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Types of intelligence tests

Types of intelligence tests

March 30, 2024

The study of intelligence is one of the topics that has aroused most interest among psychologists, and was one of the reasons why the psychology began to become popular. Even though the term is currently intelligence is a word that is used normally, this was not so a little over a century ago.

The concept is too abstract and, in general, has provoked great debates between different experts . You could say that intelligence is the ability to choose, among several possibilities, that best option for solving a problem or for better adaptation to a situation. For this, the intelligent individual makes decisions, reflects, examines, deduces, reviews, accumulates information and responds according to logic.

Some types of intelligence tests

There are different types of intelligence and the same thing happens with intelligence tests. Some measure what is known as "G Factor" and others measure different types of intelligence, such as logical-mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence or linguistic intelligence.

Since this construct began to be studied, several theories have tried to explain it: the crystallized and fluid intelligence of Raymond Cattell, the two-factorial theory of Spearman, the multiple intelligences of Howard Gardner, to name just a few of the most recognized.

The first intelligence test: Binet-Simon test

The first intelligence test was developed by Alfred Binet (1857-1911) and by the psychiatrist Théodore Simon , both French. With this first intelligence test, the aim was to determine the intelligence of individuals with intellectual deficits, in comparison with the rest of the population. The norm for these groups was called mental age. If the test score determined that the mental age was less than the chronological age, this meant that there was mental retardation.

This test was reviewed and perfected in several countries. Lewis Terman adapted it with the test name Stanford-Binet and he used the concept of intellectual quotient (IQ) . The mean CI in an age group is considered 100.

The different types of intelligence tests

There are different ways to classify intelligence tests, but usually these can be:

Acquired knowledge test

This type of tests measure the degree of acquisition of knowledge in a certain area . For example, in the school they can be used in exam format to know if the students have learned enough in a subject. Another example may be a test of administrative skills that is done to qualify for a job.

However, the value of these tests when measuring intelligence is relative, because intelligence is usually understood as a skill rather than an accumulation of previously acquired knowledge.

Verbal Intelligence Test

In this type of tests the ability to understand, use and learn the language is assessed . Rapid comprehension of texts, spelling or richness of vocabulary is also evaluated. Account of the verbal skills necessary to communicate and live in community, but also the way in which thoughts are organized through the structure of the language.

Numerical Intelligence Test

These tests measure the ability to solve numerical issues . In this type of tests different items are presented: calculation, numerical series or arithmetic questions.

Logical Intelligence Test

This type of tests assess the logical reasoning ability , therefore, they put to the test the capacity of analysis and logic of the person. This is the core of many intelligence tests, since it serves to evaluate the ability to perform abstract operations in which the correction or incorrectness of the thought or is both in the content of these and in the way in which they erode each other and how They are formally related.

Types of intelligence tests: Individual vs group

In addition to these types of tests, there are other tests that measure different types of intelligence, such as emotional intelligence.

On the other hand, tests are also classified according to their application: individual tests or group tests. The most known intelligence tests according to these types of tests are shown below.

Individual tests

Individual tests are presented to a single individual. These are the best known:

Stanford-Binet intelligence test

This test is a revision of the Binet-Simon test. It is mainly applied to children (from 2 years old and up), although it can also be used in adults . Children usually do it in 30-45 minutes, adults up to an hour and a half.This test has a strong verbal component and allows to obtain an IQ in four areas or dimensions: verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, visual reasoning and short-term memory, and a global IQ that is equivalent to "G Factor".

WAIS test

The Wechsler intelligence scale for adults allows to obtain the IC, and also independently offers the manipulative IQ and the verbal IQ . It contains 175 questions and, in addition, comic strips and series of digits. It consists of 15 subscales, and has a duration of 1 or 2 sessions of 90-120 minutes. It applies from 16 years.

WISCH test

The WISC was developed by the same author as the previous scale, David Wechsler, as an adaptation of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Adults (WAIS), but, in this case, for children . Like the previous one, it does not allow obtaining scores on three scales: the verbal, the manipulative and the total. It is constituted by 12 subscales.

Kaufman Evaluation Battery for Children (K-ABC)

Kaufman's Battery of Evaluation for Children It was designed with the purpose of evaluating the abilities of children between 2 years and a half and 12 and a half years to solve problems that require simultaneous and sequential mental processing. In addition, it also measures the skills acquired in reading and arithmetic. The tests can be administered in a period of 35 to 85 minutes.

Raven test

Its purpose is to measure the IC. It is a non-verbal test, where the subject must describe missing pieces of a series of printed sheets, and for that must use perceptual skills, observation and analogical reasoning to deduct the missing pieces. It is applied in children, adolescents and adults.

Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities (WJ III)

This test consists of two batteries that measure general intelligence, specific cognitive abilities and academic achievement . They have a wide age range, since they can be used for all ages from two years old. The test consists of a standard battery to evaluate 6 areas, and 14 additional evaluation areas are observed when the extended battery is applied.

Group intelligence test

The group intelligence tests are born thanks to the contribution of Arthur Otis , a student at Stanford University and a student of Lewis Terman. The latter taught a course on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale at the same university. Otis had the idea of ​​adapting this test to a collective test format and, later, this test became the Army Alpha Test, for military selection and job classification.

After the Alpha Test, other tests of collective application have emerged. These are some of the best known:

Otis-Lennon School Skill Test (OLSAT)

This test consists of various image, verbal, figure and quantitative reagents, which they allow to measure verbal compression, verbal reasoning, image reasoning, figure reasoning and quantitative reasoning . It is applied in children from school to 12th grade. This test has two forms and seven levels, each one can be administered in 60-75 minutes.

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)

This test measures children's ability to reason and solve problems using verbal symbols , quantitative and spatial. The test consists of different levels, 3 batteries (verbal, quantitative and non-verbal) and its administration lasts about 90 minutes.

Test of Personal of Wonderlic

This test consists of 50 items that consist of analogies, definitions, problems of logic and arithmetic , spatial relationships, comparisons between words and address location. It is a tool widely used in the selection processes of personnel in the workplace. Its application is short: 12 minutes.


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