Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test

Intelligence testing began in earnest in France. The French Government commissioned Alfred Binet in 1904 “to find a method to differentiate between children who were intellectually normal and those who were inferior.” (Strydom and Du Plessis, 2004) This early form of intelligence testing was not scaled — a child either passed or was placed into a special school where he or she would receive more appropriate instruction. (Strydom and Du Plessis, 2004) “Binet himself cautioned against misuse of the scale or misunderstanding of its implications.” Its intention was not to be used as “a general device for ranking all pupils according to mental worth.” Binet also noted “the scale, properly speaking, does not permit the measure of intelligence. (Strydom and Du Plessis, 2004) However, opinions began to change over time, and gradually the idea of a general intelligence quotient came to be in vogue. “Psychologists altered the Binet scales so that they would be more generally useful. The most carefully worked out revisions were the Stanford revisions, the first of which was published by Terman in 1916.” (“Intelligence Test,” 2004)

Description of actual test

The Stanford-Binet, which is still given today in some schools and by some therapists although other popular versions have replaced it, is a standardized test designed to assesses intelligence and cognitive abilities in children and adults aged two to 23. “The Stanford-Binet scale tests intelligence across four areas: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract/visual reasoning, and short-term memory.

The areas are covered by fifteen subtests, including vocabulary, comprehension, verbal absurdities, pattern analysis, matrices, paper folding and cutting, copying, quantitative, number series, equation building, memory for sentences, memory for digits, memory for objects, and bead memory.” Although these subtests vary according to the age of the subject and the decisions of the trained test administrator, usually vocabulary exams are given first. (Ford-Martin, 2004)

Type of test

The Stanford-Binet is a scaled intelligence test, meaning that the subjects performance is measured against a scale or set of norms. It is frequently used as a tool in school placement, in determining the presence of a learning disability or a developmental delay, and in tracking.