Assessment and evaluation is a way of testing individuals personality, intelligence, behavior, and cognition in order to determine recommendations going forward. Testing is often used in the education or legal system, but also in therapeutic settings to determine what may be inhibiting someone from moving forward in their life. This post will review types of assessment, major theories in assessment, and the most popular intelligence tests. The topic of Assessment and Diagnosis is weighted fairly high at 14%, so you will want to ensure you have a firm grasp of the concepts being reviewed. The information is best used in collaboration with your own knowledge and what you have already been taught, your previous notes or textbooks, and research if you need more information on a particular topic. Or you could check out the product reviews page.
Types of Assessment
Before we get into intelligence tests it may be helpful to review some of the different types of assessment. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Norm-Referenced Test: Tests an individual against a predetermined population, basically to see if the individual performs better or worse than others that have also taken the test.
Criterion-Referenced Test: Tests how much of a specific topic that an individual has learned or mastered (most tests in school are criterion-referenced tests).
Objective Test: Tests a particular area without rater bias, and typically there is a question bank and a scoring sheet which makes the test completely standardized (such as the EPPP).
Projective Test: Also known as subjective test, are typically a little more ambiguous in design and allow some element of the raters judgement in scoring.
Ipsative Assessment: Typically where an individual is given 2 (or more) comparable options, and they are “forced” to pick which option they prefer or best describes them. This is not used in assessment against other people, but rather provides information on each individuals preferences, strengths, or weaknesses.
Major Theories of Intelligence
There are a few underlying assumptions that differ between the different models of intelligence. Some believe at birth there is no intelligence, rather a “blank slate.” Others disagree and believe there are different levels of intelligence that individuals are born with, which impacts how much the individual will be capable of learning in the future. Another difference in underlying assumption is that some theories believe that intelligence is a single factor, while other theories are based on the assumption that intelligence can be measured on multiple factors.
Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Developed by Howard Gardner in 1983, he identified 7 types of intelligence:
- Linguistic Intelligence
- Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
- Spatial Intelligence
- Musical Intelligence
- Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
- Interpersonal Intelligence
- Intrapersonal Intelligence
Other forms of intelligence have been considered for inclusion:
- Naturalistic Intelligence
- Spiritual Intelligence
- Existential Intelligence
- Moral Intelligence
Triarchic Theory of Human Intelligence
Developed by Robert J. Sternberg, and he considered successful intelligence to be relevant to personal and social standards. he also focused on the process of thinking rather than specific achievement. The 3 facets are:
- Analytical Intelligence (componential)-problem solving ability.
- Creative Intelligence (experiential)-ability to generalize prior knowledge to new situations.
- Practical Intelligence (contextual)-dealing with everyday tasks.
Charles E. Spearman based his theory on the assumption that intelligence has one general factor (g factor) and 1 or more specific factors (s factor) and factor analysis could be used to measure it. The “g factor” was inventive rather than reproductive, and therefore tests are based on reasoning rather than recall and speed.
Louis Leon Thurstone was one of the pioneers of psychometrics and greatly impacted the current IQ tests. He proposed 7 mental abilities, which include reasoning, verbal comprehension, memory, word fluency, spatial visualization, numerical fluency, and associative memory.
Cross Battery Assessment Model
Developed by Raymond Cattell and John Horn, the model first distinguishes 2 types of intelligence: a) Fluid Intelligence is a nonverbal form of intelligence and is the ability to reason and understand (which develops throughout childhood). b) Crystallized Intelligence is acquired skills and is developed through exposure to culture (such as formal education). This became the “Catell-Horn-Carrol Theory of Cognitive Abilities” once 9 different classes of intelligence were developed:
- Fluid Intelligence
- Crystallized Intelligence
- Visual Processing
- Auditory Processing
- Short-Term Memory
- Long-Term Storage and Retrieval
- Processing Speed
- Decision Speed
- Quantitative Knowledge
Wechseler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)
The most widely used intelligence test for adults today (age 16-90), and is currently in its 4th edition (WAIS-IV). The entire test is made up of multiple subtests, 10 core subtests and 5 supplemental subtests. It will give a full scale IQ an 4 primary index scores, and an optional General Ability Index. The primary Indexes are:
Verbal Comprehension–which is composed of 3 core subtests (similarities, vocabulary, and information) and 1 supplemental subtest (comprehension).
Perceptual Reasoning– composed of 3 core subtests (block design, matrix resaoning, and visual puzzles) and 2 supplemental subtests (picture completion and figure weights).
Working Memory– composed of 2 core subtests (digit span and arithmetic) and 1 supplemental subtest (letter-number sequencing).
Processing Speed– composed of 2 core subtests (symbol search and coding) and 1 supplemental subtest (cancellation).
The General Ability Index is made up from the verbal comprehension and perceptual reasoning subtests.
