Types of intelligence tests - psychology - 2023



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

The concept is too abstract and, in general, has caused great debates among the different experts. It could be said that intelligence is the ability to choose, among several possibilities, the most successful option for solving a problem or for a 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 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: Raymond Cattell's crystallized and fluid intelligence, Spearman's bifactorial theory, Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences, 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 it was tried to determine the intelligence of the individuals who presented intellectual deficit, 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 lower than the chronological age, this meant that there was mental retardation.

This test has been revised and refined in several countries. Lewis Terman adapted it as the Stanford-Binet test and used the concept of intelligence quotient (IQ). The mean IQ in an age group is considered to be 100.

The different types of intelligence tests

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

Acquired knowledge test

This type of testing measure the degree of knowledge acquisition in a certain area. For example, in school they can be used in an exam format to find out if students have learned enough in a subject. Another example may be an administrative skills test that is carried out 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 language is assessed. Rapid text comprehension, spelling, or vocabulary richness are also assessed. On 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 language.

Numerical intelligence test

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

Logical Intelligence Test

This type of tests assesses logical reasoning abilitytherefore, they test the person's capacity for analysis and logic. This is the core of many intelligence tests, as it is used to assess the ability to perform abstract operations in which the correctness or incorrectness of thought is both in their content and in the way in which they fit together and how 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 usually classified according to their application: individual tests or group tests. Below are the most popular intelligence tests according to these types of tests.

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 (2 years and older), 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 obtaining 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 the “G Factor”.

WAIS test

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Adults allows obtaining the IQ, and also offers independently the manipulative IQ and the verbal IQ. It contains 175 questions and, in addition, comics and series of digits. It is made up of 15 subscales, and lasts for 1 or 2 sessions of 90-120 minutes. It applies from the age of 16.

WISCH test

The WISC was developed by the same author as the previous scale, David Wechsler, as an adaptation of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (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 made up of 12 subscales.

Kaufman Children's Assessment Battery (K-ABC)

Kaufman's Battery of Evaluation for Children was designed for the purpose of assessing the abilities of children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 12 1/2 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 within 35 to 85 minutes.

Raven's test

Its purpose is to measure IQ. It is a non-verbal test, where the subject must describe missing pieces of a series of printed sheets, and for this must use perceptual, observational and analog reasoning skills 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, as they can be used for all ages from two years. 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

Group intelligence tests are born thanks to the contribution of Arthur Otis, a student at Stanford University and alumnus of Lewis Terman. The latter was teaching 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 this test was later converted to the Army Alpha Exam, for military selection and job classification.

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

Otis-Lennon Test of School Ability (OLSAT)

This test consists of various image, verbal, figure and quantitative items, which measure verbal comprehension, verbal reasoning, picture reasoning, figure reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. It is applied in children from school stage 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 takes about 90 minutes.

Wonderlic Staff Test

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