Tests of Nonverbal Intelligence and Development Stages

The tests of nonverbal intelligence have taken prominence in the current years. In most of the situations such tests are used in the educational institutions to screen students who can be allowed to enter in the educational programs designed for the gifted children. In other situations the nonverbal tests play a pivotal role in directing your future career. They are designed to measure your nonverbal intelligence.

The main features are:

1- They are absolutely nonverbal

2- General instructions contained are very brief

3- The items can be solved only by looking at the diagrams and the specific instructions contained therein.

Kinds of Tests for Nonverbal Intelligence

tests of nonverbal intelligence

The tests of nonverbal intelligence include both individual and groups instruments to measure your nonverbal intelligence. Primarily they were built to measure the abilities of the people who could not be measured with normal psychological instruments. The general tests of nonverbal intelligence, historically, are performance, non-language and nonverbal.

The performance tests require you to work with objects without using pencil and paper. The non-language tests require no use of language on the parts of the tester and the subjects equally. Even the instructions to solve the questions are not given with the use of language. The nonverbal IQ tests were first used in World War I, when the armies needed to recruit people who were either foreign or illiterate. The pure nonverbal tests involve general brief instructions but you have to solve the nonverbal items.

With the developments of various nonverbal batteries the distinction between these old kinds is no more effective. The Wechsler scales offer the tests which amalgamate the verbal as well as nonverbal tools to measure intelligence of the subjects. Now the tests of nonverbal intelligence can be divided into categories depending upon their usages, i.e. nonverbal tests for infants, nonverbal tests for mentally retarded people, nonverbal tests for clinical purposes, the nonverbal tests for gifted children etc.

Tests of Nonverbal Intelligence for Job Screening

Since expansion of the job market worldwide, the tests of nonverbal intelligence have been getting their share in job screening process. Especially, when the employers want to hire people from different countries the use of nonverbal IQ tests increases. Such recruitment help the employers to select the right candidates for different positions in the developing countries as well.

The demand for test of nonverbal intelligence has got recently more attention. But the need was recognized in early 90s when immigrants flooded to the United States. They were from different cultures and most of them were not well conversant with English language.


Initially, the culture fair tests were developed by removing one or more parameters of the already existing psychological instruments. For example when the candidates came from different language backgrounds, the use of language was omitted. When they had different educational backgrounds, the test of reading was not utilized. Similarly, the matter of speed was ignored when the situations required.

However, the development of tests of nonverbal intelligence started with publication of the Leiter International Performance Scale. It was constructed after making a number of experiences with different ethnic groups. Later on the scale was successfully used with African groups. It was designed to meet a wide range of needs. Currently, it tests your nonverbal skills including reasoning, visualization, memory and attention.

Raven’s Progressive Matrices (RPM) was the next in the line. It was built to measure Spearman’s g factor in the intelligence. The test required the subjects to establish relationships between the abstract objects. The items were built with mazes, matrices and abstract designs. The task was to choose the missing objects from the answering side. Currently, the RPM is available in three forms; the Standard Progressive Matrices, the Coloured Progressive Matrices (CPM) and Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM).

Goodenough's Draw-a-Man Test was an important but different inclusion. You are required to make a picture of a man as best as you can. Later on the stress was focused upon observation and depiction instead of artistic side of the test taker. Now picture of a woman is also included in the test.

In the modern day testing industry the focus has moved from construction of special tests to the role of examiner. It is considered that the examiner should know the cultural background of the subjects then choose the suitable tests and finally administer these tests professionally and effectively.

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