A Verbal Intelligence Test

Perhaps one of the most challenging intelligence tests is the Wechsler scale. Although it only has two subtests, it is comprised of a lot of questions that relate to all the different types of intelligence. Read on and find out the contents of the test to help you further understand what is expected of you when you take it.

It was back in 1939 when the Wechsler scale was first published by Dr. David Wechsler, the purpose of which was to measure intellectual performance and not just intelligence. He developed this measurement because he believed that at that time, a majority of existing intelligence tests were only a reflection or adaptation of intelligence tests for children and should not be used for adults.

Ever since its first publication, the Wechsler scale has had three modifications. One is called the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale III or WAIS-III. Another is called the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children III or WISC-III. The last one is called the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-R or WPPSI-R. The WISC-III is used for children ages 6 to 16 while the WPPSI-R is designed for children from 4 years of age to 6 and a half. The WAIS-III is used for adults.

For adults like you, you need to focus on the WAIS-III version of the Wechsler scale of intelligence. This is most likely the kind of test you will undertake if you are applying for a job. The last revision of the Wechsler scale for adults was done in 1997 and has about 14 scales or focus on intelligence. Furthermore, you need to know that the WAIS-III is divided into two scales: the verbal and performance scale.


This part of the WAIS-III is made of 28 question items based on information that all adults presumably know. The information needed to answer these questions correctly is presumed not to need any academic background to acquire.


There is a total of 18 items in this area. It will require you to explain some process steps based on the circumstances presented to you. Essentially, this test measures your judgment and common sense. Sometimes, you will be given proverbs and all you have to do is to explain what these proverbs mean to you.

Digit Span

This part of the Wechsler scale test is divided into two segments: forward and backward. What you are required to do is to repeat 3-9 digits forward. The other part of the test will require you to repeat 2-9 digits backwards. What this does is to measure a person’s memory and attention to detail.


There are 66 words that will be presented to you both orally and visually and your goal is to define these words accurately. What this part of the test measures is your knowledge of verbal concepts. In some tests, the answers are given in a multiple choice format from which you can select the best answer.


In this part of the test, you will be presented 20 mathematical problems that are commonly taught in elementary. The questions or problems are presented orally and you will need to solve these problems without the aid of a pen or paper. You need to solve it mentally. The key here is to listen to the proctor carefully and make sure you understand what the problem is.


There is a total of 19 items in this area that require you to describe how two samples are alike. What this measures is your abstract intelligence, including your functional and concrete concept formation. You will be presented figures that may or may not be similar and all you have to do is to provide your thoughts on how similar they are.

Letter-Number Sequencing

This test is completely optional. In case you encounter this test, you will be required to arrange a series of letters and numbers in the order instructed. In one test, you will be asked to arrange the letters and numbers in ascending order while on another test, you will be required to arrange them in descending order.

The Wechsler scale may be intimidating at first because there are so many things that it intends to check. So far, we have only discussed the verbal scale. There are more subtests in the performance scale that you also need to pass. The key in passing the Wechsler scale is to concentrate and focus on the evaluation, making sure that you answer the questions accurately. It is not a measure of speed but of intelligence. There might be time limit but this should not cause you to panic.

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