Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence™ – Fourth Edition (WPPSI™ – IV)

Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence™ – Fourth Edition (WPPSI™ – IV)


WPPSI™-IV Wechsler Preschool & Primary Scale of Intelligence™ | Fourth Edition is an innovative measure of cognitive development for preschoolers and young children, rooted in contemporary theory and research.

WPPSI™-IV Wechsler Preschool & Primary Scale of Intelligence™ | Fourth Edition is an innovative measure of cognitive development for preschoolers and young children, rooted in contemporary theory and research.


David Wechsler


Measures cognitive development for preschoolers and young children

Age Range:

2:6 – 7:7



Scoring Option:

Q-global™ Scoring & Reporting or Manual Scoring

Completion Time:

Core Subtests: Ages 2:6 to 3:11: 30–45 Minutes, Ages 4:0 to 7:7: 45–60 Minutes


FSIQ, Primary Index Scores and Ancillary Index Scores

Report Options:

Score Report, Interpretive Report

Publication Date:


Now Available!

The Boldly Reimagined WPPSI-IV

WPPSI-IV is available on Q-interactive! Learn More

The WPPSI–IV is an innovative measure of cognitive development for preschoolers and young children that’s rooted in contemporary theory and research that also places a strong emphasis on child-friendly, developmentally appropriate features and includes new processing speed tasks, the addition of working memory subtests, an expanded factor structure. The extensive enhancements are targeted to benefit both children and examiners.

Content & Administration

Based on the most current literature in the field and feedback from experts and clinicians, the WPPSI–IV includes extensive content changes including new processing speed measures, the addition of working memory subtests and an expanded factor structure that includes new and separate visual spatial and fluid reasoning composites for ages 4:0 – 7:7.

New Working Memory subtests

Picture Memory and Zoo Locations, the two new working memory subtests provide age appropriate, engaging tasks for children as young as 2 ½. These reliable and child-friendly measures were specifically designed to help detect emerging working memory difficulties for early intervention.

Expanded and Updated Factor Structure

For both age bands the test structure includes three levels of interpretation: Full scale, Primary Index scale and Ancillary Index scale levels.

The Primary Index scales include:

  • Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI)
  • Visual Spatial Index (VSI)
  • Working Memory Index (WMI)
  • Fluid Reasoning Index (FRI)
  • Processing Speed Index (PSI)

The Ancillary Index scales include:

  • Vocabulary Acquisition Index (VAI)
  • Nonverbal Index (NVI)
  • General Ability Index (CAI)
  • Cognitive Proficiency Index (CPI)

To view the test framework for each age band.


Features & Benefits

Improved Developmental Appropriateness

With consideration of the unique challenges of assessing young children, the WPPSI–IV was redesigned to strengthen the emphasis on ensuring all aspects of the WPPSI–IV are developmentally appropriate.

New Processing Speed Subtests

The three new game-like subtests offer engaging art and use an ink dauber to indicate responses, which minimizes fine motor demands. Each subtest is built with careful consideration to the cognitive, motor, and language development of young children.

  • Bug Search and Animal Coding are adaptations of WPPSI–III Symbol Search and Coding
  • Cancellation is a more developmentally appropriate adaptation of the WISC–IV version

Simplified Instructions

  • Simplified and shortened directions for children
  • Demonstration, sample and teaching items used whenever possible to ensure clarity of task demands

More Efficient Test Administration

Numerous updates make administration as efficient and user-friendly as possible.

  • Testing time is maintained or reduced while construct coverage is increased.
  • Clear and concise examiner instructions, including shortened discontinue criteria and simplified substitution, invalidation, and proration rules.
  • Stimulus book contents distributed to maximize portability
  • New and durable storage solutions for manipulatives, including puzzles.

Improved Clinical Utility

Updates increase the practical usefulness of the WPPSI–IV.

  • Age range extended upward to 7 years 7 months
  • Scoring approach expanded to include strengths and weaknesses analysis at the index level
  • Reduced expressive language requirements
  • Updated and new special group studies
  • Statistical linkage to WIAT®–III
  • Updated validity studies with other measures including WPPSI–III, WISC®–IV, Bayley–III, DAS™–II, NNAT®2, selected NEPSY®–II subtests, WIAT–III, and select BASC™–2 scales

Updated and Improved Psychometric Properties

  • Updated normative sample standardized on 1,700 children ages 2:6–7:7
  • The normative sample was stratified to match current U.S. census data based on sex, race/ethnicity, parent education level, and geographical region for each group
  • Improved subtest floors and ceilings
  • Comparable or improved reliability for subtest and composite scores

Users & Applications

Clinical psychologists, school psychologists, and neuropsychologists working in schools, clinics, hospitals, universities and forensics use the WPPSI–IV to help:

  • Identify and qualify students with cognitive delays for special services
  • Evaluate children for cognitive delays, intellectual disabilities, autism and giftedness
  • Determine admittance eligibility for private schools
  • Determine the impact of traumatic brain injury on cognitive functions in children
  • Determine cognitive ability of children in question during custody hearings

Two options for scoring and reporting the WPPSI-IV are now available on Q-global.

