Ruf Estimates™ Kids IQ Test FAQs

What are the Ruf Estimates of Five Levels of Gifted and how do I learn more about this before I pay for this assessment?

  • This is detailed in her book, 5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options (2005) (formerly titled Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind). This award-winning book describes differences within the gifted population. A large sample of children is classified into five levels of giftedness based on behaviors and developmental milestones, as well as test data. This gives parents and educators a reference guide to compare with their own gifted children or students. After a child’s intellectual level is estimated, the book provides different educational approaches and practical advice, including how to find the best type of school for each level. See reviews here.
  • Read Ruf’s experience, training, and other credentials.

What can we gain from completing the Ruf Estimates assessment if we already have prior test results?

There are two reasons why completing the Ruf Estimates can be worthwhile.
  • Extensive written feedback and Next Steps are given at the end of the inventory. The information is tailored for the particular Level that your results indicate. Many trained professionals are not experienced in IQ test interpretation for the gifted range - and many of them can’t help you learn more about giftedness. This process can extend your own education on giftedness related to your child.
  • Sometimes the results of either an individually administered or school administered IQ test do not match the results you get for the Ruf Estimates online assessment.
    • Sometimes the Ruf Estimates indicate a higher Level than previous testing indicated. Perhaps your child didn’t understand the directions, was having a bad day, or the instrument used was not a good choice for your particular child (e.g., timed sections when your child is a more thoughtful rather than speedy performer). The Ruf Estimates can help confirm or disconfirm such previous results.
    • Sometimes the Ruf Estimates indicate a lower result than previous testing indicated. There are three possible explanations for this:
      • The parent couldn’t fill in enough of the questions on the Ruf Estimates form to make it possible to estimate the child’s relative intelligence, strengths and weaknesses. Remember, it is important to have good records or a reasonably good memory of your child’s early interests, behaviors and milestones in order to make the Ruf Estimates effective for you.
      • On rare occasion, an assessment professional will score a child’s results higher than the child’s actual ability. In my experience, I have encountered a surprising number of parents who report exceptionally high scores for their children; often, these are the findings of particular assessment professionals. Follow up testing has resulted in a lowered adjustment of the earlier score. A high score, whether accurate or inaccurate, is not a mark of achievement. Inaccurate scoring distorts the child’s actual ability, which will not address the needs of the child.
      • Most test companies, such as Riverside Publishing and Counseling Psychology Press, recommend waiting at least six months between testing sessions for the same child so as to rule out "practice effects." Very bright children should wait at least one year, however, because their memories are so good. Finally, some gifted children remember too much even when more than a year has passed, and the resulting higher score will not indicate a more valid assessment for that child.

What will the Ruf Estimates Online Assessment tell me?

The Ruf Estimates Online Assessment, because it is more than a kid's IQ test, will tell you how your child compares to others in general learning ability as well as levels of strength within his or her profile of abilities. Your child’s results will be charted, identifying estimated strengths in five areas: overall intelligence, fluid reasoning, verbal abilities, quantitative reasoning abilities, and spatial abilities.

Five Factors

The results should help you in selecting the appropriate school and learning environment for your child. Written feedback explains your child’s profile and how it relates to school learning, the types of school settings that are likely to be a good fit for your child, an estimate of likely IQ test results, and academic achievement in the future. These categories are included:

  • Level Results and Description
  • Learner Guide for this Level
  • School Types
  • School Needs
  • Social Needs

Why would I use the Ruf Estimates Online Assessment?

  • The Ruf Estimates are intended to serve as an inexpensive yet valuable screening for parents trying to decide if formal IQ testing is warranted. The Ruf Estimates do not replace a formal professional assessment.
  • The Ruf Estimates are a sensible first step prior to formal IQ testing which can cost up to $1000 depending upon where you live, the expertise of the test administrator, and the depth and quality of the report of findings.
  • The Ruf Estimates are a useful low-cost approach for families with several children wanting to know the relative strengths of each.
  • The Ruf Estimates are accurate for determining intellectual Levels identification regardless of the child’s current age if the parents have retained good records of early childhood behaviors.
  • The Ruf Estimates Online Assessment is available with group rates for educational institutions needing Preschool and Kindergarten screenings.

Other considerations:

  • The Ruf Estimates Online Assessment is completed by parents, based on record-keeping and memory of the child’s early development through age six.
  • The Ruf Estimates have been designed to work with children as young as age three, although it is recommended that a child that young exhibit signs of exceptional intellect.

How will the Ruf Estimates help me, my family or my child?

