performance intelligence quotient testing

Performance Intelligence Quotient (PIQ)

Performance Intelligence Quotient (PIQ) is a score resulting from a test that assesses your child’s mental capacity in dealing with nonverbal skills. Usually, an IQ test has two major components: the verbal test and the performance test. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD or autism) have limitations that can hinder them from achieving their maximum potential, if not given the appropriate education and care that best suits them. Knowing the intelligence quotient of your child, alongside other results of diagnostic tests, may aid in addressing your child’s weaknesses and enhance your child’s strengths in cognitive skills.

A PIQ test requires actual physical handling of certain objects, such as picture cards and puzzles, in front of the examiner or psychologist. Therefore, PIQ tests found on the Internet are not reliable and accurate. It is best to consult with a licensed psychologist for an actual PIQ test.

What to expect from Performance Intelligence Quotient testing

A PIQ usually lasts between an hour and an hour and a half and is performed in either a school or clinical setting. It is comprised of five different scales for evaluation, namely:

  •     Picture completion
  •     Picture arrangement
  •     Block design
  •     Digit symbol
  •     Object assembly

In picture completion, your child will be presented with different pictures that are missing a detail (e.g., a picture of a boy or a girl with one missing eye). Your child will be tested for his attention to detail and will be asked to complete the picture.

In a picture arrangement, your child will be presented with a set of picture cards. Your child will be tasked to arrange the cards, in order to tell a story. For example, one card that has a picture of a girl, one card that has a picture of a market, and one card that has a girl carrying a basket with fruits and vegetables in it. Arranging the cards to tell the story of the girl going to the market and buying fruits and vegetables is the object of the test.

In a block design, your child is presented with different shapes of blocks and asked to copy a certain arrangement or design by putting the pieces of blocks together.

In digit symbol, your child will be asked to copy a coding pattern. For instance, your child will be asked to copy symbols that correspond with simple geometric shapes.

In object assembly, your child will be presented with different materials and asked to make an entire object by using the different materials presented to him. An example would be completing a simple puzzle in 90 seconds.

The scales in a PIQ test are usually repeated several times with the degree of difficulty elevated each time your child completes one task. The result of the PIQ test is based on the speed of response of your child and how much correct answers he completes. Remember that the PIQ, or any IQ test for that matter, is not a predictor of your child’s quality or worth. It is merely one of the many tests that help assess your child’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses to be a basis for appropriate interventions.


John Grohol (2010). IQ Test. Retrieved March 23, 2011, from

Suggested Resources:
ADHD Assessment and Diagnosis Across Settings Redone (RECORDED)
Video Modeling Library
ALL ACCESS Autism Toolkit

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