What Does The Verbal Comprehension Index Measure?

By SCCFC Staff on Thursday, April 21, 2022
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For kids who are struggling in school, seem to be not reaching their potential, are frustrated with learning, are forgetful, or have a short attention span, a full neuropsychological evaluation may be extremely beneficial. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children–5th edition (WISC-V) is one of the tests that the psychologist will use to measure the child’s skills, which can help them learn to the best of their abilities. One of the 5 Primary Index scores on the WISC-V is the Verbal Comprehension Index, which measures the child’s verbal skills. The Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI)  consists of two core subtests: vocabulary and similarities. Additional subtests that can be part of the VCI include Information and Comprehension. If you would like to learn more details about the makeup of the subtests, you may find this article by edpsyched.com to be helpful!


At its core, the Verbal Comprehension Index measures a child’s ability to access their vocabulary, express themself in a meaningful manner, and apply reasoning skills to information presented verbally. The Verbal Comprehension Index measures crystallized intelligence and general knowledge, so children who perform well are frequently thought of as bright and intelligent because they appear to be a storehouse of information.

The Verbal Comprehension Index measures a child’s capacity to apply word knowledge to reasoning skills to help in understanding his environment. The capacity to access and find words is assessed on the Verbal Comprehension Index. Scores may be affected by cultural opportunities, knowledge, and information that is available to the child. For example, a child with a formal education is going to have a different score than a child without one. The Verbal Comprehension Index also measures the ability to retrieve information, vocabulary, verbal reasoning, problem-solving skills, and communication skills. Communication skills are important both orally and in writing. See this article by the Child Success Center for more information on communication skills. 

Performance on the Verbal Comprehension Index is related to reading, math, and writing achievement in children after the age of 7. High scores may partly reflect opportunities for learning and enrichment. High scores also reflect a child that can access and apply verbal knowledge, and explain their thought and articulate facts regarding the world around them. Children with low scores on the Verbal Comprehension Index may experience difficulty with understanding oral language or verbal expression and may struggle to find the words to communicate meaning. Children with low scores on the Verbal Comprehension Index may display problems in conveying basic knowledge about their world even though they have adequate memory to recall what they have learned. They may also have difficulty with expressing themselves with their words or may struggle with basic problem-solving and reasoning skills.

If you are looking for a neuropsychological evaluation that includes the WISC-V’s Verbal Comprehension Index, make an appointment with Dr. Randy Kulman of South County Child and Family Consultant in Wakefield, Rhode Island. Dr. Kulman specializes in working with and evaluating children with ADHD and can help better your child’s learning skills through the evaluation. For more information on South County Child and Family Consults, contact us here. To read more about The Verbal Comprehension Index, click here.

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