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Common intelligence tests

Dr. Simon Moss

This page summarizes some of the most prevalent and respected intelligence tests. Most tests costs around $750-1500 , unless stated otherwise. Nevertheless, these prices are merely a rough guide.

Common subtests

Many intelligence tests utilize similar subtests--particularly some of the subtests that constitute the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test. Hence, an understanding of these subtests provides an insight into many other tests as well. Some of the most common subtests are:

Common intelligence tests

Cognitive assessment system: Test of intelligence that is applicable to children and adolescents from 5 to 17. The test, sometimes called the Das-Naglieri Cognitive Assessment System, demands 40 to 60 minutes to complete. The test examines planning, attention, simultaneous processing-that is, the capacity to integrate information-and successive processing-that is, the ability to complete acts in the correct order. The test comprises 13 subtests, such as repeating sets of words in order.

This test examines cognitive processes rather than IQ. Although the test is thus derived from a more comprehensive theory, values often do not correlate highlight with IQ. Some evidence of qualifications are need to use the test, although the procedures are simple to administer.

Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test (KAIT): A broad intelligence test, assessing both crystallized and fluid intelligence, in anyone 11 years or older. The test, which can be completed with 1 to 1.5 hours, comprises six subtests. One subtest involves comprehension questions after listing to a recording. Another subtest involves learning pictures that represent words, called rebuses, and then interpreting a sequence of rebuses. An expanded battery is also available.

The internal consistency for the core subtests ranges from .87 to .93. Factor analyses indicates that KAIT crystallized intelligence correlates with the Wechsler verbal scales& the KAIT fluid intelligence does not correlate highly with the Wechsler performance scales, however.

Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (KABC-II): A battery of tests, suitable for ages 3 to 18, to assess intelligence. The test can be completed within 25 to 55 minutes if the Luria neuropsychologcal model-a model that excludes verbal ability-is applied and 35 to 70 minutes if the Cattell-Horn-Carroll approach is applied.

Test performance does not differ appreciably across ethnic groups, partly because verbal instructions and cultural content are minimized. The subtests include face recognition, story completion, expressive vocabulary, and about 20 other possible alternatives.

Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT): Verbal and non-vernal intelligence test that can be completed within 15 to 20 minutes, applicable to all ages from 4 to 90 and individuals with language and hearing impairments. The subtests include vocabulary and non-verbal matrices, designed for rapid estimates of intelligence.

Internal consistency approximates .93 for the vocabulary subtest and .88 for the matrices subtest. Concurrent validity has been established, with significant correlations with Wechsler scales. A complete kit costs about $200 and individual test records cost about $2 each.

Leiter international performance scale (LEITER-R). A nonverbal intelligence test, for individuals between 2 to 20 years of age. Neither the administrator nor participants needs to speak. The test comprises two main batteries: reasoning and visualization, which spans 40 minutes or so, as well as attention and memory, which spans about 35 minutes. Subtests include spatial memory, paper folding, figure rotation, and so forth.

The attention and memory battery is sometimes applied to identify children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Scores are not appreciably dependent on social or educational experiences. Correlations with WISC-III is about .85. The entire kit costs about $1000 and individual test records cost less than $2 each.

Multidimensional Aptitude Battery (MAB-II): This test of aptitude and intelligence in individuals older than 15 and comprises ten subtests, which can be completed within 100 minutes. The tests include verbal subtests, such as arithmetic, comprehension, vocabulary, and similarities, as well as performance subtests, such as object assembly, picture completion, and picture arrangement.

The kit is inexpensive, often less than $200, although some costs can be accrued to purchase various reporting options, such as $100 or more for various reports.

Raven Standard Progressive Matrices: An intelligence test, applicable to anyone older than 5, intended to measure abstract ability or the capacity to recognize relationships and to apply analogies. The test, which comprises 60 items, can be completed within about 45 minutes. Each item comprises a figure with a missing piece. Individuals need to select one of a set of alternative pieces that could complete this figure, applying a principle that is not articulated to participants.

