There are many factors involved in determining IQ. IQ tests may judge a student’s ability to process information, interpret words and sentences, or concentrate without distraction. All of these elements together comprise a full-scale IQ.


As of December 2010, the IQ test administered to students between the ages of six and 16 is called the WISC-IV test. There are 10 segments to the test, which provide overall score in four general areas: verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, processing speed and working memory. The four of these overall scores yield a full-scale IQ. The highest full-scale IQ from this test is 160.

Components of Full-Scale IQ

A full-scale IQ score evaluates multiple intellectual abilities. The IQ tests assesses a student’s ability to reason abstractly given both verbal and visual prompts. The two final aforementioned sections of the IQ tests track a student’s short-term auditory and visual memory, along with the time that a student needs to arrive at an answer.

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Problems with the IQ Scores

In most WISC-IV tests, verbal comprehension and perceptual reasoning scores are often higher than those for processing speed and working memory. Professionals at the Gifted Development Center in Denver believe that many students’ IQ scores are brought down when timing is too heavily weighted.

About the Author

Based in Washington, D.C., Lena Freund began writing professionally in 2007, while living in Tel Aviv. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Middle Eastern studies and Hispanic studies from the College of William & Mary and a Master of Arts in Middle Eastern history from Tel Aviv University. Freund's articles about travel, languages and cultures have been published on various websites.