Differential aptitude test: its tests and characteristics

Fr intelligence assessmentThere are two types of assessment: that of global intelligence and that based on the assessment of multiple skills (different skills that make up intelligence).

In this article we will know the differential aptitude test of Bennett, Seashore and Wesman, Considered by many authors to be the first multi-skill battery in the history of psychological assessment, conceived in 1947.

    Differential aptitude test: characteristics

    The Differential Aptitude Test (DAT) is a battery of differential aptitude tests (also called TAD), designed in 1947 by George K. Bennett, Harold G. Seashore and Alexander G. Wesman. It is one of the most used multi-fitness batteries, And is considered by some authors to be the first to appear.

    Later, new revised and re-standardized forms were designed in 1962, giving rise to L and M forms, later S and T forms, and DAT 5, the latest version.

    Initially, the Differential Aptitude Test was designed for college students. It is currently frequently used for vocational and educational guidance processes.

    Attitude can be defined as the ability to learn something. The Differential Aptitude Test (DAT) measures students’ ability to learn or act effectively in a number of areas, as well as to assess a candidate’s potential for a position for the successful development of their profession.

      technical data

      The original name of the test is Differential Aptitude Test. Its application can be individual or collective. The duration is 120 minutes for the 1st section and 1150 minutes for the 2nd section, and its scope is 12 years.

      As for the material, it consists of notebooks, answer sheets, pencil, punctuation marks and a stopwatch.


      The differential aptitude test is used to measure a person’s ability in different areas of his abilities; that is why it is considered a “potency” test.

      The skills and abilities it measures are those identified as the most important in multiple educational and professional situations.

      What are you evaluating?

      The purpose of the Differential Aptitude Test is to assess verbal, numerical, abstract, mechanical reasoning, spatial relationships, spelling, speed and perceptual accuracy.

      Test tests

      The test consists of 7 tests that make up the test, Each of which is named after the factors mentioned above:

      1. Verbal reasoning (VR)

      This test measures the person’s ability to understand concepts formulated in words, as well as the ability to abstract concepts or generalize and think constructively.

      In this test, the examined subject must choose between 5 words, the one that best completes the analogy. For example: “… is to the right as the west is to …”

      2. Calculation (C)

      Here it is rated understanding of numerical relationships and ease of handling numerical concepts. It provides a measure of the subject’s ability to reason with numbers, uses number relationships, and works with quantitative materials.

      3. Abstract reasoning (RA)

      It aims to assess the non-verbal part of the reasoning ability. In this test, the subject must discover what principles govern the transformation of the figure, And demonstrate this understanding by pointing to the diagram that should logically follow in the series.

      4. Mechanical reasoning (RM)

      This test has illustrations where mechanical situations are represented, accompanied by a question asked in simple terms. The elements are presented on the basis of simple mechanisms and are found frequently in everyday life.

      5. Spatial relations (RE)

      The subject’s ability to manipulate concrete materials is measured by visualizations. The task is related to what some objects would look like if they were organized and rotated.

      6. Spelling and language (O and L)

      In this case, these two tests are more performance tests than aptitude tests. The scores here are split in half (one for each test), but are also taken as a whole, as they provide an estimate of the person’s ability to distinguish between good and bad use of language.

      7. Speed ​​or precision of perception (VP)

      These aim to assess the speed of the subject’s response to a simple task of perception. The subject examined here should look at the combinations marked on the test booklet, then look for the same combination in a group of several similar combinations, printed on the answer sheet.

      Considerations in its application

      When administering the differential proficiency test, three factors should be considered: proper planning of the test, correct timing, and its application under appropriate physical conditions for the subject and examiner.

      On the other hand, the test can be administered in whole or in part. For that, score analysis can be performed for each test separately, Or integrate information resulting from the application of several or all of the subtests.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Buela-Casal, G .; Serra, JC (1997). Manual of psychological assessment. 21st century ed. Madrid.
      • Cohen, RJ, Swerdlik, ME (2002). Psychological tests and evaluation. McGraw-Hill. Madrid.

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