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Alternative Test: Giving Age

PROCEDURE. The formula is simply, "_How old are you?_" The child of this
age is, of course, not expected to know the date of his birthday, but
merely how many years old he is.

SCORING. About the only danger in scoring is in the failure to verify
the child's response. Some children give an incorrect answer with
perfect assurance, and it is therefore always necessary to verify.

REMARKS. Inability to give the age may or may not be significant. If the
child has arrived at the age of 7 or 8 years and has had anything like a
normal social environment, failure in the test is an extremely
unfavorable sign. But if the child is an orphan or has grown up in
neglect, ignorance of age has little significance for intelligence.
About all we can say is that if a child gives his age correctly, it is
because he has had sufficient interest and intelligence to remember
verbal statements which have been made concerning him in his presence.
He may even pass the test without attaching any definite meaning to the
word "year." On the other hand, if he has lived seven or eight years in
a normal environment, it is safe to assume that he has heard his age
given many times, and failure to remember it would then indicate either
a weak memory or a grave inferiority of spontaneous interests, or both.
Normal children have a natural interest in the things they hear said
about themselves, while the middle-grade imbecile of even 40 years may
fail to remember his age, however often he may have heard it stated.

Binet placed the test in year VI of the 1908 series, but omitted it
altogether in 1911. Kuhlmann and Goddard also omit it, perhaps wisely.
Nevertheless, it is always interesting to give as a supplementary test.
Children from good homes acquire the knowledge about a year earlier than
those from less favorable surroundings. Unselected children of
California ordinarily pass the test at 5 years.

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