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Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth UK Edition (WISC V UK)

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth UK Edition (WISC V UK) is the latest version of this cognitive ability measure. The test comprises short tests, each measuring particular types of knowledge, broken down into perceptual reasoning, verbal comprehension, working memory and processing speed. A core of subtests needs to be administered, with the option of substitution or future assessment to explore some areas further. The tests can either be carried out on paper or digitally.

The assessment has a degree of verbal instructions. The developers make recommendations with regards to administering the test to deaf children, reiterating the importance of ensuring the child has understood the instruction. Although appropriate communication for the child should be used, the strict guidelines should not be breached because this will compromise the ability to compare these scores to the standardised scores.

Page 15 of the accompanying manual gives a breakdown of the appropriate administration of subtests, indicating where administration and/or interpretation may be compromised by a child's deafness. Practitioners should refer to this table when deciding the suitability of the subtest and where substitution is needed. This decision relies on the clinical judgement of the practitioner, requiring experience in working with deaf children.

When writing up the assessment, practitioners should make clear the degree to which the child’s deafness impacted the assessment.

Age range

6–16 years, 11 months

Who can use it?

This is a closed assessment and can only be administered by someone who is registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) as a practitioner psychologist and who is also a chartered psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

What does it give us?

WISC V UK provides a set of scores looking at the four domains of cognitive functioning – perceptual reasoning, verbal comprehension, working memory and processing speed. Some of the subtests can be substituted, though this may affect around how the tests are delivered. 

How is it used?

The test takes 65–80 minutes.


  • Can give standardised scores across the four domains of cognitive functioning: perceptual reasoning, verbal comprehension, working memory and processing speed.
  • There are additional assessments that can be substituted in if needed.
  • Gives a comprehensive overview of a wide range of cognitive functioning.
  • Can compare to standardised population of hearing children.
  • Easily accessible for children.
  • Can be used to highlight and supplement other scores from the Wechsler series.
  • Provides insight into a child's progress in school.


  • Test is relatively expensive.
  • Can only be carried out by a narrow band of professionals.
  • Caution must be taken to ensure that the assessment is appropriate, balancing the need to ensure the child has understood the instruction whilst remaining within the defined assessment instructions, thus not compromising the use of the standardised scores.
  • This assessment takes a long time to complete and may have to be split over two sessions.

Is there a cost?


Where can I access it?