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)
The most widely used intelligence test for children (ages 6-16), and is currently in its fifth edition (WISC-V). It can be administered in 45-65 minutes, and can give a full scale IQ score, as well as 5 primary index scores and has a total of 21 subtests. The Primary Indexes are:
Verbal Concept Formation: Composed of 2 core subtests (similarities and vocabulary) and 2 supplemental subtests (information and comprehension).
Visual Spatial Processing: Composed of 2 core subtests (block design and visual puzzle).
Fluid Reasoning Scale: Composed of 2 core subtests (matrix reasoning and figure weights) and 2 supplemental subtests (picture concepts, and arithmetic).
Working Memory Scale: Composed of 2 core subtests (digit span and picture span) and 1 supplemental subtest (letter-number sequencing).
Processing Speed: Composed of 2 core subtests (coding and symbol search) and 1 supplemental subtest (cancellation).
There are 5 additional scores that may be used for specific clinical situations:
- The Quantitative Reasoning Index
- The Auditory Working Memory Index
- The Nonverbal Index
- The General Ability Index
- The Cognitive Proficiency Index
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales
Currently in its 5th editions, and is an intelligence test used to diagnose intellectual or developmental deficiencies in children. There are 5 factors and has both verbal and nonverbal subtests. The 5 factors are:
Fluid Reasoning: Subtests include early reasoning, verbal absurdities, verbal analogies, and object series matrices (non-verbal).
Knowledge: Subtests include vocabulary, procedural knowledge (non-verbal), and picture absurdities (non-verbal).
Quantitative Reasoning: Subtests include verbal quantitative reasoning and nonverbal quantitative reasoning (non-verbal).
Visual-Spatial Processing: Subtests include position and direction, and form board and form patterns (non-verbal).
Working Memory: Memory for sentences, last word, block span (non-verbal), delayed response (non-verbal).
Results can be broken down as follows:
|IQ Range||IQ Classification|
One of the reasons for possibly choosing the Stanford-Binet over the WISC-V is the range of IQ score. The Stanford Binet has a wider ranger from IQ<20 to >180, where as the WISC-V is a range of IQ 40 to 160.
Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities
Currently in its 4th revision (WJ IV) and originally developed by Richard Woodcock and Mary E. Bonner Johnson in 1977. There is a total of 35 tests that measure 7 different factors which are:
- Fluid intelligence
- Visual-spatial ability
- Processing speed
- Long term retrieval
- Auditory Processing
- Short Term Memory
- Crystallized Intelligence
Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children
Developed by Alan S. Kaufman and Nadeen L. Kaufman in 1983, its last revision was in 2004 and it is commonly referred to as the K-ABC. It is designed to be sensitive to the need of handicapped groups, those with learning disabilities, and can be appropriate for cultural minorities or those with language barriers. There are 18 subtests, some core some secondary. According to the CHC model there are 5 scales which are:
- Short Term Memory
- Visual Processing
- Long Term Storage and Retrieval
- Fluid Reasoning
- Crystallized Ability
Das-Naglieri Cognitive Assessment System
Developed in 1997 by J.P. Das and Jack Naglieri and referred to as the CAS, it is used to assess the cognitive functioning of children from age 5-17. It consists of of 3 subtests for each scale referred to by the acronym PASS which breaks down as follows:
- Planning: Matched numbers, planned codes, planned connections.
- Attention: Expressive attention, number detection, receptive attention
- Simultaneous: Nonverbal matrices, verbal spatial relations, figure memory
- Successive: Word series, sentence repetition, speech rate or sentence questions.
Differential Ability Scale
Currently in its second edition (DAS-II), and can be administered to children as young as 2.5 up to 18. There are 20 cognitive subtests that are grouped into either “early years” or “school age”test batteries.
Early Years: Ages 2.5 to 6, and include the core tests on verbal, nonverbal, and spatial reasoning. There are also supplemental subtests which are recall of objects immediate and delayed, recall of digits forward, and recognition of pictures.
School Age: Ages 7-17, and includes the core tests on verbal, nonverbal and spatial reasoning. There are also 9 subtests which can be used to assess working memory, processing speed, and school readiness. There is also a specific group of subtests that can be used specifically for the 5-6 age range as an early assessment for giftedness.
You may find the information on this site is not enough to help you feel confident about your ability to pass the exam, That is OK and only you can be the judge of what you need. If this information seems overwhelming to you it does NOT mean you will fail the exam, but you may require a little more in depth material than is offered here That is why there is a Product Reviews page which will give you a variety of additional options, as well as practice exam questions which I highly recommend as explained on the Study Tips page.
***There are so many types of intelligence tests available that are not listed here, and it is not a good use of your time to try and memorize them all. but it would be great if you could share in the comments below some of the intelligence tests that you think may be important to know, or and practice exam questions you have come across that have asked about specific intelligence tests. Or if you have any questions simply ask them in the comments below.