KBIT IQ Test: Everything You Need to Know

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IQ tests are everywhere, but not all are best for everyone. The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test was created by Alan Kaufman and is genuinely a very brief IQ test. Lasting only around 20 minutes, this test is an ideal IQ test for younger children. The KBIT is a short but powerful test used by schools across the country in various ways.

If you are thinking of taking the KBIT or have a child or student thinking of taking the test, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll break down what precisely the KBIT is. We’ll discuss everything from the test scoring to how to prepare for the test, so stick around if you want some tips on preparing for your KBIT.

What is the KBIT Test?What is the KBIT Test?

First, we need to establish the KBIT test before we can start discussing the scoring, structure, and preparation. KBIT is short for the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, an IQ test given to children most often to determine if they need extra help in the classroom or would fit in well with a gifted or advanced program.

The KBIT test is super popular, primarily due to its length. The test only takes around 20 minutes, making it a fantastic option for younger students who may not be able to focus on a multi-hour long test.

The KBIT test is divided into three subsections; verbal, matrices, and riddles. In each section, you will earn points toward your raw score. In the end, your raw score is calculated to give you a standard or composite score for the verbal category, the nonverbal category, and one overall composite IQ score.

Verbal section:

In this section of the test, you will be shown a series of six pictures and asked which one best represents a word. You will then be asked to select the picture that best represents molding. For example, you may be shown images of wood grain, wallpaper, a hall banister, a section of crown molding, a metal gate, and a moldy growth.

In order to do well on the verbal section of the KBIT, you will need to have an excellent working understanding of a lot of different words. You will also understand how to make an educated guess based on the word itself and the pictures you know.


In the matrix section of the KBIT, you will be shown a two-by-two matrix with images in all four quadrants except for the bottom right corner. You will have to pick from a selection of images to determine which one fits best in that empty corner. For example, you might see a hamburger and a mouth in the top two quadrants and a TV in the bottom left quadrant. It is your job to determine if a mouth, nose, ear, eye, leg, or hand will best complete the matrix.

This section tests your ability to see connections and understand relationships between objects and the world and between shapes. The example we discussed is rooted in the real world, but many matrix questions are simply different iterations of shapes. Your job is to find the relationship between the top two and apply that same relationship to the bottom set.


This section might seem super simple for adults, but the riddle section can be challenging for younger children. In this section, you will be given a sentence or sentence fragment that describes something without saying what that something is. Your job is to determine what the riddle is describing. For younger children, this could be as simple as saying, “it’s made of metal, and you use it to eat soup,” but the riddles get much more complicated as you get older.

This section is excellent for testing a child’s ability to think creatively and make connections between the description of the object and the object itself. If a child thinks of descriptions very differently from how the test words them, then this section might be a huge challenge. Some children might find this section the most fun since both riddles and puzzles are entertaining.

What is the KBIT Test Used For?

What is the KBIT Test Used For?

The KBIT test scores are used to help teachers and parents determine how best to help and support a child through their academics. This means understanding that some students need extra help and support in certain areas. For other students, the KBIT test scores are used in the admission process of enrolling the child in a gifted and talented program or another advanced program.

Many school districts use the KBIT IQ test as a preliminary test. If a student does really well on the KBIT, they will be recommended for further testing to see if a gifted program might be a good fit. On the other hand, if a student struggles with the KBIT, they may be recommended for further testing to determine how best to help them.

What Do the Scores Mean on the KBIT-2?

What Do the Scores Mean on the KBIT-2?

Understanding the KBIT 2 test scores can initially seem a little overwhelming, but we’ll break it down. First, it is important to note that the KBIT and the KBIT 2 are different names for the same test. KBIT refers to the general test, while KBIT 2 refers specifically to the most recent edition of the test, so don’t let the two throw you off!

Next, we’ll break down the test scores. When you get your score, you will receive a KBIT IQ composite score that will be somewhere between 40 and 160, with 100 being the average. The standard deviation of all KBIT scores is 15, meaning that about 50% of students will score between 85 and 115.

For your score to count as above average, you will need to score a minimum of 110. This score won’t be enough to get you into most gifted programs, though, as most programs require a minimum score of at least 125 or 130. Make sure you check with your program to know what the minimum score they will accept is.

