishing between similar visual stimuli (detail discrimination).

BRIEF: Behavioral inventory for assessing executive functions

The BRIEF is a questionnaire procedure for recording executive functional impairments. It is available in three versions: for parenting, teacher and self-assessment. The assessments cover almost 100 questions. Two main indices are formed: a behavioral regulation index from the scales inhibiting, adjusting and emotional control as well as a cognitive regulation index from the scales initiative, working memory, planning / structuring, ordering / organizing and checking. This test is useful for emotional / social abnormalities.

FEW: test for visual perception

The FEW-2 is the German version of the Developmental Test of Visual Perception 2 (DTVP-2). The FEW-2 stands in the tradition of Frostig's development test of visual perception. The test enables a differentiated assessment of the child's development in terms of visual perception.

VLMT: Verbal learning and memory test

With the VLMT, different parameters of verb memory such as learning performance, long-term retrieval performance and recognition performance can be recorded.


Status: March 9th, 2021

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