KBIT-2 Test

KBIT-2 Test Explained: Preparation Tips for Your Child’s Success

The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test is a short intelligence test used to measure verbal and non-verbal intelligence. It is used for clinical findings and in vocational or educational settings and can be administered to candidates between the ages of 4 and 90.

KBIT-2 helps identify gifted or talented children and children who may be at high risk. It is also used on people in institutions such as prisons or mental health homes or those in clinical settings who have previously undergone assessments of their cognitive abilities.

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If your child is faced with taking the KBIT-2, read on to learn how to prepare them for the KBIT-2 and discover the top practice materials out there.

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What Is the KBIT-2 Test?


The KBIT-2 typically tests children on their verbal and non-verbal aptitude. The test lasts from 15 to 30 minutes and comes in two sections.

  • The first section measures the candidate’s verbal abilities
  • The second section measures their non-verbal abilities with a series of matrices tests followed by riddles.

In the first test, the child’s range of vocabulary is tested.

In the second test, the candidate’s ability to solve new problems through identifying the relationship between patterns and shapes is assessed.

When the results of the two tests are combined, the test delivers a composite IQ score which helps decision makers decide if a child is suited to taking part in a program for gifted children.

Children scoring above 130 (in a range of scores from 40 – 160) are considered gifted and eligible for placement in a course for children with high IQ levels.

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What Is the Format of the Test?

The difficulty level of the test varies with the different age groups who are taking it. Essentially the tests all follow the same format but are adjusted for the child’s age and grade level.

Verbal Knowledge

This tests the child’s vocabulary range. The child is shown a series of pictures and asked to select one picture that matches a vocabulary word.


The child will find this test more challenging than the vocabulary test as they are unlikely to have prepared for this type of testing in school.

The child is shown a picture and then asked to select the picture that relates most closely to it from a range of another four pictures.

For example, the picture shown may be of a fish. The following four pictures may be of a dog, a car, a tree, and the sea. The answer is the sea as it is the most closely related to a fish.

Older children will have more complicated pictures. They can expect to work on boxes of matrix containing anything from 4-9 pictures and images. The following sample question should give you an idea of what your child can expect here.



The riddles questions test the child’s ability to solve problems, as well as examining the extent of their vocabulary. A riddle may, for example, mention four features of an object and the child has to name the object.

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Is the KBIT-2 Test Hard?

The test is adjusted to the child’s age level and, as such, a child shouldn’t find it too challenging. However, when you factor in the need to get a minimum score of 130 out of a possible 160, the test can seem daunting for both young and not-so-young people.

Another factor that may make doing the test more difficult is the different style of questioning. This is especially true in the Matrices section as well as in the Riddles section where the child has to guess at the possible answer.

Then, of course, there is the level of anxiety the child may bring to the test. Children are naturally competitive and are very often afraid they will disappoint their parents.

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How Do I Prepare My Child for the KBIT-2 Test?

Mother Helping her Daughter with her Homework


Practice is the key to thorough preparation. Using the services of a test preparation company, you will gain access to sample papers modeled on the real test.

For this, we recommend using Test-Prep Online. With over thirty years experience in preparing candidates for testing you can rely on the information they give you and the sample papers that come in their test prep pack.

Working on the sample papers will guarantee your child:

  • They become familiar with the style of questioning
  • They learn to work within the time restrictions of the test
  • They can do the test confident they will find nothing unusual about it

For a sample of the tests they provide, go here.

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Helping Your Child Prepare for the KBIT-2

The most important step the parent can take is familiarising themselves with the test. Getting a test prep pack as soon as you can will give you time to study what lies ahead before you get your child started on the sample papers.

When the child works on the sample tests, they will become familiar with the format and their confidence will increase.

However, your work doesn’t stop just there.

If your child is very young, they will need you to help them, and they will need to feel this is an enjoyable experience.

Try the following pointers to make the work more enjoyable:

  1. Try turning the learning into a game. You and the child can have fun doing the riddles. Engage in guessing games to find the answers in the Matrix questions. But be warned! You are not allowed to win very many of them.
  2. Build in a reward system for the child and not just for correct answers. Making an effort and missing out on playtime also deserve rewards
  3. Ensure the child gets adequate breaks and good nutrition.
  4. For the child, this can be as stressful as end-of-college exams are for older students. Keep an eye on their stress levels and time spent in the fresh air or doing a hobby can alleviate any stress.

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Doing the Test

It is important that the child gets a good night’s sleep before the test. Over-anxious children may want to continue cramming but this will only sabotage their efforts in the real test.

Remind the child before the test that they are already a success. They have come this far and have put in the practice. Those factors in themselves are indicators of success.

Wish them luck and have a reward ready for when they finish!

Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.

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