In this article we will discuss about the types and uses of intelligence test.
Types of Intelligence Tests:
Intelligence tests may be classified under three categories:
1. Individual Tests:
These tests are administered to one individual at a time. These cover age group from 2 years to 18 years.
(a) The Binet- Simon Tests,
(b) Revised Tests by Terman,
(c) Mental Scholastic Tests of Burt, and
(d) Wechsler Test.
2. Group Tests:
Group tests are administered to a group of people Group tests had their birth in America – when the intelligence of the recruits who joined the army in the First World War was to be calculated.
(a) The Army Alpha and Beta Test,
(b) Terman’s Group Tests, and
(c) Otis Self- Administrative Tests.
Among the group tests there are two types:
(i) Verbal, and
Verbal tests are those which require the use of language to answer the test items.
These tests are administered to the illiterate persons. These tests generally involve the construction of certain patterns or solving problems in terms of concrete material.
Some of the famous tests are:
(a) Koh’s Block Design Test,
(b) The Cube Construction Tests, and
(c) The Pass along Tests.
1. Individual Tests:
The first tests that were prepared were individual. The ideal of preparing group test was motivated by economy and mass-scale testing work. Binet’s test was individual, and so was Terman-Merril Stanford Revision. Individual tests are most reliable but these consume more time and energy. These are, however, useful in making case-studies or individual studies of behaviour problems or backwardness.
The tests prepared in the beginning were individual verbal i.e., where some sort of language (the mother-tongue of the child) was used. Each question in Simon-Binet or Stanford Revision test is in verbal form. The child has to read the question or listen to the question and answer in language.
But suppose the child is not fully conversant with the language of the examiner, or he is illiterate. In that case verbal tests do not serve the purpose. Hence non-verbal or performance tests have been prepared. Here the tasks set up require the child to do ‘something’ rather than reply a question.
The child may, for instance, fit in a wooden board with depressions in some geometrical forms, some wooden shapes like triangles or rectangles or circles. He may put some cubes in descending or ascending order of size. He may assemble certain disintegrated parts to form full designs or pictures. No language is used here. Instructions also can be had through demonstration or action.
A number of performance tests have been prepared. The most important are:
1. Alexander’s Pass-a-long test.
2. Koh’s Block Design test.
3. Collin and Drever’s Performance Tests.
4. Weschlers Performance Test.
5. Terman and Merill’s Performance Test.
6. Kent’s Performance Test.
Kent’s test is used for clinical purposes. It consists of five oral tests and seven written tests, each requiring one minute.
Individual performance tests have the disadvantage that these take a lot of time. Their reliability is also questioned on the ground that temporary response sets or work habits may play a major role in determining score. The habits rewarded in one test may lead to a low score or more scores on another.
Again, the intelligence measured by performance tests is not quite the same as tested by Binet and others. Some psychologists have even questioned whether performance test batteries measure general intelligence at all. Further details about performance tests are given below elsewhere.
2. Group Tests:
These are more helpful as these deal with large masses of subjects such as in schools, industry, army and public. Under favourable administering conditions these are reliable and have high predictive validity, and can be compared favourably with individual tests.
The Army Alpha and Beta were the most prominent tests in the beginning, Spearman constructed group tests in which questions were read out to the candidates. Cyril, Burt prepared group test comprising of large number of sections each section being a large number of problems of one particular kind.
His group-test no. 23 comprises 50 same-opposite problems, 30 sentence completion problems, 30 mixed sentences, 25 analogies and 18 reasoning problems.
A specimen of Burt’s graded reasoning test is given in Appendix VII.
In the ‘Omnibus’ test or ‘Richardson’s ‘Simplex Text’, the different sections are not timed separately, but there is a time limit for the whole test.
Army Beta test is the most widely known group performance test.
In general, group tests have the following characteristics:
(i) Most of the group-tests have been standardised, and these are commonly used in educational institutions in the western countries. The directions and manuals for examiners have been worked out, so that even a layman can administer these.
(ii) Most of the test items in group verbal tests are linguistic in character. Some of the test items include problems requiring reasoning about numbers, or geometrical forms.
(iii) Some group verbal tests have been used in measuring scholastic aptitude also.
(iv) These are convenient in administration and scoring.
3. Comparison of Individual and Group Test:
4. Performance Tests:
The importance of non-verbal or performance was discussed above. Here we mention the composition of such tests.
Non-verbal tests include such items as:
(i) Relationship of figures, which may be either (a) functional or (b) spatial.
(ii) Drawing figures, especially human figures,
(iii) Completing pictures and patterns.
(iv) Analysing space relationship from diagrams (two dimensional),
(v) Analysing cube relationship.
(vi) Drawing lines through figures to break them up into given section, as in Minnesota paper form board test.
(vii) Mechanical relationship, tracing relationship of interlocking gears-pulleys, shown in pictorial form.
(viii) Memory for design.
Some performance tests do not need actual handling of the material.
The following tests are examples where actual handling is needed:
(i) Assembly of objects from their disconnected pans (called Maniken and Profile),
(ii) Kolhi’s Block Design,
(iii) Picture completion,
(iv) Cube construction,
(v) Form board paper pencil,
(vi) Pass along test,
(vii) Picture arrangement,
(viii) Mazes, and
(ix) Cube imitation (tapping).
