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What Is Verbal IQ?

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  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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Verbal intelligence quotient (IQ) measures an individual’s ability to use language to analyze and solve problems. It is often measured along with performance IQ in the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) IQ test. A shorter, stand-alone verbal IQ test can also be taken.

An individual’s verbal IQ includes the ability to listen to, analyze, remember, and understand information that is communicated either verbally or in written form. It includes skills such as reasoning and the grasp of both abstract and concrete ideas as they relate to language. A person’s verbal IQ also includes their overall understanding of concepts, comparisons, and other similar characteristics of language.

Verbal IQ measures an individual’s understanding of how to use language in a variety of contexts. This includes problems that present themselves in logical, literary, and social surroundings. The goal is to measure the ability to adapt language to a variety of settings and situations in addition to the individual’s overall skills.

Verbal skills may also be measured on an academic level. The tests can be administered individually or in a group setting. They are usually made to conform to federal regulations for this kind of testing. Often a group test will be used as a screening method to help determine if further testing is needed in order to diagnose a mental disability in a particular child or children. The test can be computerized or done via pencil and paper depending on the facilities and the needs of the child.

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If a verbal IQ test is conducted in order to determine if student has a mental disability, the resulting score can be used to determine the next steps to take in the child’s education. Though the information available varies according to the way the test is structured, results will often provide educators with information as to how a student handles different situations. This will enable educators to create the most beneficial learning plan for the student. For this reason, it is important that the test not only be well-executed, but that there are professionals available who know how to properly interpret the results.

There are seven verbal IQ tests to be taken when it is measured as a part of the WAIS test. These tests focus on working memory and verbal comprehension. The memory portion will measure digit span and arithmetic. Verbal comprehension tests an individual’s understanding of vocabulary and similarities between and among different elements and information.

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discographer
Post 3

The problem with verbal IQ tests is that they are only accurate for native English speakers. Those who are not native English speakers almost always get a lower score.

bluedolphin
Post 2

@ZipLine-- Yes, verbal and non-verbal IQ tests are very helpful in determining difficulties with learning. Psychologists use these tests to diagnose learning disabilities and it's usually only offered at medical centers.

My daughter has low verbal IQ and has been diagnosed with a learning disability for this reason. Of course, the non-verbal IQ scores are also important. These two are considered together before making a decision.

Knowing whether your son or daughter has a learning disability is very important so I encourage you to get these tests. It will eventually make life a lot easier for him because he can be given the tools to improve himself and be successful at school.

ZipLine
Post 1

Do verbal IQ tests also measure the ability to form sentences?

My son has some difficulty with this. He is nine years old. He understands everything well, but has difficult when expressing himself. Sometimes what he says makes no sense. It's like he means to say something but says something else. His teacher has also been complaining about this.

I want him to get a verbal IQ test because if he really has a limitation in this area, he can take additional classes for it. I don't mind hiring a teacher if it's going to help him. But will the verbal IQ test help?

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