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Repeating Sixteen To Eighteen Syllables

The sentences are:--

(a) "_We are having a fine time. We found a little mouse in the
(b) "_Walter had a fine time on his vacation. He went fishing
every day._"
(c) "_We will go out for a long walk. Please give me my pretty
straw hat._"

PROCEDURE. The instructions should be given as follows: "_Now, listen. I
am going to say something and after I am through I want you to say it
over just like I do. Understand? Listen carefully and be sure to say
exactly what I say._" Then read the first sentence rather slowly, in a
distinct voice, and with expression. If the response is not too bad,
praise the child's efforts. Then proceed with the second and third
sentences, prefacing each with an exhortation to "say exactly what I

In this year and in the memory-for-sentences test of later years it is
not permissible to re-read even the first sentence. The only reason for
allowing a repetition of one of the sentences in the earlier test of
this kind was to overcome the child's timidity. With children of 6 years
or upward we seldom encounter the timidity which sometimes makes it so
hard to secure responses in some of the tests of the earlier years.

SCORING. The test is passed _if at least one sentence out of three is
repeated without error, or if two are repeated with not more than one
error each_. A single omission, insertion, or transposition counts as an
error. Faults of pronunciation are of course overlooked. It is not
sufficient that the thought be reproduced intact; the exact language
must be repeated. The responses should be recorded _verbatim_. This is
easily done if record blanks used for scoring have the sentences printed
in full.

REMARKS. In this test and in later tests of memory for sentences, it is
interesting to ask after each response: "_Did you get it right?_" As in
the tests with digits, it is an unfavorable sign when the child is
perfectly satisfied with a very poor response.

It is evident that tests of this type give opportunity for different
degrees of failure. To repeat only a half or a third of each sentence is
much more serious than to make but one error in each sentence (one word
omitted, inserted, or misplaced). It would be possible to use the same
sentences at three or four different age levels, by setting the
appropriate standard for success at each age. If the standard is one
sentence out of three repeated with no more than two errors, the test
belongs in year V. If we require two absolutely correct responses out of
three, the test belongs at about year VII. The shifting standard is
rendered unnecessary, however, by the use of other tests of the same
kind, easier ones in the lower years and more difficult ones in the

Sentences of sixteen syllables found a place in Binet's 1908 scale and
were correctly located in year VI, but later revisions, including that
of Binet, have omitted the test.

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