Counting Thirteen Pennies

PROCEDURE. The procedure is the same as in the test of counting four

pennies (year IV, test 3). If the first response contains only a minor

error, such as the omission of a number in counting, failure to tally

with the finger, etc., a second trial is given.

SCORING. The test is passed if there is _one success in two trials_.

Success requires that the counting should tally with the pointing. It is

not suff
cient merely to state the number of pennies without pointing,

for unless the child points and counts aloud we cannot be sure that his

correct answer may not be the joint result of two errors in opposite

directions and equal; for example, if one penny were skipped and

another were counted twice the total result would still be correct, but

the performance would not satisfy the requirements.

REMARKS. Does success in this test depend upon intelligence or upon

schooling? The answer is, intelligence mainly. There are possibly a few

normal 6-year-old children who could not pass the test for lack of

instruction, but children of this age usually have enough spontaneous

interest in numbers to acquire facility in counting as far as 13 without

formal teaching. Certainly, inability to do so by the age of 7 years is

a suspicious sign unless the child's environment has been extraordinarily

unfavorable. On the other hand, feeble-minded adults of the 5-year level

usually have to have a great deal of instruction before they acquire

the ability to count 13, and many of them are hardly able to learn it at

all. So much does our learning depend on original endowment.

Binet originally placed this test in year VII, but moved it to year VI

in 1911. All the statistics, without exception, show that this change

was justified. Bobertag says that nearly all 7-year-olds who are not

feeble-minded can pass it, a statement with which we can fully agree.