Intelligence is the ability to problem solve, analyze, think, and understand. There are many different forms of intelligences and two main forms. The two main forms of intelligence are nonverbal and verbal. Verbal intelligence puts a focus on problems related to language and the skills required to solve, analyze, and understand those problems. Nonverbal intelligence puts a focus on not only visual problems but spatial problems as well and the ability to understand and solve those problems. Intelligence is called many things, some of these include intelligence quotient more commonly referred to as IQ, cognitive functioning, general ability, and intellectual or cognitive ability. The main purpose of intelligence tests is to determine a persons individual level of functioning intelligence.
The first modern intelligence test was created by Alfred Binet in the early 1900s. Binet created this test with assistance from Theodore Simon. Their creation of the test was inspired by a law that passed in 1904 which stated every child was required to be educated in a school setting. However, there were some children who struggled to complete their required workload. The government decided that there needed to be a plan in place stating what they could do for the students who were not thriving in the classroom. Together, Binet and Simon developed a system intended to identify children that would not be able to complete the work along with their peers so that additional assistance or a different classroom setting could be offered. This test was named the Binet-Simon intelligence scale. This test was used as a way to evaluate each child’s understanding of words, word relationships, and their vocabulary. Psychologists, teachers, and government officials discussed what age certain skills should be reached by. They decided this by testing multiple children in multiple age groups. If 70% of students in an age group were able to successfully complete a task and show mastery of a specific skill, that was then set as the marker for the groups. This, however, left 30% of students behind.
Each score was then said to measure a child’s “intellectual age” and ability. The test was changed for the first time in 1908 and then changed again come 1911, which was just shortly before Binet died. Binet died before he could “perfect the test.” Before his death, Binet went on to say “the scale, properly speaking, does not permit the measure of intelligence, because intellectual qualities are not superposable, and therefore cannot be measured as linear.” This quote can be interpreted to mean that Binet held the personal belief that intelligence can be changed and increased over a persons lifetime and that it is not linear and not always measurable.
Lewis Terman changed the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale for a third time in 1916. His revisions required students to demonstrate skill in many other additional areas including memory, eye hand coordination, comprehension of language, and math reasoning.
Two other forms of testing are achievement tests and aptitude tests. These tests can be mistaken for intelligence tests because they have similar types of questions and similar formats in which the questions are asked. The difference is intelligence tests sample things that have already been learned in an attempt to predict the outcome of future educational and learning experiences while aptitude tests test reasoning skills in order to predict the ability to learn.
Each assessment will test achievement, aptitude, and intelligence in varying degrees. It is also important to take into consideration the amount of verbal content in a test. Special consideration needs to be taken for children who have English as their second language and students who come from culturally diverse backgrounds.
In order to be valid, assessments have to take into consideration the many different learning styles of individuals and many different measures need to be taking during assessment.
As Binet said, intelligence can not be measured on a linear scale. Many modern assessments do not take these things into consideration. In order for a test to be valid, learning styles and different types of intelligences must be taken into consideration. A test must also be administered by a psychologist or testing professional.