The first option is to pay per-report. Customers who administer the WPPSI-IV only a few times each year, or those who want the flexibility to pay only as the assessment is used, may prefer this option.

The second option is to select an “unlimited use” subscription, where one user of the WPPSI-IV gets unlimited scoring and reporting for one, three, or five years depending on the selected term of the subscription. This may be a better option for customers who administer the WPPSI-IV several times each year—and don’t want to worry about keeping track of their report expenses.


In addition to hand scoring, WPPSI–IV is available on Q-global™, Pearson’s web-based scoring and reporting platform.

Q-global offers:

  • 24/7 secure, web-based access
  • Portability: Q-global can be used on mobile devices such as a laptop or tablet
  • On-demand, reliable scoring and comprehensive reporting solutions
  • Pricing on a per-report basis

WPPSI–IV Reports available on Q-global:

WPPSI–IV Score Reports

  • Automatically converts total raw scores to subtest scaled scores
  • Automatically converts sums of scaled scores to composites scores, including the FSIQ and numerous index scores
  • Provides strengths and weakness analysis at the index and subtest levels
  • Performs score comparisons at the index and subtest levels
  • Generates score reports with tables and graphs

Sample WPPSI-IV Score Report (2 years 6 months)

Sample WPPSI-IV Score Report (6 years)

WPPSI-IV Interpretive Report

The Interpretive Report includes full scoring information with narrative interpretation of scores, including:

  • Narrative summary of the child’s background, history, and test behaviors;
  • Interpretation of the Full Scale IQ and all primary and ancillary index scores
  • Integration of the reason for referral in test score interpretation
  • Recommendations based on WPPSI-IV performance
  • Optional Parent Report

Sample WPPSI Interpretive Report

WPPSI–IV / WIAT-III Combination Reports

This combination report allows you to upgrade your WPPSI–IV or WIAT–III Score Report to include a pattern of strengths and weaknesses analysis and an ability achievement discrepancy analysis of the combined results.

View a Combination Report

WPPSI–IV Interpretive Reports – Available Now!

In addition to the full scoring information available in the Score Report, this report includes narrative interpretation of scores, including:

  • Narrative summary of the child’s background, history and test behaviors
  • Interpretation of the Full Scale IQ and all primary and ancillary index scores
  • Integration of the reason for referral in test score interpretation
  • Recommendations based on WPPSI-IV performance
  • Optional Parent Summary Report


For Q-interactive users, WPPSI-IV scoring and reporting includes real-time scoring and immediate access to results and the same score report available on Q-global.

Pre-recorded Webinars

  • Introducing the New Digital Version of WPPSI-IV

    Presenter: James Henke, Kristen Getz

    Join us for an overview of the WPPSI-IV on Q-interactive, an iPad®- and web-based digital assessment system that engages examinees, increases portability, and provides you the ultimate tools for accuracy and efficiency.

    Through this live demonstration, we will demonstrate the administration of select WPPSI-IV subtests on Q-interactive and provide an overview of the research that supports their use.

    Date: May 26, 2016

    link Video: Introducing the New Digital Version of WPPSI-IV

  • Understanding Developmental Strengths and Needs Using the WPPSI-IV

    Presenter: Adam Scheller, PhD and Amy Dilworth Gabel, PhD

    When planning for early intervention, it is imperative that assessment instruments be reliable and valid, developmentally appropriate, and clinically useful in identifying the needs and strengths of young children. This session will provide an orientation to how the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence – Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV) may be used to understand the developmental needs and strengths of young children. Content is intended for those practitioners who routinely assess young children between the ages of 2:6 and 7:7 for the provision of special services. Particular emphasis will be placed on the changes from the WPPSI-III to the WPPSI-IV, including new subtests and index scores. The session will help participants understand how the theoretical underpinnings and content of the measure help clinicians to understand children’s needs, and how to use the information in program eligibility decisions and in developing intervention recommendations based upon a complete analysis of data.

    Date: May 23, 2013




Frequently asked questions follow. Click on a question to see the response.


