Types of intelligence tests

The study of intelligence is one of the topics that has aroused the most interest among psychologists, and has been one of the reasons why the psychology it started to become popular. Although the term intelligence is a commonly used word today, this was not the case a little over a century ago.

The concept is too abstract and, in general, provoked great debates between the various experts. One could say that intelligence is the ability to choose, among various possibilities, the most appropriate option to solve a problem or for a better adaptation to a situation. To do this, the intelligent individual makes decisions, reflects, examines, deduces, revises, accumulates information and responds according to logic.

Certain types of intelligence tests

There are different types of intelligence and the same goes for intelligence tests. Some measure what is called the “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 attempted to explain it: the crystallized and fluid intelligence of Raymond Cattell, the two-factor theory of Spearman, the multiple intelligences of Howard Gardner, to name but a few. some.

The first intelligence test: the Binet-Simon test

The first intelligence test was developed by Alfred Binet (1857-1911) and by the psychiatrist Theodore Simon, Both French. With this first intelligence test, it was a question of determining the intelligence of individuals who presented an 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, it meant that there was mental retardation.

This test has been reviewed and refined in several countries. Lewis Terman adapted it with the test name Stanford-Binet and used the concept of IQ (CI). The average IQ in an age group is considered to be 100.

The different types of intelligence tests

There are different ways to categorize intelligence tests, but generally these can be:

Test of acquired knowledge

This type of test they measure the degree of knowledge acquisition in a given field. For example, at school, they can be used as a test to see if students have learned enough in a subject. Another example can be an administrative aptitude test which is taken to be eligible for employment.

However, the value of these tests for measuring intelligence is relative, as intelligence is generally understood as an ability rather than an accumulation of previously acquired knowledge.

Verbal intelligence test

In this type of tests the ability to understand, use and learn the language is assessed. Quick comprehension of texts, spelling or richness of vocabulary is also assessed. Report on the verbal skills needed to communicate and live in community, but also on how thoughts are organized through the structure of language.

Digital intelligence test

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

Logical intelligence test

Such tests assesses logical reasoning abilityTherefore, they test the analytical and logical capacity of the person. It is the core of many intelligence tests, as it serves to assess the ability to perform abstract operations in which the correctness or inaccuracy of thought or is both in the content thereof and in how they overlap and how they relate formally. .

Types of intelligence tests: individual or 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 generally classified according to their application: individual tests or group tests. Below are the most famous intelligence tests according to these types of tests.

Individual tests

Individual tests are presented to one person. These are the most famous:

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test

This test is a revision of the Binet-Simon test. It is mainly applied to children (from 2 years old), although it can also be used in adults. Children usually do it in 30 to 45 minutes, adults up to an hour and a half. This test has a strong verbal component and achieves a CI in four domains or dimensions: verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, visual reasoning and short-term memory, and an overall CI equivalent to the “G factor”.


The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale it allows to obtain the CI, and in addition it offers the manipulator CI and the verbal CI independently. It contains 175 questions as well as comics and number sets. It consists of 15 subscales and lasts 1 or 2 sessions of 90 to 120 minutes. It applies from 16 years old.


The WISC was developed by the same author as the previous scale, David Wechsler, as an adaptation of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Adults (WAIS), but in this case for children. Like the previous one, it does not allow us to obtain scores on three scales: the verbal, the manipulative and the total. It consists of 12 subscales.

Kaufman Battery Review for Kids (K- ABC)

Kaufman’s Battery Rating for Kids was designed with the aim of assessing the skills of children between 2 and a half and 12 and a half years old to solve problems that require simultaneous and sequential mental processing. In addition, it also measures acquired skills in reading and arithmetic. Tests can be administered in 35 to 85 minutes.

Test the crow

Its purpose is to measure the CI. It is a non-verbal test, where the subject has to describe parts to be made from a series of printed sheets, and for this use perceptual skills, observation and analog reasoning to deduce the parts to be produced. It is applied in children, adolescents and adults.

Woodcock-Johnson Cognitive Skills Test III (WJ III)

This test consists of two batteries which they measure general intelligence, specific cognitive skills and academic success. They have a wide age range as they can be used for all ages from two years old. The test consists of a standard battery to evaluate 6 zones, and 14 additional evaluation zones 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 a student of Lewis Terman. The latter taught a course on the Stanford-Binet intelligence scale at the same university. Otis had the idea to adapt this test to a collective test format and later this test became the Army Alpha Exam, for military selection and classification of places.

After the Alpha exam, other collective application tests have emerged. Here are some of the most famous:

Otis-Lennon School Aptitude Test (OLSAT)

This test consists of several image reagents, verbal, figurative and quantitative, which they make it possible to measure verbal compression, reasoning verbal, image reasoning, figure reasoning and quantitative reasoning. It is applied in children of the school stage up to degree 12º. This test has two forms and seven levels, each of which can be administered in 60-75 minutes.

Cognitive Skills Test (CogAT)

this is measures children’s ability to reason and problem solve 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 composed of analogies, definitions, logical and arithmetic problems, Spatial relationships, comparisons between words and the location of addresses. It is a widely used tool in the personnel selection processes in the workplace. Its application is short: 12 minutes.

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