Chapter 9: Group Tests of Mental Ability
Uses of Group-administered Mental Ability Tests
1. first major use is in elementary and secondary school settings
2. usually given in conjunction with a standardized achievement test
3. second major use is for predicting success in college, graduate school and/or professional school
4. two dominant tests used for college selection and placement: SAT and ACT
5. third major use is for job selection or placement in military and business settings
6. testing large numbers of military recruits stimulated the development of the first group-administered
mental ability test
7. fourth major use is that these tests are widely used for research in the social/behavioral sciences
8. some of this research relates directly to the nature of mental ability and its relationship to other
variables, such as age, income, educational outcomes, or personality variables.
Common Characteristics of Group Mental Ability Tests
10. (1) these tests can be administered to a large group
11. any test that can be administered to a large group can also be administered to an individual
12. (2) these tests are nearly always comprised of multiple-choice items and that way are amenable to
13. there are exceptions but the MC format is a significant feature that differentiates between these group
and ind. administered tests
14. (3) despite the difference in format the content of tests is very similar
15. however, there are two exceptions to this generalization (1) group tests usually do not include items
measuring short-term memory (2) usually do not include manipulative items involving blocks, puzzles
and so on
16. (4) there is a fixed time limit and fixed number of items for these tests
17. recall the start and stop rules of the ind. tests
18. Administration times for group tests have a bimodal distribution with many at 45-60 min and others at
19. (5) usually yield a total score plus several subscores, for example verbal and nonverbal
20. (6) the research base for norming, equating, determining reliability, and so on is very large, usually
much large than for ind. tests
21. the norm group for a grp test may involve more than 200,000 or even a million cases
22. (7) principal purpose: prediction
23. an ancillary purpose for many of these tests is to aid in placement within education or job settings in
order to maximize success, but prediction or selection remains the primary purpose.
Mental Ability Tests in School Testing Programs
24. three major entries in this category (1) Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (2) Test of Cognitive Skills
(3) Cognitive Abilities Test
25. one of the special features of all these tests is their multilevel structure
26. a multilevel test structure accommodates ind. differences by having different levels of the test for
different ages or grades. The various levels are then linked statistically to allow for continuous score
scales throughout the range covered by the test.
Otis - Lennon School Ability Test
27. was created as a group-administered form of the Binet- type test
28. OLS AT8 designed to measure those verbal, quantitative and figural reasoning skills that are most
closely related to academic achievement.
29. OLS AT8 finds it primary use in school testing programs and is jointly normed with the Stanford
Achievement Test, 10th edition30. Structure is similar, though not identical, across the seven levels.
31. An examinee takes one of these levels and the level depends on grade, age and/or level of ability
32. The multilevel arrangement approximates the use of stop and start rules for individually administered
33. OLSAT8 yields a total score based on all the items at a given level (60-72 items); verbal and
nonverbal subscores, based on 30-36 items per area at each level; and cluster scores. The clusters include
verbal comprehension and verbal reasoning within the verbal area; pictorial reasoning, figural reasoning
and quantitative reasoning within the nonverbal area.
34. There is further subdivision of items within the clusters.
35. Provision of a number of different scores is a recent development as before there was only a single
36. The OLSAT8 adopts Vernons hierarchical model of intelligence as a framework for test development.
37. The manual notes that OLSAT8 attempts to measure only the v:ed portion of the model.
38. The test yields raw total, verbal and nonverbal scores which are then converted to scaled scores which
are then converted to the School Ability Index (SAI).
39. The SAI is a standard score with M=100 and SD=16.
40. SAIs are determined separately for age groups in three-month intervals from ages 15-19.
41. SAIs can convert to percentile ranks and stanines, either by age group or grade and NCEs can be
derived from the percentile ranks.
42. Cluster scores are converted to a simple three-category scale: below average, average, above average
corresponding to stanines 1-3, 4-6, 7-9.
43. OLSAT performance also enters the report in another way. The report incorporates Anticipated
Achievement Comparisons (AACs).
44. OLSAT8 is used to predict performance on the Stanford tests and then predicted performance is
compared with actual performance.
45. The column labeled AAC, t