Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-III)

The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence – Third Edition (WPPSI-III Australian) is similar to the WISC and is used to assess young children (usually preschool age; 2:6 to 7:3 years).

The WPPSI (pronounced “whip-see”) is simply an abbreviation that many psychologists use. It is different from the WISC which is used for older children. (More info on the WISC here).

The WPPSI is not a Whip-See or a Whip!

WPPSI is pronounced “whip-see”!

What is a WPPSI?

The WPPSI is a colorful, current, and interesting test for children. It measures Full Scale IQ, Verbal IQ, Performance IQ, and Processing Speed and has an optional General Language Composite.

IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient. It is an indication of a person’s intelligence as indicated by an intelligence test.

The WPPSI had three main Scales:

  1. Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) – most reliable and representative of general intellectual functioning. (Information, Vocabulary, Word Reasoning)
  2. Verbal IQ (VIQ) – acquired knowledge, verbal reasoning and comprehension, and attention to verbal stimuli.
  3. Performance IQ (PIQ) – fluid reasoning, spatial processing, attentiveness to detail, and visual-motor integration. (Block Design, Matrix Reasoning, Picture Concepts)

Verbal IQ Sub Tests

  • Information: recall of facts learned through interaction with the world.
  • Vocabulary: knowledge of and the ability to express the meaning of words.
  • Word Reasoning: measures verbal comprehension and reasoning.

Performance IQ Sub Tests

  • Block Design: measures the analysis and reproduction of abstract design with blocks.
  • Matrix Reasoning: measures verbal reasoning, verbal comprehension, general reasoning ability, the ability to integrate and synthesise different types of information, verbal abstraction, domain knowledge and the ability to generate alternative concepts.
  • Picture Concepts: measures abstract, categorical reasoning ability.

The supplemental sub tests of the WPPSI are listed below:

  • Comprehension: measures verbal reasoning and conceptualisation, the ability to evaluate and utilise past experience, verbal comprehension and expression, and the ability to demonstrate practical information. This involves knowledge of conventional standards of behaviour, social judgment and maturity, and common sense.
  • Picture Completion: measures visual perception and organisation, concentration, and visual recognition of essential details of objects.
  • Similarities: measures verbal reasoning and concept formation. This involves auditory comprehension, memory, distinguishing between nonessential and essential features, and verbal expression.
  • Receptive Vocabulary: measures ability to comprehend verbal directions, auditory and visual discrimination, auditory memory, auditory processing, and the integration of visual perception and auditory input. This involves phonological memory and working memory.
  • Object Assembly: measures visual-perceptual organisation, integration and synthesis of part-whole relationships, non-verbal reasoning, and trial-and-error learning. This involves spatial ability, visual-motor coordination, cognitive flexibility, and persistence.
  • Picture Naming: measures expressive language ability, word retrieval from long-term memory, and association of visual stimuli with language.

(Reference: Sattler, 2005)

  1. Emmy Vesta01-30-2011

    Quick question…

    If a child gets a 108 VIQ and 140 PIQ, can a FSIQ be scored?

  2. Deborah Jepsen02-18-2011

    It can be scored – but it won’t be the most accurate representation of general ability. You need to look at the subtest scores.

  3. Natasha08-22-2011

    What does a borderline range mean or a low average range mean? What does a percentile rank of 5 on the full scale iq mean? Does it mean an intellectual disability?