  • Frequently Asked Questions

Test Framework, Revision Goals, and General Practice Issues

  • How has the test structure changed?
  • Were expressive language requirements reduced?
  • Why were Working Memory subtests added?
  • What are the language requirements for the Working Memory subtest instructions?
  • Why are the Working Memory subtests visual/visual-spatial rather than pure auditory/verbal as on WISC–IV and WAIS–IV? What happened to auditory working memory?
  • Why were the Processing Speed subtests changed?
  • Was the WPPSI–IV designed to line up with Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory?
  • Does the WPPSI–IV take longer to administer than the WPPSI–III?
  • Is there information in the WPPSI–IV Technical and Interpretive Manual about the proportions of children with various clinical conditions that were included in the normative sample? Are norms available that do not include children from these special groups?
  • What are the recommendations for using the WPPSI–IV over the WISC–IV when evaluating children aged 6:0–7:7?
  • How long do professionals have to transition from using the WPPSI–III to using the WPPSI–IV?
  • What is the appropriate composite score to use when evaluating for a learning disability using ability-achievement discrepancy analyses?
  • Does the WPPSI -IV support use of a pattern of strengths and weaknesses approach to learning disability evaluation?


  • Why were Vocabulary and Comprehension not chosen as core subtests? From a language perspective, they provide a richer sense of the child’s ability to answer open-ended questions—a more authentic skill for real-life.
  • Why was Vocabulary, a subtest that typically holds one of the highest correlations with general intellectual ability (g), replaced by Information, a “crystallized” measure influenced by forces such as environment and education?
  • Why was Word Reasoning dropped?
  • Did you consider removing the time limit for Object Assembly, or providing a table to use for scoring that considers completion outside of the time requirement—in essence, a process score for speed and for accuracy?
  • Why was Picture Completion dropped?
  • How does Zoo Locations work with children with motor deficits such as Cerebral Palsy? Is there an alternative test?
  • Why were Symbol Search and Coding dropped?
  • On Animal Coding, the associated pairs are presented in one row for the key. Each item is presented in a box. How did you decide on this box presentation and is it developmentally appropriate?

Composite Scores

  • How is the WPPSI–IV FSIQ different than the WPPSI–III FSIQ?
  • What is the fundamental difference between the FSIQ and the primary index scores?
  • If there are significant discrepancies between the primary index scores (e.g., VCI, WMI), is the FSIQ still interpretable (e.g., for diagnosing intellectual disability/mental retardation)?
  • What does the Fluid Reasoning Index (FRI) measure?
  • What does the Working Memory Index (WMI) measure?
  • What is the difference between primary index scores and ancillary index scores?
  • Is the NVI recommended for students with varying degrees of communication deficits? Could you use the NVI to determine eligibility for students who are nonverbal?
  • What is the difference between the FSIQ and the GAI?
  • Are there data for the gifted population and frequency of GAI minus CPI differences?
  • If I substitute a supplemental subtest for a core subtest to derive a composite score, is it considered a standard administration?
  • How was it decided that one subtest score could or could not be substituted for another?
  • Can I substitute the supplemental subtests for a core subtest?
  • Can I administer all of the core and supplemental subtests and choose to use the highest subtest scaled scores when computing composite scores?
  • Why isn’t supplemental subtest substitution allowed on the VCI, VSI, FRI, WMI, or PSI?
  • Is score proration still available?

Kit Materials

  • On the WPPSI–III, a pencil was used to draw forms in Coding (thus also assessing fine motor skills). It seems like it will be more difficult to assess fine motor skills when children are only using the ink dauber. Have you found this to be true?
  • Have you found the ink dauber to be distracting to the children?
  • How long do the ink daubers last? Are there replacement ink daubers available?
  • Can I replace an ink dauber with one I purchase at a craft store?
  • Is the ink in the dauber washable?

Q-global Scoring and Reporting

  • What is Q-global?
  • When will the WPPSI–IV scoring assistant and WPPSI–IV writer be available?
  • Can I reprint a scoring report at no charge?
  • How do you use supplemental subtest substitution and proration when scoring WPPSI–IV in Q-global?
  • Are the allowable substitutions for core subtests different on Q-global compared to hand scoring?
  • Why are some score comparisons not available on the Q-global platform if I substitute a supplemental subtest for a core subtest?
  • Are score comparisons with the WIAT -III available on Q-global?
  • What is included in the WPPSI -IV/WIAT -III Combination Report on Q-global?

Benefits of WPPSI-IV on Q-interactive

  • Access the full complement of WPPSI-IV subtests with the tap of a button.
  • Create custom batteries by combining subtests from the WISC-V and other tests such as the WIAT-III.
  • Engage young children by displaying stimuli on the iPad
  • Standardize administration and simplify the management of WPPSI-IV materials so you can focus on what is important – the examinee.
  • Automatically generate score reports, including ability-achievement discrepancy and patterns of strengths and weaknesses analyses with the WIAT-III.
  • Obtain scaled scores immediately after finishing a subtest, to increase speed and accuracy.


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