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Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales – Fifth Edition (SB5)

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales – Fifth Edition (SB5; Roid, 2003) provide comprehensive coverage of five factors of cognitive ability: Fluid Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Visual-Spatial Reasoning, Working Memory, and Knowledge.


The SB5 scoring provides a Full Scale IQ score, a Nonverbal IQ score, and a Verbal IQ score, which are reported in standard scores and percentiles and can be use to assess individuals from 2 through 85 years of age.

The SB5 Nonverbal IQ (NVIQ) is based on the nonverbal subtests of the five-factor index scales. It measures skills in solving abstract, picture-oriented problems; recalling facts and figures; solving quantitative problems shown in picture form; assembling designs; and recalling tapping sequences. The NVIQ measures the general ability to reason, solve problems, visualize, and recall information presented in pictorial, figural, and symbolic form, as opposed to information presented in the form of words and sentences.

The SB5 Verbal IQ (VIQ) provides a composite of all the cognitive skills required to solve the items in the five verbal subtests. The VIQ measures general ability to reason, solve problems, visualize, and recall important information presented in words and sentences (both printed and spoken). In addition, it reflects the examinee’s ability to explain verbal response clearly, present rationale for response choices, create stories, and explain spatial directions. General verbal ability, measured by VIQ, is one of the most powerful predictors of academic success in classrooms, because of the heavy reliance on language, reading, and writing in the educational system.

Fluid Reasoning is the ability to solve verbal and nonverbal problems using inductive or deductive reasoning. Quantitative Reasoning is an individual’s facility with numbers and numerical problem solving, whether word problems or picture relationships. Activities in the SB5 emphasize applied problem solving more than specific mathematical knowledge acquired through school learning. Visual-Spatial Processing measures an individual’s ability to see patterns and relationships. Working Memory is a class of memory processes in which diverse information stored in short-term memory is inspected, sorted, or transformed. Knowledge is a person’s accumulated fund of general information acquired at home, school, or work. Also called crystallized ability, it involves learned material such as vocabulary that has been acquired and stored in long-term memory. Verbal knowledge subtests fall under the narrow abilities of Lexical Knowledge and General Knowledge.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales – Fifth Edition (SB5) Roid (2003) 2-80+

Individually administered, norm-referenced assessment of cognitive abilities; administered by clinician; routing tests for Nonverbal Fluid Reasoning and Verbal Knowledge to determine appropriate difficulty level

Yields scaled scores for 10 cognitive factors (verbal and nonverbal) and standard scores and percentiles for composite scores in five cognitive factors

5–10 min. per subtest (four subtests at each level, both verbal (levels 3–6) and nonverbal (levels 2–6)

Verbal, Nonverbal, and Full Scale IQs; Index scores for each of the five Nonverbal and Verbal cognitive factors: Fluid Reasoning, Knowledge, Quantitative Reasoning, Visual-Spatial Processing, and Working Memory

Availability: Riverside Publishing


Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Baum, Shear, Howe, & Bishop (2014) 40 - Age Range: 10-16 years Convergent validity

Researchers used a within-subjects research design to evaluate the convergent validity between the WISC-IV and Stanford-Binet – 5.

Corresponding intelligence scores were highly correlated

(r = 0.78 to 0.88), but full-scale intelligence quotient (IQ) scores (t(38) = −2.27, p = 0.03,d = −0.16) and verbal IQ scores (t(36) = 2.23, p = 0.03; d = 0.19) differed between the two tests.
Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Sansone, Schneider, Bickel, Berry-Kravis, Prescott & Hessl (2014) 331 With ASD or fragile X - Age Range: 3-38 years Problems in estimating IQ for low functioning individuals

Traditional methods for generating IQ scores in lower-functioning individuals with intellectual disability (ID) are inaccurate, leading to erroneously flat profiles

Using the SB5, the researchers found that the standard method of converting raw scores to standardized scaled, index, and IQ scores was not meaningful in ID children.

The use of the deviation z-score method rectified the problem, and accounted for significant additional variance in criterion validation measures, above and beyond the usual IQ scores. Additionally, individual and group-level cognitive strengths and weaknesses were recovered using deviation scores

Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Grondhuis & Mulick (2013). 1,071 - Age Range: 3-12 years Validity

Differences in scores on the SB5 and Leiter-R were compared for a sample of children with autistic disorder and PDD-NOS. Results suggest that they are not equivalent measures of cognitive functioning when administered to individuals with ASD. As a result, depending on the measure used, misclassification of intellectual functioning could occur. Key results are summarized below.

A significant difference in scores were found between the Leiter-R and the SB5 (F(1,40) = 58.99, p < .001). The Leiter-R was, on average, 22.45 points higher than the SB5. The mean score on the Leiter-R was 87.11 while the mean on the SB5 was 64.66.

Diagnostic differences were found. Autistic disorder (Leiter-R mean IQ = 79.42; SB5 mean = 59.12); PDD- NOS (Leiter-R mean = 96.61; SB5 mean 71.52). Differences were not significant (F(1,40) = 3.16, p < . 08). The discrepancy was significantly greater (Leiter-R IQ scores higher than SB5) in preschool children compared to those in grade school (F(1,40) = 4.88, p < . 033.

Scores on the Nonverbal domain of the SB5 (mean = 70.40) were significantly lower than the Leiter-R full- scale composite (mean = 87.12); t(46) = 7.751, p <.001.

Scores on the Verbal domain of the SB5 (mean = 62.00) was significantly lower than the Leiter-R total score (mean = 87.24); t(44) = 10.020, p <.001.
Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Coolican, Bryson, & Zwaigenbaum (2008). 63 - Age Range: 3-16 years Validity

Nonverbal and Verbal IQ scores were significantly different for individuals with ASD with nonverbal scores higher: (t(63) = 4.52, p = .000, d = .321). No significant differences were found based on age ((F(2, 57) = 2.21, p = .143, η2 =.037) or diagnostic subgroup (F(18, 540) = .975, p = .488, η2 = .031). Additional profile patterns were reported in the study.

Validity of the abbreviated battery was examined. Overall, children scored higher on the abbreviated battery than the full-scale IQ (t(62) = -3.32, p = .002, d, = -.137); however, the mean difference was not clinically significant. Some children scored higher on the FSIQ than the ABIQ. The abbreviated IQ accounted for 89.9% of the variance in full-scale IQ. The authors concluded that caution should be used when using the abbreviated battery because it misrepresented ability in a small number of subjects in the study.

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