Stanford-Binet V (SB-V) Test: Comprehensive Guide and Preparation Tips

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What Is the SB-V Test?

The Stanford-Binet (SB-V) test is a conventional intelligence test used to measure the intelligence and cognitive talents in children as young as 2, although it can be given to adults up to the age of 89. There are two versions of the SB-V test – a full version and a condensed version. The full version can take up to 75 minutes to undergo, whereas the condensed test should take under 30 minutes.


The SB-V Test and Its Subtests

The full version of the Stanford-Binet test covers five key cognitive abilities based on the Cattell-Horn-Carroll hierarchical mode of general intellectual ability:

  • Fluid reasoning
  • Knowledge
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Visual-spatial processing
  • Working memory

The condensed version of the SB-V focuses on delivering a snapshot of fluid reasoning and crystallized ability. In this version, there are only 2 subtests – object series and vocabulary.

There are a total of fifteen subtests on the Stanford-Binet, however only ten will be given to assess the five key cognitive abilities. There are six subtests that are given to children of all ages, these include vocabulary, comprehension, pattern analysis, quantitative, bead memory, and memory for sentences. The remaining four subtests vary by age and governing body.

  • Bead memory – this subtest asks students to assess, recall, and repeat a configuration of beads from memory.
  • Vocabulary – this subtest tests a student’s knowledge of the definitions of a variety of words. For the first fifteen words, the psychologist will say a word and ask the student to tap the picture that corresponds, for the remaining words a word is said aloud, and the student must give a definition.
  • Quantitative – this subtest asks a student to use mental arithmetic to solve a variety of math problems.
  • Memory – this subtest asks a student to repeat complex and lengthy sentences.
  • Pattern analysis – this subtest asks a student to recall visual patterns shown to them using blocks.
  • Comprehension – this subtest measures a student’s general knowledge and problem-solving skills.
  • Verbal relations – this subtest asks students to identify the correlation between words out of four words.
  • Number series – this subtest asks students to identify the pattern in a series of numbers to figure-out the next two numbers.
  • Equation building – this subtest asks students to re-sequence numbers in a mathematical equation for it to make sense.
  • Copying – this verbal reasoning subtest asks students to recreate a block model and copy a geometric design.
  • Matrices – this subtest asks students to determine the missing element.
  • Paper folding and cutting – these subtests ask students to look at a series of folded figures, they then must determine how the paper would look unfolded and select the correct one from a variety of answers.
  • Memory for digits – this subtest asks students to repeat a series of numbers in the format they were given.
  • Memory for objects – this subtest asks students to review an image with objects in it. The image is then removed, and students are asked to identify the order in which the objects were presented.


How Is the Stanford-Binet Test Scored?

Your child will obtain a score compared to other children that fall within their age band. Age bands vary by age groups – for children up to the age of 4 years 11 months old, the age bands are within one month increments however if your child is between the ages of 5-16 years 11 months, the band increases to 4-month increments.

The below scores review how your child has performed on the Stanford-Binet:

Score Range Expectation
Low Average: 80-89 Children who score in this range may struggle at school but are not usually eligible for assistance.
Average: 90-109 Children who score in this range are average and likely get-by in school
High Average: 110-119 Children who score in this range do not struggle in school.
Above Average: 120-129 Children who score in this range are above average and do not struggle in school.
Moderately Gifted: 130-144 Children who score in this range are moderately gifted and do not struggle in school.
Highly Gifted: 145-160+ Children who score in this range are highly gifted and do not struggle in school.


The most common subtest scores used to determine entry onto gifted and talented programs include:

  • Non-verbal IQ (NVIQ) – this combines the score taken from the five non-verbal subtests.
  • Verbal IQ (VIQ) – this combines the scores taken from the five verbal subtests.
  • Full-Scale IQ (FSIQ) – this combines the score taken from all ten subtests.
  • Percentile Rank (PR) – many school bodies use this rank to compare student’s performance against a nationwide sampling of students born within the same age band. If your child scores a rank of 90, this means that their score is 90% higher than students tested nationwide.


How to prepare for the Stanford-Binet Test?

The Stanford-Binet is a difficult IQ test because it includes a variety of subtests. While many IQ tests will group these sections together, the SB-V mixes questions together making it more difficult for children to prepare. The most efficient way to prepare your child for the Stanford-Binet is by exposing them to the types of questions they will encounter on the test by using practice materials. Practice materials often include questions that are like the ones your child will take on the test, so it’s a great way to understand areas where your child is thriving and where they may need additional help. Children that prepare for the Stanford-Binet test by taking practice tests and answering sample questions will have a higher chance of gaining entry onto a gifted and talented program than those who have not.