Alternative Tests





The tests designated as "alternative tests" are not

intended for regular use. Inasmuch as they have been standardized and

belong in the year group where they are placed, they may be used as

substitute tests on certain occasions. Sometimes one of the regular

tests is spoiled in giving it, or the requisite material for it may not

be at hand. Sometimes there may be reason to suspect that the subject

has become acquainted with some of the tests. In such cases it is a

great convenience to have a few substitutes available.



It is necessary, however, to warn against a possible misuse of

alternative tests. _It is not permissible to count success in an

alternative test as offsetting failure in a regular test._ This would

give the subject too much leeway of failure. There are very exceptional

cases, however, when it is legitimate to break this rule; namely, when

one of the regular tests would be obviously unfair to the subject being

tested. In year X, for example, one of the three alternative tests

should be substituted for the reading test (X, 4) in case we are testing

a subject who has not had the equivalent of at least two years of

school work. In year VIII, it would be permissible to substitute the

alternative test of naming six coins, instead of the vocabulary test, in

the case of a subject who came from a home where English was not spoken.

In VII, it would perhaps not be unfair to substitute the alternative

test, in place of the test of copying a diamond, in the case of a

subject who, because of timidity or embarrassment, refused to attempt

the diamond. But it would be going entirely too far to substitute an

alternative test in the place of every regular test which the subject

responded to by silence. In the large majority of cases persistent

silence deserves to be scored failure.



Certain tests have been made alternatives because of their inferior

value, some because the presence of other tests of similar nature in the

same year rendered them less necessary.





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