Stanford-Binet Test

The Stanford-Binet test is one of the most popular IQ tests performed today. It is the original and first IQ test developed in 1916 by Lewis Terman at Stanford University and was based upon the earlier work of French psychologist Alfred Binet and his student Theodore Simon. Over time the test has undergone revisions to improve reliability and validity. Currently the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is in its fifth edition.

Mostly administered to children, it tests five factors of cognitive abilities:

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

Both verbal and non-verbal individuals can take the test, as it is graded on a number of cues.

Scoring for the Stanford-Binet

Scores for the Stanford Binet are calculated from subtests from all five factors and scaled based on the test takers age. For more information on scoring, see the scoring and reporting system user’s guide. The average score for the test is 100, and classifies intelligence within the following score ranges:

IQ Range ("Deviation IQ")IQ Classification
145-160Very gifted or highly advanced
130-144Gifted or very advanced
110-119High average
80-89Low average
70-79Borderline impaired or delayed
55-69Mildly impaired or delayed
40-54Moderately impaired or delayed


The highest score ever recorded for a Stanford-Binet test was 328.

Where to Take the Stanford-Binet IQ Test

If you want to take an official version of the Stanford-Binet test you’ll want to contact a psychologist, as many of them will be qualified to administer the test. There are also other professionals who may be able to provide the test, as it’s used for academic placement, by some employers and neuropsychological treatment centers, so you may be able to contact employees of these companies, universities or treatment centers near you to inquire as well.

Practicing for the Stanford-Binet

In theory, the Stanford-Binet test is normalized so you shouldn’t necessarily be able to practice for the test. However, if it’s been some time since you’ve taken a test, it could be beneficial to take some online tests to get comfortable with the testing process again. Practice tests online are not official and will likely not coincide with your real life score, but they can provide insight on what to expect when it comes to taking the Stanford-Binet and what types of questions you will be asked.

What to Expect with the Test

The official Stanford-Binet test is given through an approved proctor at a quiet location. The test can take anywhere from 45 minutes to close to 3 hours depending on the person taking the test. Older children have more subtests to take, which makes testing longer for them.

Smaller children take the test through speaking and play, as this is more practical for a smaller child to sit through. Older children answer series of questions with a paper and pencil.

Official results are then given once the test is completed and scored. The results are yours to keep and can provide official IQ results for employers, educators and admission into high IQ societies.

Practical Uses for the Stanford-Binet Test Today

The test has many practical uses in today’s society. For example, it is helpful in a clinical setting to assess neurological issues. It also helps in an educational setting as the test results can be used to assist in the placement process to ensure children end up in the appropriate classes. In the workplace, these results can be used in the hiring process or to help determine compensation. Outside of clinical and educational settings, IQ tests have always been an interesting conversation piece. Many people take an IQ test simply out of curiosity, and their Stanford-Binet test results can be used to gain admittance into high IQ societies like Mensa.

Subtests and their Function

There are several subtests included with the Stanford-Binet Test that cover both verbal and nonverbal intelligence. Subtests include fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory. The fluid reasoning subtest is designed to test for early reasoning, verbal absurdities, verbal analogies, and object series matrices. The knowledge subtest evaluates factors, such as vocabulary, procedural knowledge, and picture absurdities. The quantitative reasoning subtest tests non-verbal quantitative reasoning, as well as verbal quantitative reasoning. The visual spacing subtest tests for form board and form patterns and position/direction. Lastly, the working memory subtest tests for factors such as delayed response, block span, memory for sentences, and last word.

It was vital to create this test due to evolving regulations regarding educational requirements during the early 1900’s in France. Originally, it was created in France by Alfred Binet and then made its way to the United States, where it would be edited. It is a revised version of the original Binet-Simon scale, which was developed by Lewis M. Terman, who was a psychologist that worked at the University of Stanford. The most current version of the test, released in 2003, is the fifth edition.

The Reliability of Test Results

There has been a lot of research conducted regarding the accuracy and reliability of the Stanford-Binet IQ test in measuring intelligence. Over time, researchers have concluded that the tests are both accurate and reliable. The current edition of the test has been found especially precise in regards to testing advanced abilities, meaning it is suitable to test children for gifted abilities.