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Order Of Giving The Tests

The child's efforts in the tests are sometimes markedly influenced by the order
in which they are given. If language tests or memory tests are given first, the child
is likely to be embarrassed. More suitable to begin with are those which test
knowledge or judgment about objective things, such as the pictures,
weights, stamps, bow-knot, colors, coins, counting pennies, number
of fingers, right and left, time orientation, ball and field,
paper-folding, etc. Tests like naming sixty words, finding rhymes,
giving differences or similarities, making sentences, repeating
sentences, and drawing are especially unsuitable because they tend to
provoke self-consciousness.

The tests as arranged in this revision are in the order which it is
usually best to follow, but one should not hesitate to depart from the
order given when it seems best in a given case to do so. It is necessary
to be constantly alert so that when the child shows a tendency to balk
at a given type of test, such as those of memory, language, numbers,
drawing, "comprehension," etc., the work can be shifted to more
agreeable tasks. When the child is at his ease again, it is usually
possible to return to the troublesome tests with better success. In the
case of 8-year-old D. C., who is a speech defective but otherwise above
normal, it was quite impossible at the first sitting to give such tests
as sentence-making, naming sixty words, reading, repeating sentences,
giving definitions, etc.; at each test of this type the child's voice
broke and he was ready to cry, due, no doubt, to sensitiveness regarding
his speech defect. Others do everything willingly except the drawing and
copying. The younger children sometimes refuse to repeat the sentences
or digits. In all such cases it is best to pass on to something else.
After a few minutes the rejected task may be done willingly.

Although we should always encourage the child to believe that he can answer correctly,
if he will only try, we must avoid the common practice of dragging out responses by too
much urging and coaxing. The sympathies of the examiner tend to lead him into the habit
of repeating and explaining the question if the child does not answer
promptly. This is nearly always a mistake, for the question is one which
should be understood. Besides, explanations and coaxing are too often
equivalent to answering the question for the child. It is almost
impossible to impress this danger sufficiently upon the untrained
examiner. One who is not familiar with the psychology of suggestion may
put the answer in the child's mouth without suspecting what he is doing.

Next: Adhering To Formula

Previous: Desirable Range Of Testing

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