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Score cut-offs for Gifted and Talented Programs

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: Please help with interpreting these scores: What are the national cut offs for GT program?

Verbal - 123
Non-Verbal - 99
Composite - 113

M/SC - 104
LA/SS - 113
R - 115

Non-Verbal - 100

A: I am not very familiar with SAGES, therefore I will only attempt to interpret K-BIT2 which is a brief intelligence test.

As a rule of thumb, a score of about 100 is in the average range. With a composite score of 113, it places the individual in the “High Average” range. The gifted cut-off point is usually 130 or 98% and above.

The two subtests that make up the Verbal score predominantly measure verbal skills by assessing a person's knowledge of word meanings. It also measures the
individual's verbal concept formation, reasoning ability, and range of general information. The KBIT-2 verbal score measures the broad ability known as crystallized ability, which reflects the amount of specific knowledge that a person has acquired within a culture and the person's ability to apply this knowledge effectively.

The Nonverbal score measures the person's ability to solve novel problems, those that are not specifically taught or trained. To solve the problems presented in the Matrices subtest, the examinee needs to perceive the pictures' various attributes, generate hypotheses about how the pictures go together, and test out the hypotheses to arrive at a solution. The subtest measures fluid reasoning and visual processing.

In most Gifted and Talented programs (G&T) today, there is a combination used as opposed to the stringent cut-off points. Based on the breakdown of the results, the school psychologist may recommend further testing or using other methods to determine suitability in such a program.

The Composite IQ score is based on the subtests that is being tested. This is frequently the number most people refer to when discussing someone's IQ. Experts who develop intelligence tests use mathematical calculations to find the mean or average score. An IQ score from 90 to 110 is generally considered in the average range, corresponding to roughly 50 per cent of the population. The higher the IQ score, the lesser the percentage. For example, high scores of say 130 would only see about 2-3 per cent of the population. A higher score of 145 should occur in about 0.1 per cent of the time or once in a 1,000.

Based on a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15, the scores indicated is in the high average range for the K-BIT-2. The cut-off for a gifted education program is usually 130 depending on your district (in USA). Speak to the school counsellor to find out more. Good luck!


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