Terman Merril test: what is it and what parts and what tests it contains

The Terman Merril test (1916) is a tool for measuring intelligence, Created by American psychologist Lewis Madison Terman (1877-1956) and American psychologist Maud Amanda Merrill (1888-1978). This is a review of the Binet and Simon test.

In this article, we will see what this test consists of, what is its origin, what it evaluates and what are the 10 subtests that make it up.

    What is the Terman Merril test?

    The Terman Merrill test was born in 1916, in the hands of the two American psychologists mentioned at the beginning. This test is divided into 10 subtests, which include different types of tasks, Aims to measure verbal and non-verbal intelligence.

    In turn, the test can be divided into 6 main areas in which general intelligence is also divided:

    • general intelligence
    • quantitative reasoning
    • fluid reasoning
    • visuospatial processes
    • Working memory
    • knowledge

    The activities of the Terman Merril Test that make up these 6 areas are of different types, and through them two values ​​are obtained: the IQ and the degree of learning of the subject examined.

    Thus, the activities that make up the test include tasks of concentration, analogies, judgments, abstract reasoning, memory, language, etc.


    To understand the history of the Terman Merril test a bit, let’s go back to the origins of intelligence tests. These tests, also called intelligence tests, they have their origins at the end of the 19th century, in the hands of authors such as Alfred Binet and Théodore Simon (Binet was a psychologist and Simon a psychiatrist).

    Binet and Simon developed the first intelligence test, which made it possible to determine the strengths and weaknesses in the subjects’ cognition (that is, in their intellectual capacities).

    The Binet and Simon test was used in many public schools, and many years later, arrive Terman and Merril, who have revised the Binet and Simon test and adapted it to make it easier and more efficient to use.

      Includes this intelligence measurement tool

      The Terman Merril test is a psychometric test that assesses intelligence and which allows to determine the IQ of the examined subject, By a series of subtests with different tasks, with a total duration of between 40 and 50 minutes (the complete test).

      Its use is intended for the evaluation of people with a minimum educational levelThis allows them to understand the issues raised throughout the test.

      As mentioned earlier, the test consists of 10 subtests that measure different skills, all related to intelligence. More precisely, the test makes it possible to obtain two measures: that of intelligence and that of learning ability. In addition, also allows an interpretation of the scores and a diagnosis of the examined subject.

      From each of these measures (intelligence, learning ability, interpretation and diagnosis) we obtain different scores, which allude to four values ​​or ranges and which allow the subject in question to be “classified”. These values ​​are five in number:

      • deficient
      • Below average
      • way
      • Above average
      • Superior


      The objective of the Terman Merril test is to measure a number of abilities and skills of a person, all related to general intelligence. These capacities have to do with human cognition and are the intellectual capacity (general intelligence), the capacity of analysis, the capacity of synthesis and the capacity of organization.

      On the other hand, speaking of skills more related to practical intelligence, the test measures general knowledge, planning and decision-making.

      Finally, and in a more academic sense, the test makes it possible to assess skills such as numerical ability, verbal skills, comprehension and academic performance / achievement.


      We have seen that the Terman Merril test assesses intelligence in 6 major areas (or specific factors), already listed. The test does this assessment through 10 subtests, which in turn include tasks and activities of different types; these consist of tests that assess both verbal and non-verbal intelligence.

      Remember that verbal intelligence includes activities that require reading and understanding language, and nonverbal intelligence does not (this second type of intelligence is more abstract reasoning, assessed through exercises such as ” follow the digital series ”). In other words, non-verbal intelligence does not require the subject to be able to read.

      Now yes, let’s see what 10 subtests make up the Terman Merril test.

      1. Information

      The first subtest of the Terman Merril test is the information subtest. this measures the subject’s long-term memory, as well as the level of information he is able to capture from his environment.

      Its score indicates the person’s ability to associate when using data, as well as the ability to generate information through their knowledge.

      2. Judgment or understanding

      The second subtest assesses the subject’s judgment or understanding. like that, it measures the good sense of the person as well as his management of reality. Their score indicates the presence or absence of understanding and ability to solve practical (everyday) problems.

      It also reflects how well a person adapts to social norms and how they use life experiences to learn.

      3. Vocabulary

      Also called subtests of verbal meanings, assesses the presence or absence of abstract thought as well as the subject’s cultural level. More precisely, it measures the subject’s knowledge of the language, as well as his analysis of the various concepts.

      4. Synthesis or logical selection

      The next subtest of the Terman Merril test is synthesis, and measures the subject’s reasoning, his capacity for abstraction and the deductions he makes by logic.

      Thus, through this subtest, we can know the subject’s ability to objectively interpret and assess reality. It also analyzes the ability to summarize (synthesize), relate ideas and generate conclusions.

      5. Arithmetic or concentration

      This subtest is evaluated the extent to which the subject under examination processes information, focuses and resists distractions. In short, it tells us the degree of concentration (attention) the subject has when he needs to concentrate (especially under pressure).

      6. Analysis or practical judgment

      The following subtest assesses common sense, forethought, and the ability to identify inconsistencies. Determines if the subject is able to break the information down into a problem and explain the underlying causes.

      7. Abstraction

      The Terman Merril test abstraction subtest, also known as the analogy subtest, measures two basic aspects: understand information and the ability to generalize.

      In other words, it allows you to analyze whether and to what extent a person is able to relate different ideas to reach a certain conclusion.

      8. Planning

      Also known as the Sentence Sorting subtest, it assesses the following skills: planning (i.e. planning), organization, anticipation, attention to detail and imagination.

      Thus, it determines whether the person is able to anticipate the consequences of certain acts, and also assesses the ability to deal with the details and the wholeness of a given situation.

      9. Organization

      The organization subtest, also known as classification, measures the subject’s ability to discriminate and follow processes. It also assesses whether an individual is able to detect failures in certain processes and correct these errors

      10. Anticipation, attention or seriation

      Finally, the last subtest of the Terman Merril test is that of anticipation, attention or serialization.

      Measure these capacities and their score indicates whether the subject is able to interpret and verify certain numerical calculations. It also assesses the subject’s ability to concentrate, particularly under pressure.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Ballesteros, J. (2010). A critical review of the Terman scale. Why we shouldn’t be using the Stanford-Binet Form LM Third Edition. Educational Psychology, 16 (1): 23-30.
      • Ortiz, P. (1989). Intellectual evaluation in the clinic. In A. Ávila Espasa (Ed.): Clinical Psychological Assessment (Vol. II). Madrid: UCM.
      • Pueyo, A. (1997). Manual of differential psychology. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.
      • Valdez, A., Cortes, G., Vázquez, L. and De la Pena, A. (2018). Terman-Merril application for intelligence measurement. (IJACSA) International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications, 9 (4): 62-66.

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