Interpreting Achievement and IQ Test Scores
Student: John Doe
History: low grades, reading
Achievement Test: Grade 2.5 (2.5 years behind)
IQ Test Score: 100 (average)
Memory subtest: 100
Visual processing subtest: 130
Auditory processing subtest: 70
The school will define this child as being LD (learning disabled).
His achievement tests are significantly lower (more than two years)
than his intelligent tests (average). It is thought that he is not
working up to his potential, but that the skills required for average
academic performance are present. Therefore the school will provide
him with remedial academic help.
Here's the problem with the above interpretation.
Claiming that this child's potential is average is misleading.
IQ tests do not indicate the child's potential. They measure
the present level of underlying mental skills, which allow us to
predict a student's performance.
Claiming that he has the skills required for average academic
performance is wrong. The low auditory processing subtest shows
that he does not have adequate skills for reading and spelling.
Providing remedial academic help is not what is needed. In determining
the help required, look for the causes, not the symptoms. You won't
find causes by looking at averages. The IQ-subtest shows a cause
and effect relationship. His low auditory processing skills are
causing the reading
problem, which affects his academic achievement. For effective
learning, this child needs auditory processing training, not
If his IQ test score were 94, he would not get extra help in school
because he would be considered to be "working up to his potential."
Then why not increase his potential by building his underlying skills?
Most schools will not do it because of the cost - effective mental
skill training must be done one-on-one.