Progressive Matrices prepared by G.C. Raven at Dumfries are one of the widely used paper-pencil group performance tests. A specimen is given in Appendix VIII.
Performance tests have the following advantages:
(i) These are generally useful for measuring specific abilities, but particularly useful for testing some category of persons. These include deaf persons, those who are at a disadvantage in verbal tests due to language difficulties, those who are educationally backward, and those who are discouraged in verbal talks due to school failures.
(ii) These are highly useful in vocational and educational guidance. Persons of practical and mechanical ability can be discovered by these tests alone. Alexander, therefore, suggested that verbal tests only should not be given.
(iii) For the study of pre-school children, who have not begun reading and writing these are only suitable tests.
(iv) These are useful for clinical purposes, for testing neurotics and mentally defective (or feeble-minded).
(v) These are useful for adults over 30, who have lost interest in numbers and words.
(vi) Performance tests are culture-free. No verbal test can boast of having no relation with linguistic cultural background of the nation. That is why verbal test in English prepared in U.K. will not suit Indian children. The mention of tennis, spoon, fork, omnibus and such other words in the verbal tests may not evoke proper response from Indian students, because they may not be familiar with these things.
Performance tests have also been criticised on the following grounds:
(i) Some test items do not have connection with life situations. Some call for speed rather the solution of problems. Slight differences in speed affect the scores. Enough of emphasis is not given to item difficulty.
(ii) Performance tests do not measure exactly what Binet’s tests measure- reasoning, judgment and imagination.
(iii) Most of these tests do not require above-average thinking, so these are not suitable for higher levels.
(iv) There are variations in the utility of different tests. Picture completion tests may suffer from poor material. Maze tests require continual adaptation and planning. Form-board tests tend to depend upon speed.
(v) Most of these tests need to be administered individually, in small groups, which entails expense. Again single performance tests are not so reliable. A battery of tests is needed, which makes the task mere complex.
On the whole performance tests have to stay for measuring general ability. But these can simply supplement verbal tests rather than give independent results. These can, however, be used independently when some special practical ability is to be measured.
Uses of Intelligence Test:
1. Classification or Grouping pupils for school work:
A teacher can use the intelligence tests together with all other information available about the child to place him with others of his ability in smaller groups, the composition of which will vary from subject to subject and from time to time. Students may be classified not according to C.A. but M.A.
2. For diagnosing disabilities in school subjects:
We can compare the score representing in a school subject and the mental age and find the retardation in the subject.
3. For Determining the optimum level of work:
The primary aim of education is to assist each child to make the best possible use of all his capacities. It is a general measure of a pupil’s capacity to succeed in his school work. The mental age gives the mental level at which a child can be expected to work most efficiently in academic subjects.
4. Identification of intellectual deviations:
It is a problem to find who is bright and who is dull. This is to be found, otherwise a teacher may force adult child to do what is beyond his capacity, or fail to assist the gifted to make use of his exceptionally great capacity. So the extreme cases are to be discovered.
The very dull child is likely to be recognised sooner or later as also the gifted. One of the most important problems is giving education coping with mentally defective and identifying and cultivating the potential capacity for leadership which gifted children have.
5. Educational and Vocational guidance:
The fact that intelligence is positively related to vocational competence and to attainments in college work has definite practical implications. The educational or vocational counsellor can use the score on the intelligence test along with other data to predict a pupil’s success in college or in many vocations. Though vocational success depends upon other factors as well: health, persistence, interest and aptitudes, but intelligence is a potent factor.
6. Estimating the range of abilities in a class:
The teacher can note the range of ability in the class. A group may contain neither very bright, nor very dull. In others the range may be very large. This gives teacher a difficult task in adjusting assignments, methods of instruction. Achievements tests are, therefore, supplemented by intelligence tests to find the range.
7. Determining the level of ability:
In a class or school, the abilities of different teachers can be appraised in terms of the average attainments of their respective classes when these are made equal in the level of intelligence. Similarly comparisons of schools can be made only when the levels of ability of the students of the two schools are also determined.
8. Measuring special abilities:
Aptitude tests can predict the ability to achieve in music, art and various mechanical and social lines.
9. Predicting success in particular Academic Subjects:
Readiness and prognoses tests have been designed to give a high prediction of success in specific subjects, and provide useful basis for the selection of courses. Intelligence tests do not help here much, as there is no fair degree of correlation between various subjects and I.Q.
10. Diagnosing Subject-Matter Difficulties:
At the elementary school level when a child has little choice of subjects, the readiness test is valuable as a diagnosis. It gives the teacher information about the areas in which the child needs more training.
11. Combination of all informates for Educational Guidance:
The teacher and counsellor should get as much information as possible about the pupil. The prognosis test will be very valuable in predicting success in particular subjects, and when combined with intelligence test will be even more effective. The use of achievement test will increase the reliability of the prediction.
Intelligence test results can be pooled and utilised for research purposes.
In the school children are chosen for various purposes and activities through intelligence tests.
14. Guidance and Organisation of Learning activity.