Who Can Administer KBIT?

Who Can Administer KBIT?

Unlike many extensive IQ tests, the KBIT can be administered by various different people. The KBIT is often used as a baseline test, so while it is viewed as highly reliable and accurate, you don’t need to be a psychologist to administer the KBIT.

Frequently, the KBIT will be given by teachers or school administrators and will often be used as a tool to help parents and teachers better understand how students are doing. Because the KBIT only takes about 20 minutes to administer, it is a relatively simple test for schools to give to students.

How Accurate is the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test?

How Accurate is the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test?

There are many different IQ tests out there, but the KBIT is recognized as a reliable and valid way of testing a child’s IQ. Since the KBIT is such a short and quick test, it only makes sense that you might have doubts about its overall validity, but you have nothing to worry about. Although the KBIT can be given to anyone between the ages of 4 and 90, it is most commonly given to children.

Understanding the types of intelligence on IQ tests can be challenging, but overall, they really do just test your general intelligence as compared to others. Since the KBIT is scored comparatively to others, meaning that the raw score is converted to a final score based on other scores, it does a good job of testing this type of intelligence.

It is worth noting that IQ tests are controversial in many ways since there are so many different types of intelligence, and they really only test one. If you are interested in IQ tests or are wondering how to better understand IQ tests, feel free to check out any of our other articles on IQ tests.

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How to Prepare for the KBIT IQ Test?

How to Prepare for the KBIT IQ Test?

Preparing for the KBIT IQ test is slightly different from studying for a traditional test, like in school. The main thing to remember when you are studying or helping your child study for the KBIT is that the KBIT isn’t meant to measure something that you can teach to another person. An IQ test aims to gauge how your natural intelligence compares to other individuals.

All that being said, there are some things you can do to make sure you or your child, whoever is taking the KBIT, is as prepared and ready as possible. Here are our favorite tips and tricks to help you feel prepared going into the KBIT exam:

Take practice exams first

Make sure you have taken at least a few practice exams before taking the KBIT. Understanding the structure of the exam is one thing, but having to sit through the exam and feel what it feels like is a whole different ball game. By going through practice tests throughout your preparation process, you also give yourself some good insight into how you are doing and if your preparation is paying off.

Practice tests are a great way to make yourself feel prepared and comfortable. They are also a great way to change and tailor your study practices to you and your brain. If you take a practice test every other week, you will start to get a good idea of how your score is changing over time, and you will see if your score starts to plateau. By tracking your score using practice tests, you ensure that you take the KBIT when fully prepared.

Engage your brain every day

Engaging your brain every day is a healthy practice to get into, regardless of whether you are studying for the KBIT. Keeping your brain active and engaged could be as simple as always having a jigsaw puzzle going in your house or keeping a sudoku book in the bathroom or on your bedside table. There are tons of high-tech ways you can keep your brain engaged too, so if you spend a lot of time on your phone, there are options that might work best for you.

Keeping your brain engaged and in shape is especially important when you are studying for a test like the KBIT. Since your brain is a muscle, it needs time to get in shape for the particular activity you are asking it to do. Try finding some puzzles or games that ask you to make connections in a similar way to how your level of KBIT does. That is a great way to make preparation feel more fun and make you more likely to keep up with your brain engagement.

Give yourself plenty of time

The key to studying for an IQ test is to give yourself time. Your IQ is naturally flexible within a certain range of scores. In order to give yourself the best chance of scoring at the top of your range, you will need time to get there.

By regularly using practice tests and practice questions and keeping your brain engaged every day, as we recommended above it takes time for your brain to adapt and grow, so don’t expect to start preparing and be ready by the following week. This process will take time, so make sure to give yourself at least a few weeks to prepare.

Wrapping Things Up: KBIT IQ Test: Everything You Need to Know

Taking the KBIT doesn’t have to be super stressful as long as you understand what will be asked of you and you have adequately prepared for the exam. Since the KBIT is designed to be a quick test to better understand your intelligence, there isn’t a vast amount of information you should worry about learning. Instead, we recommend that you focus your time on engaging your brain in fun ways. You are setting yourself up for success by engaging your brain often when you sit down to take the KBIT!

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Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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