  • You need to know where your child’s learning abilities lie so that you don’t leave his or her education to chance. Every child can learn, but it is not true that all children have the same potential to learn as quickly or as much if we simply hold all children to higher standards and train teachers better.
  • When you know what a child is like and know how the child learns and responds to various stimuli, then you can devise the appropriate instructional and parenting approaches in order to fully develop the child’s abilities. When one ignores individual differences, teaching-and-learning becomes a game of chance and a very important phase of intellectual development is at risk.

How accurate are the Ruf Estimates?

  • The Ruf Estimates have proven to work very well at predicting ability levels and profiles. The initial online assessment method was examined and refined based upon actual IQ results of children whose complete profiles were known.
  • Ruf used a paper-and-pencil version developed for her own professional use for more than 10 years. She analyzed the written parental feedback compared to the children’s tested results to identify which early behaviors were related to eventual IQ results.
  • Careful collaboration between Ruf and the TalentIgniter development team resulted in an Online Ruf Estimates that closely mirrors the qualitative analytical results she has experienced over the years.

How were the Ruf Estimates made?

The Ruf Estimates of Levels of Gifted are based on the detailed input of early developmental milestones from more than 800 families with more than 1,200 children over the past 15 years. In all cases, the children were ultimately formally tested by either Ruf herself or by another professionally qualified test administrator. The Online version is based on this research and experience. The Ruf Estimates closely mirror the qualitative analytical results that Ruf has been collecting over the years. Ruf has allowed for assessing children who are still younger than six years old, and has beta-tested repeatedly to assure that the language is clear.

How much do the results of the Ruf Estimates assessment compare to formal IQ testing results?

  • The results are given in the most likely range of scores. For example, a Level Two will probably score from 125-135 on a formal IQ test. The profile of abilities will also show parents or educators their child’s strengths, so it is easier to plan for the child’s education and classroom fit. This is better - more useful - than simply receiving a report of a single score.
  • For the highest Levels - Three, Four and Five - the Ruf Estimates predicts IQ scores above 135 and 140, but it tells more than that. It helps to tease out the differences between and among children whose scores look very similar due to the anomalies of standardized test making. With the additional information gathered in The Ruf Estimates, one can search for and arrange the best possible educational paths for these children. These children can be radically different from one another and can have very different needs.
  • The Ruf Estimates assessment is not a formal IQ test. It does not take the place of a formal IQ test administered and interpreted by a trained professional. It is unlikely the results of the Ruf Estimates assessment alone will be accepted by a school as a basis to accommodate a child’s particular abilities and needs. The results, however, will give parents an effective and timely start on planning for their child’s appropriate education and at a fraction of the cost of formal IQ testing.
  • You should seek formal IQ testing if you believe you need additional support from a trained professional when making choices for your child’s schooling, activities, and social development. Most schools administer group IQ and achievement tests to all students during the elementary school years (generally in 3rd grade or about age 8 or 9 years old) and that is sufficient for the majority of students, the ones who are of average or typical abilities in their individual schools. If the feedback you receive from completing the Ruf Estimates assessment indicate your child is at an advanced intellectual Level, you may wish to pursue working individually with an experienced, trained professional familiar with giftedness and school "fit."

How much do the results of the Ruf Estimates assessment compare to formal Achievement testing results?

The Ruf Estimates can predict with good accuracy just how far above grade level a child’s achievement will be by 1st grade, 4th grade, and beyond, regardless of the schooling the child receives. If the child’s education is totally inadequate, the Ruf Estimates can help parents and educators know how advanced the child should have been under appropriate circumstances.

What ages of children do the Ruf Estimates work for?

The Ruf Estimates are appropriate for any child six and older whose parents have kept good records or have good memories for their early milestones. In the case of children who are clearly exceptionally intellectually advanced, parents can complete the form for a child as young as age three.

What if I can’t remember that much about my child’s early years and early milestones?

It is highly recommended that parents go through any diaries, calendars, baby books, and photo albums before attempting to complete the assessment. The Online Assessment allows for interrupted completion in case parents need to call relatives, check old calendars, or otherwise find more information to help them remember when the child reached certain milestones or showed interest in certain things.

It is not necessary that you remember or noticed every interest or specific age or that your answers are precisely accurate at all times. We have found that, more often than not, the overall results will still be reflective of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Generally speaking, when you didn’t notice a milestone, it is because it didn’t seem - and probably wasn’t - all that unusual. But you know the child did gain the ability to recognize colors and letters, for example, so give an estimate of when that was. For example, "I didn’t notice when it started, but I know for sure she was saying her letters by age 3."



Ready to take the assessment and find out what your child needs to succeed in school?


Ruf Estimates™ Kids IQ Test (Online Assessment)