The Wechsler test is one of the best-known and most popular tests for measuring intelligence. It will help you determine both your general intelligence (IQ) and your level of development of individual abilities. You will also be able to track your progress by periodically measuring your Wechsler intelligence.

Learn how the test works and why it is worth taking in this article.wechster iq test

About the Wechsler iq test

The test was developed by the American psychologist, psychiatrist, and psych diagnostician David Wechsler. It includes 11 subtests, which can be divided into two groups: verbal and nonverbal intelligence.

Each of the 6 verbal and 5 nonverbal subtests consists of 10-30 questions of increasing difficulty.

  • The subtests were selected according to the following criteria:
  • High correlations with other tests that measure intelligence;
  • High level of differentiation: an individual’s especially well or especially poorly developed ability does not distort the overall results;
  • The results of subtests help in making a diagnosis (certain impairments correspond to certain pathologies)

The result of passing each subtest is evaluated by scores, which are later converted into unified scales. This makes it possible to compare results between subtests and analyze their variation.

The Wechsler test helps to determine

  • The level of verbal and nonverbal intelligence separately;
  • The ratio of development of verbal to nonverbal intelligence;
  • Intelligence quotient (IQ) based on two scales;
  • Intellectual abilities that are less developed than others and require compensation.

Three modifications of the test are used:

  • WAIS – for adolescents over the age of 16 and adults;
  • WISC – for testing children and adolescents ages 6 to 16;
  • WPPSI – for children aged 4 to 6.

It is also worth noting that the modifications were supplemented after their appearance, both by Wechsler himself and by other scientists. New subtests were added, and the structure changed slightly. For example, the WPPSI was developed in 1967 and subsequently revised in 1989, 2002, 2003, and 2012. Therefore, the same test may also have several subspecies (more and less modern).

We will not consider each of them, focusing only on the 11 original subtests proposed by Wechsler.


Verbal subtests:

  • General Awareness. 29 questions determining the level of simple knowledge. There are no questions requiring the examinee to know special theoretical information. Correct answer – 1 point.
  • Comprehension. 14 questions that determine how well the test taker understands the meaning of expressions. The score depends on the correctness of the answer: from 0 to 2 points.
  • Arithmetic. 14 oral problems at the elementary school level. Assessment of not only correctness but also the time of solution.
  • Finding Similarities. 13 tasks suggesting to combine two objects by a common feature. Graded from 0 to 2 points.
  • Memorizing Numbers. The subtest has two parts. The first part asks you to memorize by ear 3 to 9 digits and then play them back aloud. In the second part you will have to recall a number from 2 to 8 digits but in the reverse order.
  • Vocabulary. You need to define 42 terms. Ten of them are simple and common in everyday life. 20 are of medium complexity. The last 12 are abstract theoretical concepts. Scored, depending on correctness – from 0 to 2 points.

The verbal scale correlates with the general culture of the examinee. For example, the “Awareness”, “Understanding”, and “Vocabulary” tests can be used to judge intelligence.

The “Arithmetic” subtest helps to determine not only the ability to solve arithmetic problems but also the ability to concentrate attention because the problems are not difficult and require the examinee to be more focused than mathematically gifted.

The results of the “Similarity” subtest judge the ability to think logically and to generalize.

“Repetition of numbers” is least correlated with general intelligence. This subtest is aimed solely at measuring working memory capacity. Wechsler added it for diagnostic purposes: failure to reproduce 4 digits in a row is indicative of dementia.

Now let’s move on to the subtests of the nonverbal scale:

  • Encryption. This is a test of code substitutions. A key is given where each digit corresponds to a different digit. A minute and a half are given. You have to sign a code under the number row of a hundred digits according to the key. The more digits you encrypt correctly, the higher the score.
  • Missing parts. 21 cards, each with a picture of a missing part. You have to determine what this part is. 20 seconds per card, for each correct answer one point is awarded.
  • Block construction. 40 tasks. The test person is given a red-and-white drawing and red-and-white dice. You must assemble the figure indicated on the drawing. Time and accuracy are assessed.
  • Consecutive pictures. Eight groups of pictures. Each group is a sequential story. The pictures are in the wrong order. The task of the test person is to put them in the right order. Assessment is determined by the time spent and correctness.
  • Assembling an object. 4 tasks. The task is to assemble a well-known object (person, elephant, etc.) from pieces. Scored according to the time and correctness of the assembly of the object.

It is worth noting that initially Wechsler believed that scores on the nonverbal scale depended on psychophysiological abilities, but studies of the results of twins refute this hypothesis.

The “Cipher” subtest helps diagnose visual-motor speed, attention, coordination, and perception properties.

“Missing details” allow determining the level of observation.

The “Block Construction” subtest diagnoses motor coordination and visual synthesis, and the “Assembling an Object” subtest diagnoses the ability to synthesize a whole from parts. The results of both tests depend on the level of development of sensorimotor coordination.

“Sequential pictures” report the subject’s ability to organize the whole from the parts, extrapolate and understand the situation.

After passing all subtests, it is necessary to interpret them correctly to obtain the final result.

Interpretation of the Wechsler iq test

The algorithm for interpreting results includes:

  • Scoring each item by the scoring criteria;
  • Conversion of “raw” scores into standard scores through a unified scale;
  • The scores within each of the scales are summed up – the level of verbal and nonverbal intelligence is determined;
  • Summing up the scores of the two scales – the level of general intellect is determined.

After getting the final result in points you can determine your level of intelligence:

130 or higher – very high IQ;
120-129 – high IQ;
110-119 – above average;
90-109 – average IQ – about half the population;
80-89 – below average;
70-79 – within normal range;
69 and below – insufficient intellectual development.