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RIAS Scores for Gifted Education Placement

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: What are the required scores to be considered for gifted classes when it comes to the RIAS test, my son who is a kindergarten was given this exam and scores 129, 128.

A: The Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scale (RIAS is an individually administered intelligence test, applicable to all ages from 3 to 94. It comprises two subtests that assess verbal intelligence (VIX) and two subtests that assess non-verbal intelligence (NIX). A verbal and nonverbal supplementary memory test can also be administered (yields Composite Memory Index score - CMX). It appears that the memory test was not administered for your daughter, as it is supplementary.

The subtests that compose the VIX assess verbal reasoning ability along with the ability to access and apply prior learning in solving language related tasks. Although labelled the Verbal Intelligence Index, the VIX is also a reasonable approximation of crystallized intelligence. The NIX comprises subtests that assess nonverbal reasoning and spatial ability. Although labeled the Nonverbal Intelligence Index, the NIX also provides a reasonable approximation of fluid intelligence and spatial ability. These two indexes of intellectual functioning are then combined to form an overall Composite Intelligence Index (CIX). By combining the VIX and the NIX into the CIX, a strong, reliable assessment of general intelligence (g) is obtained. The CIX measures the two most important aspects of general intelligence according to recent theories and research findings: reasoning or fluid abilities and verbal or crystallized abilities. Each of these indexes is expressed as an age-corrected standard score that is scaled to a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. And as a rule of thumb, a score that is about two standard deviations away from the mean is within the gifted range for most tests and for most placements in gifted programmes (in this case, 130). However, different schools may have slightly different criteria (and eligibility tests) and further testing may be required.

You did not indicate the scores clearly; so I would assume that your daughter obtained a Composite Intelligence Index (CIX) of 128 or 129. This level of performance falls within the range of scores designated as high average. It would be best to find out from the school more information about your son's scores by looking at the breakdown of the scores. Good luck!


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