Internal consistency usually approximates about .90. Correlations with Stanford-Binet and Wechsler estimates of g usually approximate about .70 to .80. The entire kit costs about $1000 and individual test records cost about $7.50 each. Two other versions have been created: the Advanced Progressive Matrices and the Colored Progressive Matrices

Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scale (RIAS): An intelligence test, applicable to all ages from 3 to 94, comprising two subtests that assess verbal intelligence and two subtests that assess non-verbal intelligence. A verbal and nonverbal supplementary memory test can also be administered. The entire package can be completed within about 30 to 35 minutes. The kit costs about $500 and each test record form costs about $4.00.

Reynolds Intellectual Screening Test (RIST): This test, a derivation of the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales, is a brief screening test, which can be used for several purposes and can be completed within 10 to 15 minutes. In particular, this test is often used to estimate general intelligence quickly, to evaluate large groups, and to identify individuals who should be subjected to a comprehensive assessment as a means to uncover more specific deficits. The test is applicable to individuals aged from 3 to 94.

The RIST comprises two subtests: a verbal and nonverbal subtest. The verbal subtest is called Guess What, and the nonverbal subtest is called the Odd Item Out.

Internal consistency is approximately .95, test-retest reliability has been shown to exceed .84, after a correction to redress restriction of range is included. Like the RIAS, the RIST correlates highly with relevant indices of the WISC and WAIS. The kit costs about $250.00 and each test record costs about $2.00

Slosson Intelligence Test: This broad, but efficient, test of intelligence comprises six domains of items: comprehension, vocabulary, auditory memory, similarities and differences, as well as quantitative. The test can be completed within 10 to 20 minutes and is applicable from ages 4 to 65. The latest versions can be applied to individuals with visual impairments. The complete kit costs approximately $400.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale-5th Edition (SB5): A comprehensive test of intelligence and cognitive abilities, applicable to individuals aged 2 and above. The test can be conducted within about 45 to 60 minutes.

This edition includes some key features. First, the items can be adjusted to the cognitive level of participants, ultimately enhancing precision. Second, apart from assessing overall intelligence, verbal intelligence, and performance intelligence, five other factors are generated: fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory. Third, a nonverbal mode is available to assess all five of these factors.

Reliability, as estimated from the split half method, approximates .95 for the performance component and .96 for the verbal component. The abbreviated battery, which comprises only two subsets, generates a measure of reliability that approximates .91. The reliability for all factors also exceeds .90. Correlations with other key intelligence test, such as the WISC-III, the WAIS-III, range from .78 to .84. Norms are derived from 4800 participants across the age groups.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales for Early Childhood: A comprehensive measure of intelligence and cognitive ability for children. This test comprises a full battery for children aged between 2 and 6, which can be completed within 30 to 50 minutes, and an abbreviated battery for children aged between 6 and 7.3, which can be completed within 15 to 20 minutes. The battery includes a Test Observation Checklist, which enables practitioners to record behaviors that have been shown to affect test performance. The entire kit costs approximately $750 and record forms cost approximately $5.00 each

Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test: An intelligence test that is applied to individuals who cannot be assessed with verbal methods. Examiners rely on eight hand and body gestures, all of which are relatively universal across cultures, to administer the tests. The test is applicable to children and adolescents, from ages 5 to 17, and demands 10 to 45 minutes depending on the version that is used.

Three batteries have been compiled: a screening battery, a standard battery, and an extended battery-used for diagnostic purposes. The test does demand proficient and practice to administer and comprises several response modes, such as paper and pencil, manipulating objects, and pointing. The entire kit costs approximately $1100.

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test (WAIS-III or WAIS-IV): One of the most prevalent and comprehensive intelligence tests, applicable to individuals aged between 16 and 89. The test comprises 7 verbal subtests and 7 performance subtests. The entire kit can cost approximately $3000 and can be completed within about 60 to 90 minutes.

