What does the Stanford-Binet intelligence scale measure?

What does the Stanford-Binet intelligence scale measure?

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is a standardized test that measures intelligence and cognitive skills in children and adults.

This test is in its fifth edition and measures five main factors that are, quantitative reasoning, processing visual-spatial, working memory, fluid reasoning and general knowledge.


  • 1 Uses of the Stanford-Binet test
  • 2 Description of the test
  • 3 Results

Uses of the Stanford-Binet test

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale was originally developed to help place children in appropriate educational settings according to their intellectual abilities, since it allows determining the level of intellectual and cognitive functioning of children from preschool to adults.

It is also a tool that It helps diagnose cognitive deficits, learning difficulties and High capacities.

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is usually administered in a school, clinical or research setting.

It is considered one of the best and most widely used intelligence tests available. It is especially useful for providing intellectual assessments in young children, teenagers and young adults. Although the test has been criticized for not being comparable for all age ranges. This is because different age ranges are administered different subtests. In addition, for very small preschoolers, it is not uncommon to receive a score of zero due to the difficulty of the test or the child's unwillingness to cooperate. Consequently, it is difficult to discriminate skills in this age group among the lowest scorers.

Description of the test

The Stanford-Binet intelligence scale is a later and modified version of the Binet-Simon scale that was developed in 1905 and became the first intelligence test. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale was first developed in 1916 and has been revised in 1937, 1960, 1986 and 2003 (in its current edition).

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is composed of four main scales of cognitive area scoring that determine the following factors: verbal reasoning, abstract / visual reasoning, quantitative reasoning and short-term memory.

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale consists of 15 secondary or subtest scales, which are grouped into the four main scores mentioned above. Not all subtests are administered to each age group, although six of them are administered at all age levels. These subtests are from: vocabulary, comprehension, pattern analysis, quantitative, account memory and sentence memory. So, the number of tests administered and the general difficulty are adjusted according to the age of the student.

The score that derives from the set of the four main scales plus the sum of the secondary scales, is the most approximate estimate of what the authors call the "G factor" or "general intelligence", which is considered the ability of a person to solve novel problems.

The four main scales are developed as follows:

Verbal reasoning

This area measures the Verbal knowledge and understanding gained from both the school and the home learning environment, and reflects the ability to apply verbal skills to new situations. Examples of subtests that comprise this factor measure the skills that include: knowledge of words, the ability to isolate inappropriate features in visual material, social intelligence and the ability to differentiate essential from non-essential details.

Abstract / visual reasoning

These tests examine the ability to interpret and perform mathematical operations, the ability to visualize patterns, visual, motor and problem solving skills through the use of reasoning. An example of a subtest to measure this area is a timed test that involves tasks such as completing a basic puzzle and replicating black and white cube designs.

Numerical / Quantitative Reasoning

The quantitative reasoning area score measures: numerical reasoning, concentration, knowledge and application of numerical concepts. The quantitative reasoning area is combined with the abstract / visual reasoning area score to create an abstract / visual reasoning factor score.

Short term memory

The short-term memory score measures concentration skills, short-term memory and sequencing skills. Subtests that comprise this area of ‚Äč‚Äčarea measure short-term visual and auditory memory and involve both sentences and number sequences. In a subtest that measures short-term visual memory, images of drawings are presented to the participant, and they are asked to replicate them by heart.

The administration of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale generally takes between 45 and 90 minutes, but it can take up to two and a half hours. The older the child is and the more subtests administered, the longer the test takes to complete.


The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is a standardized test, which means that a large sample of children and adults was administered to effectively develop the test standards. The sample population that was taken was representative of the population of the United States based on age, sex, race or ethnic group, geographic region, community size, parent education, educational placement (normal classes vs. classes special), etc.

The Stanford-Binet intelligence scale scores have an average of 100 and a standard deviation of 16. For this test, as with most intelligence measures, a score of 100 is in the normal or average range. The standard deviation indicates at what level the subject is, either above or below the norm. For example, a score of 84 is a standard deviation below the standard score of 100.

The results provide an estimate of the level in which the person is based on a combination of all the scores obtained from the different tests and subtests. A trained psychologist is needed to evaluate and interpret the results, determine strengths and weaknesses, and make general recommendations based on the findings and observed behavioral observations.

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