The literature on the effects of education and cultural background on Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III), Wechsler Memory Scale-III (WMS-III), WAIS-R and WMS-R performances was reviewed. The electronic databases PsycINFO, MEDLINE and PubMed were searched over the period 1980-2008 and reference lists from papers identified were examined for relevant articles. Of 3,081 papers identified, 19 met criteria including English language, group research, adult sample, quantitative data published and focus on relationship between culture and/or education and performances on WAIS-III, WMS-III, WAIS-R or WMS-R measures. There was converging evidence that both education and culture showed significant relationships with test performances, particularly on the WAIS-III and WAIS-R in control and clinical groups. The limited research available did not demonstrate improved diagnostic efficiency with the application of demographic corrections for the WAIS-III. Clinical implications were discussed, including the issue of compromised validity when assessing people from diverse cultural backgrounds for whom relevant normative data are not available. Suggested research directions included the development of culturally and linguistically specific normative data, the modification and validation of "culture-free" tests and the examination of cultural effects in clinical groups in the Australian context.