Four of the verbal subtests-vocabulary, similarities, information, and comprehension-are used to calculate an index called verbal comprehension. Three of the verbal subtests-arithmetic, digit span, and letter number sequencing-are used to calculate an index called working memory. Three of the performance subtests-picture completion, block design, and matrix reasoning-are used to calculate an index called perceptual organization. Finally, two of the performance subtests-digit symbol coding and symbol search-are used to calculate an index called processing speed. Object assembly and picture arrangement are included in the index of performance IQ or general IQ, but excluded from any of these more specific indices.

Wechsler Intelligence Test for Children (WISC-III or WISC-IV): One of the most prevalent and comprehensive intelligence tests for children, applicable to individuals aged between 6 and 16. The entire kit can cost approximately $3000 and can be completed within about 60 to 90 minutes.

The test comprises 10 core subtests and 5 additional subtests. Practitioners can derive an index of verbal comprehension from five of the subtests-vocabulary, similarities, comprehension, information, and word reasoning. They can derive an index of perceptual reasoning from block design, picture concepts, matrix reasoning, and picture completion. They can generate an index of working memory from digit span, letter-number sequencing, and arithmetic. Finally, they can generate an index of processing speed from coding, symbol search, and cancellation.

Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-III): One of the most prevalent and comprehensive intelligence tests for young children, applicable to individuals aged between 2 and 6. The entire kit can cost approximately $3000 and can be completed within about 60 to 90 minutes.

The test comprises 14 subtests, such as block design, matrix reasoning, vocabulary, object assembly, similarities, picture completion, comprehension, symbol search, and picture concepts. Some of the tests are adapted for young individuals. For example, for picture completion, the individuals merely need to point towards a missing feature in the scene.

Wide Range Intelligence Test: A batter of four tests of cognitive ability: vocabulary, verbal analogies, matrices, and diamonds. To complete the diamonds subtest, for example, participants must construct specific designs using pieces shapes as diamonds. The test can be completed with 30 minutes and covers all age ranges from 4 to 85, providing measures of crystallized and fluid intelligence. The complete kit can cost around $400.

Woodcock Johnson Test of Cognitive Skills: Measure of general and specific cognitive functions, applicable to anyone from 2 and older. This test, which can be completed within 60 to 70 minutes, generates scales of verbal ability, thinking ability, cognitive efficiency, general intellectual ability, and other scales.

This measure is often administered together with the Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement, which assesses academic strengths and weaknesses. Coefficient alphas for the various tests usually exceed .80.

Tests of attention

Many tests have been developed to assess attention (for a summary, see Burns, Nettelbeck, & McPherson, 2009). Burns, Nettelbeck, and McPherson (2009) showed that general performance on cognitive tests is highly related to general ability of measures of attention. Furthermore, attention can be divided into three facets: working memory, vigilance that involved speeded performance, and vigilance that involved lasting effort. Some examples include:


Burns, N. R., Nettelbeck, T., & McPherson, J. (2009). Attention and intelligence: A factor analytic study. Journal of Individual Differences, 30, 44-57.

Carroll, J. B. (1993). Human cognitive abilities: A survey of factor analytic studies. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Robertson, I. H., Manly, T., Andrade, J., Baddeley, B. T., & Yiend, J. (1997). "Oops!": Performance correlates of everyday attentional failures in traumatic brain injured and normal subjects. Neuropsychologia, 35, 747-758.

Robertson, I. H., Ward, T., Ridgeway, V., & Nimmo-Smith, I. (1994). The test of everyday attention. Bury St. Edmunds, UK: Thames Valley Test Company.

Vos, P. G. (1988). Handleing bourdon-vos test [manual Bourdon-Vos test]. The Netherlands, Lisse: Swets.

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Last Update: 6/18/2016