Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

Originally published in 1955 by David Wechsler, the Wechsler test was designed to measure a person’s intellectual ability in far greater resolution than tests such as the Stanford-Binet. To date, it is the most widely used IQ test, and that is in part due to the ability of the test to measure cognitive aptitude in a less verbal environment. In its infancy, the test was supposed to aid in the testing of people who did not speak English natively, which made it hard for them to understand what certain IQ tests were asking of them. This made for an uneven distribution of scores, where those who had a hard time understanding the test were incorrectly labelled as less intelligent. While the test does have a section dedicated to measuring the verbal capacities of a test taker, it was the first test formally designed to assess non-verbal performance.

The test works by measuring ten variables across two IQ categories, each with two subcategories of their own, which break down as such:

Verbal IQ

  • Verbal Comprehension:
    • Information
    • Similarities
    • Vocabulary
  • Working Memory:
    • Arithmetic
    • Digit Span

Performance IQ

  • Perceptual Reasoning:
    • Block Design
    • Matrix Reasoning
    • Picture Completion
  • Processing Speed:
    • Digit Symbol Coding
    • Symbol Search

By using a wide variety of variables to track and measure, the Wechsler test offers a very comprehensive analysis of one’s cognitive performance abilities, and allows for a more storied analysis of where their core strengths and weaknesses are. Lastly, the test allows for the measurement of two main categories of IQ, Full-Scale IQ (FSIQ), and General Ability Index (GAI), where FSIQ is a measurement of performance across all subcategories, but the GAI is more resistant to issues that might arise from cognitive impairment, allowing for a more precise and truthful analysis. The Wechsler test is a fantastic tool for measuring the cognitive abilities of those eighteen years or older, and also exists in a format designed to accurately test the minds of children and adolescents, too.