Duration Of The Examination
About the only danger of fatigue lies in making the examination too long.
Young children show symptoms of weariness much more quickly than older children,
and it is therefore fortunate that not so much time is needed for testing them.
The following allowances of time will usually be found sufficient:--
Children 3-5 years old 25-30 minutes
" 6-8 " " 30-40 "
" 9-12 " " 40-50 "
" 13-15 " " 50-60 "
Adults 60-90 "
This allowance ordinarily includes the time necessary for getting into
_rapport_ with the child, in addition to that actually consumed in the
tests. But the examiner need not expect to hold fast to any schedule.
Some subjects respond in a lively manner, others are exasperatingly
slow. It is more often the mentally retarded child who answers slowly,
but exceptions to this rule are not uncommon. One 8-year-old boy
examined by the writer answered so hesitatingly that it required two
sittings of nearly an hour each to complete the test. The result,
however, showed a mental age of 111/2 years, or an I Q of 143.
It is permissible to hurry the child by an occasional "that's fine; now,
quickly," etc., but in doing this caution must be exercised, or the
child's mental process may be blocked. The appearance of nagging must be
carefully avoided. If the test goes so slowly that it cannot be
completed in the above limits of time, it is usually best to stop and
complete the examination at another time. When this is not possible, it
is advisable to take a ten-minute intermission and a little walk out of
Time can be saved by having all the necessary materials close at hand
and conveniently arranged. The coins should be kept in a separate purse,
and the pictures, colors, stamps, and designs for drawing should be
mounted on stiff cardboard which may be punched and kept in a notebook
cover. The series of sentences, digits, comprehension questions, fables,
etc., should either be mounted in similar fashion, or else printed in
full on the record sheets used in the tests. The latter is more
convenient. All other materials should be kept where they will not
have to be hunted for.
Besides saving valuable time, a little methodical foresight of this kind
adds to the success of the test. If the child is kept waiting, the test
loses its interest and attention strays. See to it, if possible, that no
lull occurs in the performance.
Inexperienced examiners sometimes waste time foolishly by stopping to
instruct the child on his failures. This is doubly bad, for besides
losing time it makes the child conscious of the imperfection of his
responses and creates embarrassment. Adhere to the purpose of the test,
which is to ascertain the child's intellectual level, not to instruct