The Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses in Academic Performance

            John is a seventh grader who shows a pattern of strengths and weaknesses that affect his school success.

             John's family life does not appear to contribute to his academic difficulties. He lives with both parents and two younger siblings. .

             On all these tests, scores of 90 - 110 are considered average. Any difference of 15 points or more between tests or subtests is considered significant. John shows that difference of 15 points or more in several areas. A 15 point difference is called "1 standard deviation." A 30 point difference is 2 standard deviations, and indicates a very significant difference.

             John's test scores are remarkable because they show a pattern of strong strengths and weaknesses. While his full score IQ is 94, this is misleading because of the wide difference between verbal and nonverbal scores. John's verbal score of 111 would put him in the high average range, while his nonverbal score of 80 is in the low average range. The difference between the two is 31 points, wide enough to make the full score of 94 meaningless, because it hides both his strengths and his weaknesses. .

             John's academic performance is just as uneven. His greatest strength is in reading comprehension. His score of 108 is very close to his verbal IQ score of 111. His decoding score, which looks at the ability to sound out or otherwise figure out unknown words, is 92, 16 points below his reading comprehension, suggesting an area of weakness within his strength of reading.

             John's math skills are lower than his verbal IQ. His "word problems" score is 16 points below his reading comprehension score. However, his score for calculation is markedly lower than his verbal IQ (36 point difference), and 17 points below his score for words problems, a significant difference.

             In written expression, John's ability to express himself is a strength at 102, close to his verbal score of 111 and his reading comprehension score of 108.

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